Quote of the week
'..The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground...they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us...'- Alexandre Dumas - Diaspora
Peter Lavelle: race and class and confusions

There is a great deal of confusion over class and race. This year of BLM has also led to renewed focus on the theoretical question of ‘race’ and the rising inequalities also led to revival of interest in Marxism. This resurgence of interest in Marxism has also led to a revival of interest in the relation between class and race. At some point a heavily researched article will emerge in the Journal on this topic but the matter is…

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Leigh Jenco: A reconciliation
(English) Prof Leigh Jenco - LSE

We have a possible reconciliation. Leigh Jenko has now distanced herself from  the apparent separation of Chinese and Western philosophy in terms of ‘rational’ and non-rational’. She wrote to me on 23 November: ‘Regarding reason/rationality, I am not keen on using such terms,………., so I think we are in agreement here. ‘ Bravo.

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Leigh Jenco: Are Chinese thinkers irrational – Part 2
(English) Prof Jenco

This is a discreet (Note 1) follow up: Prof Leigh Jenco let me know that she held to  a  three part distinction: rational, non-rational and irrational. Western philosophy is rational, while Chinese philosophy is non-rational. Frankly this concept of ‘non-rational’ seems merely a polite version of ‘irrational’. In all my life I have never heard of non-rational thinking. My response to her was: “I think you will find it untenable to maintain  a distinction between rational and non rational…

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Leigh Jenco: Are Chinese thinkers irrational?
(English) Prof Leigh Jenco - LSE

Leigh Jenco seeks to acclimatize  classic Chinese thought to Western philosophy in her talk at Aristotelian Society (16 Nov 20). Her first gambit is to place Chinese history into a similar historiography as the West and to make it share an ‘early modernity’. There is this underlying wish to help accommodate and rehabilitate China by showing how similar it is to the West. This is pretty violent in creating an imperial China when China shares more with Ancient Egypt…

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US police killings as Human Sacrifice – part 2
(English) Joseph Watts

In our earlier piece 1 we suggested the police killings of Black men in the US constituted a practice of human sacrifice. Joseph Watts of Max Planck Institute has a contribution in Nature reported in The Atlantic  to our discussion on  human sacrifice: “Social elites used human sacrifice as a tool to instill fear and show their power,” Joseph Watts of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, says. “As far as tools…

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Macron- anti Muslim anti Liberty
(English) President Macron

In an earlier post we mentioned the hypocrisy of French intellectuals in allowing Macron to proclaim the  absolute right of Freedom of Speech. Actually France has laws against hate speech and laws against holocaust denials. This means that Macron had at his hands the means to ban the offensive cartoons. It also means that all this talk about fundamental French values was pure hocum. France did not feel there was a right to deny the Nazi holocaust or deny…

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Krasner’s Philadelphia: Lynching and Police killing as human sacrifice
(English) Krasner - DA

Larry Krasner has an excellent pedigree and must be puzzled as to what he is dealing with. Why does this behavior keep repeating itself even on camera? https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/black-man-shot-dead-police-philadelphia-sparking-heated-protests-n1244888 One of the issues around police violence and lynching is to understand the phenomenon.  What was the purpose for lynching and why did  certain people feel that it was  a valuable activity. To argue that it was racism is a circular argument revealing nothing, explaining nothing. In the Philadelpha link we…

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Macron vs Free Speech
(English) President Macron

France and European intellectuals have finally shown their deep hypocrisy. On the one hand Macron is declaring that the right to free speech to be aabsolute. Yet in the next breath he imposes a draconian attack on Islamism with significant focus on social media. Opinions and expressions on social media are used as evidence of dangerous tendencies. Some words are dangerous but others are immune? There is a traditional  argument that free speech has to be protected  and the…

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Peter Singer: the Nazi roots of his thought?
(English) Peter Singer

It is a strange matter with the alt right racism: it rejuvenates. It is a hydra like.  One geneticist had his work rejected for publication in 1940’s on the grounds that it was too similar to Nazism only for the same book almost entirely without any revision or updates (I  reviewed it at the time1 and checked almost every reference and almost all dated before 1945 ) to be published in 1970’s to rave reviews. J R Baker sought…

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Peter Singer: On Defending Racism
(English) Peter Singer

In an earlier piece on defining racism I wrote: ‘Contemporary western philosophers are so committed to identifying racism with mental aberration that they loose any sense of reality.  Unless there is a guilty mind or a guilty thought there can be no racism in their opinion. This absurdity is cover for their wish to exculpate themselves. “I did not intend a racist result or have a racist thought in mind so I cannot be racist.”  1 Some might feel…

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