Monthly Archives: September 2010

Inconclusive Thoughts on Comparing Prostitution to Things

So a judge in Ontario has ruled that laws against prostitutes working in brothels, communicating about prostitution in public, or giving their money to other people are unconstitutional, because they make prostitution more dangerous. The government disagree and are taking … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Happiness, Beauty, and Oppression

On magazine covers and adverts and other such cultural dandruff, I’ve often seen an intriguing phenomenon: the grouping together of health, happiness, and beauty. These are what you will acquire from the latest miracle diet, secret lifestyle tips, or biomedicalised … Continue reading

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The End of Mongooses? Predation and Historicism

In a recent opinion-piece at the New York Times, Jeff McMahan argues that the goal of gradually eliminating meat-eating from the animal world is, in principle, morally desirable, to prevent the needless suffering that it causes. (It’s worth clarifying, off … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections on Anger

Some slightly disjointed comments about anger. First, empirical support for the idea that people’s everyday perceptions reward men for expressing anger, but punish women. This can be linked with the traditional, and only somewhat worn-away, custom that only men can … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Stupid Papal Remark, No. 1064: the atheists are gonna kill us all

Beating up on the Pope is something of a lowest-common denominator among many bloggers – he is a large and tempting target. So I wouldn’t want to be pretentious by not joining in, would I? Having arrived in Britain, he … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Projection: a game of mutual self-enslavement for two or more players

A note: since classes have started, I am planning to aim for one post every three days or so. 1 Anyway, some reflections on psychology and gender. Suppose we define “projection” as “perceiving, and responding to, one’s own feelings by … Continue reading

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Not a Planned Economy?

I found an interesting discussion at Crookedtimber yesterday, over the way that information and its intelligibility figure in politics and economics. The background is that F.A.Hayek is mildly famous for arguing that central planning is economically inferior to market organisation … Continue reading

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sex and Violence: the Depth of Patriarchy

If my last two posts were substantially correct, then physical violence is, firstly, something that society by its nature has to control, and in controlling to exclude from substantial areas of life. Secondly, violence is not only disruptive in practice, … Continue reading

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’: the Dialectic of Sadism

I recently saw the film “Men who Hate Women”, under its lame english title “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. I hadn’t read the book, or any reviews, beforehand, just getting a vague sense that it was a very popular … Continue reading

Posted in The Concept of Violence | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Alienation of Society

Yesterday I talked about the general need for societies to ‘maintain order’ in the sense of prohibiting violence from at least a large range of settings, and enforcing this prohibition, ultimately, with the threat of more effective violence. This could … Continue reading

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged , | 1 Comment