Out of Iraq

George McGovern‘s plan to stabilize Iraq: Step 1. Leave Step 2. Deputize Iran (and other Arab states) Step 3. Pay for our Mistakes (just like Iraq pays Kuwait) I’m not sure what I think of this, but there it is. Leaving is a tossup: either the destabilized regions continue with their ethnic cleansing by scaring… Continue reading Out of Iraq

“WWWSD?” Cultural relativists come from relativist cultures

I’ve spent the last semester sitting in on a seminar taught by a Vanderbilt philosopher named Robert Talisse. I’m not a student at Vanderbilt, so it was really great of him to let me sit in on his seminar. At the same time, despite the fact that one of my dissertation advisors is an analytically… Continue reading “WWWSD?” Cultural relativists come from relativist cultures

Kendall-Smith and Kant: Can the Critique of Practical Reason make you ethical?

Ever since Adolf Eichmann pretended that Kant’s theory of ethics could be used to defend his actions, I’ve wondered whether moral philosophers really have any tendency to be better people, or to live better lives. As Arendt put it in Eichmann in Jerusalem, “He did his duty… he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed… Continue reading Kendall-Smith and Kant: Can the Critique of Practical Reason make you ethical?

Whether building fortresses, and many other things that rulers frequently do, are useful or not

From the NYRoB: “A critical mistake was made,” observed the American security analyst Anthony Cordesman as early as September 2003. “By creating US security zones around US headquarters in Central Baghdad, it created a no-go zone for Iraqis and has allowed the attackers to push the US into a fortress that tends to separate US… Continue reading Whether building fortresses, and many other things that rulers frequently do, are useful or not