Hannah Arendt never wrote a “moral philosophy.” It is not hidden away in the archives or any of the recent collections of her work, nor in her unpublished lectures, letters, or journals. She was a political theorist who thought that moral philosophy requires a set of social relations that are inaccessible in the modern world. Yet as she has become more popular and is taught more and more often by moral philosophers, she is developing an unearned reputation as a moralist that perverts both what we should mean by moral philosophy and what she hoped to show us about the world we now inhabit.
This semester I taught a course on crime and punishment, and in part out of competition with my colleague Seth Vannatta, I set out to give a final presentation on the dimensions of the course. This is the presentation I wrote. Introduction Our task was to explore the role of ethics in the law,… Continue reading Reflections on my Crime and Punishment Seminar
At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a broad consensus among reformers in the United States regarding the perniciousness of economic monopolies and winner-take-all politics. After that period of rampant growth and cronyism known as the Gilded Age, groups who had been disproportionately disadvantaged by political patronage and voter fraud began to organize… Continue reading The Progressive Paradox
Last year, I suggested that liberal objections to Citizens United were partly justified by predictions about its effects that I didn’t see as probable. As the election draws to a close, we can begin to say whether the consensus view or my own views were accurate. Here goes: as a percentage of GDP, this is simply… Continue reading 2012 is NOT the Most Expensive Election in History, in GDP-adjusted Terms
The Obama administration brews its own beer Weigel takes a stab at serious policy Weigel has predicated a lot on the conditional statement: “If you look at it right, then you’ll see serious policy.” But we don’t have any evidence for the antecedent, that the public or the media *will* “look at it right.” More to… Continue reading Season of Political Irrelevance Update