Friday, October 23, 2009

Rejoinder from a friendly critic

John, who the hell are you? You speak as if there is some dispensation of fate that makes you ineffectual. You pretend to philosophy, but you and I know that this is nonsense. So you pose as a weakling who has nothing to say or if you did it didn't matter anyway. Who are you? John Cougar?

I just watched a few episodes of Michael Sandel's Justice video, and he provides a much more reasonable argument than yours. He deals with questions that are inevitably of interest to anyone who thinks. He refers to real arguments like utilitarianism (Bentham and Mill) and he contrasts those arguments with radical defenses of individual self ownership found in libertarianism (Nozick).

You sit around and navel gaze, but Sandel attempts to reason himself out of this problem. He recognizes that there may be no completely satisfactory argument, but at least he makes one. You rely on obscure poems by RPW and think that enough to state a point. You need to make a better argument.

You need a gadfly to keep you from falling into the complacency of your own reverie. So let me suggest Sandel's videos. I remember you mentioning that you liked his book 'Liberalism and the Limits of Justice,' but you suggested that it was ultimately pointless because it took its argument from John Rawls. You thought Rawls was ultimately not worth wasting your time with. What makes you such a snob? Explain why you are so much better than the others.

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