The Epistemology of Discursive Authority (ah yes, foucault, Quine, and postmodernism)
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
2d ago
What, in short, we wish to do is to dispense with 'things'. To 'depresentify' them. To conjure up their rich, heavy, immediate plenitude, which we usually regard as the primitive law of a discourse that has become divorced from it through error, oblivion, illusion, ignorance, or the inertia of beliefs and traditions, or even the perhaps unconscious desire not to see and not to speak. To substitute for the enigmatic treasure of 'things' anterior to discourse, the regular formation of objects that emerge only in discourse. To define these objects without reference to the ground, the foundation ..read more
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The Fascist Alternative, Fukuyama, and the End of History,
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
3d ago
The post-historical consciousness represented by "new thinking" is only one possible future for the Soviet Union, however. There has always been a very strong current of great Russian chauvinism in the Soviet Union, which has found freer expression since the advent of glasnost. It may be possible to return to traditional Marxism-Leninism for a while as a simple rallying point for those who want to restore the authority that Gorbachev has dissipated. But as in Poland, Marxism-Leninism is dead as a mobilizing ideology: under its banner people cannot be made to work harder, and its adherents hav ..read more
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My First GPT assisted toy model
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
5d ago
A few days ago a prominent economist hereafter (PE) I follow on twitter and enjoy bantering with mentioned, en passant, that PE had used ChatGPT to submit a referee report. (I couldn't find the tweet, so that's why I am not revealing his identity here.) Perhaps PE did so in the context of me entertaining the idea to use it in writing an exam because I have been experimenting with that. I can't say yet it is really a labor saving device, but it makes the process less lonely and more stimulating. The reason it is not a labor saving device is because GPT is a bullshit artist and you constantly ha ..read more
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On the New Alexandria
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
6d ago
This is where I believe we are in analytic philosophy. Contrary to the scholastic charge analytic philosophy is not really characterised by formalised debates around niche propositions got from pernickety yet rigorous deductions from esoteric and ultimately pointless theories. For one thing I think the rigour of analytic deductions is much overstated. For another it just misses what has been apparent about analytic philosophy for a number of years, it is an outdated stereotype of the field from a time (perhaps in its recent past, late 20th century for instance) when the field was quite i ..read more
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On Foucault's Discipline and Punishment & Chicago/Public Choice Economics (II)
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
6d ago
But perhaps one should reverse the problem and ask oneself what is served by the failure of the prison; what is the use of these different phenomena that are continually being criticized; the maintenance of delinquency, the encouragement of recidivism, the transformation of the occasional offender into a habitual delinquent, the organization of a closed milieu of delinquency. Perhaps one should look for what is hidden beneath the apparent cynicism of the penal institution, which, after purging the convicts by means of their sentence, continues to follow them by a whole series of 'brandings ..read more
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Pufendorf and Locke on Tacit Consent (in language and money)
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
1w ago
But that the Nature of Discourse may be more throughly understood, it must first be known, that there is a two-fold Obligation respecting Discourse, whether exprest with the Voice, or written in Characters. The first is, that those who make use of the same Language, are obliged to apply such certain Words to such certain Things, according as Custom has made them to signify in each Language. For since neither any Words nor any particular Strokes form’d into Letters can naturally denote any certain Thing (other ..read more
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Lenz and Locke (and Hume) on Semantic Convention
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
1w ago
Thirdly, it is not enough that men have ideas, determined ideas, for which they make these signs stand; but they must also take care to apply their words as near as may be to such ideas as common use has annexed them to. For words, especially of languages already framed, being no man's private possession, but the common measure of commerce and communication, it is not for any one at pleasure to change the stamp they are current in, nor alter the ideas they are affixed to; or at least, when there is a necessity to do so, he is bound to give notice of it. Men's intentions in speaking are, or at ..read more
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Lenz's Contact Problem with some reflections on Condorcet and Rousseau
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
1w ago
Especially early modern explanations seem to construe the mind as something that is tucked away in a body and thus inaccessible by other minds. If this is correct, how could we even begin to think of a way that my thoughts influence yours? Are there ways of transmission or other modes of influence between different minds? I would like to call this the contact problem. Intersubjective explanations, it seems, must specify ways in which one mind can affect another mind. As I will argue, at least some early modern philosophers addressed this problem and provided intersubjective accounts of the mi ..read more
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On Foucault's Discipline and Punishment & Chicago Economics
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
1w ago
It is understandable that the criticism of the public execution should have assumed such importance in penal reform: for it was the form in which, in the most visible way, the unlimited power of the sovereign and the ever-active illegality of the people came together. Humanity in the sentences was the rule given to a system of punishment that must fix their limits on both. The ‘man’ that must be respected in the sentence was the juridical and moral form given to this double delimitation. But, although it is true that reform, as a penal theory and as a strategy of the power to punish, took sha ..read more
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Cantillon, Sidgewick, and the Pre-History of (Secular) Population Ethics
Digressions&Impressions
by Eric Schliesser
2w ago
The Dutch exchange their labor in navigation, fishing and manufacturing, principally with foreigners, for the products of their land. Otherwise, Holland could not support half of its population. England buys from abroad considerable amounts of timber, hemp and other materials or products of the soil and consumes much wine for which she pays in minerals, manufactured goods, etc. That saves the English a great quantity of the production of their soil. Without these advantages, the people of England, based on their standard of living, could not be as numerous as they are. The coal mines save the ..read more
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