Two Friday Links On Moral & Political Philosophy

Edward Feser: ‘A second-exchange with Keith Parsons, Part II:’

‘I have argued that human biology can have moral import only if interpreted in light of an Aristotelian metaphysics. Keith argues that it ought to be interpreted in light of a purely naturalistic metaphysics. He would interpret the biological functions that ground what is good for us, not as instances of immanent teleology of the sort the traditional Aristotelian affirms, but rather in terms of Darwinian natural selection. As Keith indicates, in this regard his views parallel those of Larry Arnhart.’

Speaking of Larry Arnhart at Darwinian Conservatism, he revisits Steven Pinker’s claim of declining violence and a challenge to it from Leftward.

Does Pinker Show The Bias Of A Pro-Western Imperialist, Capitalist, Elitist and Anti-Communist Ideology?:

‘This is a critical issue for Pinker’s argument because his claim is that it’s classical liberal thought that promotes declining violence, and that most of the atrocious violence of the 20th century was due to the illiberal regimes led by three individuals–Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.’

**Martha Nussbaum has used Aristotle’s natural philosophy.  On this site, see: Bryan Magee Via Youtube: ‘Martha Nussbaum On Aristotle’

Classical Liberalism Via Friesian.Com-’Exchange with Tomaz Castello Branco on John Gray’

On the note of morality being derived from rationalist constructivism and scientism, this blog is still seeking forms of ‘classical’ liberalism in good faith, or a liberalism which runs on consent and which tolerates dissent, a liberalism which supports broad definitions of free speech and recognizes deep disagreement in the public square.  Is Isaiah Berlin’s value-pluralism an option?:  On this site, seeA Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” …

From Darwinian Conservatism: ‘Nietzsche–Aristocratic Radical or Aristocratic Liberal?’…Here’s Nietzsche scholar J.P. Stern on Nietzsche’s anti-Christian, anti-secular morality (Kant, utilitarians), anti-democratic, and anti-Greek (except the “heroic” Greek) biases……

From Edward Feser: ‘Nagel And His Critics Part IV’

John Gray Reviews Jonathan Haidt’s New Book At The New Republic: ‘The Knowns And The Unknowns’

Steven Pinker somewhat focused on the idea of freedom from violence, which tends to be libertarian. Yet, he’s also skeptical of the more liberal human rights and also religious natural rights. What about a World Leviathan?: At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas HobbesFrom Reason.TV Via YouTube: ‘Steven Pinker on The Decline of Violence & “The Better Angels of Our Nature”‘Simon Blackburn Reviews Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial Of Human Nature” Via the University Of Cambridge Philosophy Department

2 thoughts on “Two Friday Links On Moral & Political Philosophy

  1. While Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’ is certainly a tour de force, from memory it does not come to grips with the issue of structural violence. A quarter of the world’s prison population resides in America and mostly because of anti-drug laws. Yes, the nature of violence might change but the barbarism in us all does not go away, it just trims its sails to the wind.

  2. Well said.

    I’ve often thought that structural violence is kind of the point (rechanneling naturally occurring violence), but it all depends on which structures and according to which ideals, and then the kinds of legal reasoning and cases that evolve over time.

    Drugs are problematic, and mandatory punishment for low level users and distributors can cause more problems and even more repeat offenders in some cases. Many drug users cause harm only to themselves, but in many areas many drug dealers cause daily harm to pretty much everybody, and not just because they’re breaking laws.

    Fewer Americans, perhaps, are as motivated to morally condemn drug sale and use publicly, and are having to confront the consequences of the laws on the books, and they’re having to deal with the incentives created.

    It can be quite awful, inefficient, and counter productive.

    I’m all ears, but with a critical eye on the reasoning, moral commitments, passions of some people desiring change.

    This is a big cause now, where a lot of moral sentiment had built up. This doesn’t necessarily make good laws.

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