Re: MD When is a metaphysics not a metaphysics?

Date: Wed Mar 03 2004 - 20:41:21 GMT

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    David said:
    Indeed, what I ask is the same question, what can we do to improve this existence? I think we need to promote the MOQ over the limitations of SOM. I also suggest liberalism is tied to SOM, so that moving beyond SOM probably means going beyond liberalism. We have to undermine the present aristocracy, with its patronage, corruption, inequality, illegitimacy, etc; not uphold its power by accepting private ownership and property, appalling standards of education, the moral vacuum at the heart of corporate life, etc.

    This is where we disagree: I agree that we should promote post-SOMic thinking, but I do not think that liberalism is tied to SOM. I don't agree with former Marxist, postmodern literary theorists like Fredric Jameson, Terry Eagleton, and Paul de Man that renunciation of Kant's philosophical dreams entails the renunciation of Kant's political dreams. Rorty says it best when he argues that there were two Enlightenment projects, not one. The contradiction in liberal discourse only occurs when we use the Enlightenment's philosophical vocabulary and Rorty's efforts since the beginning of the 80's have been to untie liberal, Enlightenment political discourse from this Kantian way of formulating our hopes and dreams.

    So, when you ask what I'm proposing to improve this existence, I start talking about typical leftist reforms like universal health care. What I don't talk about are typical philosophical reforms like truth as a property of sentences. Its not that these philosophical reforms wouldn't benefit our culture, its only that in the short term, universal health care would help more than convincing everyone to be a pragmatist. In the long run, it would be great for the two to dovetail together, but as a matter of strategy, democracy has priority over philosophy.


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