Heidegger

Harman pops in…

I didn’t mean to make it seem that Graham was for re-instituting the Inquisition. I think his post is clear that he would never want to relive the 4th century, though there is something wonderful about revisiting the era as I’ve been rereading Gibbon as Graham has been posting some of his greatest hits from Decline and Fall. (By the way, one thing Graham I don’t think has mentioned in relation to something he discusses from time to time: No one would publish Gibbon today, at least in academia. Where are all the footnotes? Good grief, did the man know anything?) And it’s true, upon further reflection, that we have the inverse of what Graham notes about Gibbon’s dig at the “triviality” of the arguments over the Trinity. Nowadays, it seems like the smaller the issue in the US and the less likely the larger effect of some X, the more angry people are. Of course, the idiots screaming at the health care Congressional meet-and-greets are an example of this. But there was also the handwringing over Guantanamo Bay. This was right to do, but the context of decades-long CIA detention centers barely made a mention. It had to be brought down to one person, which trivialized a larger issue. And never mind that this handwringing happened while, say, little attention continued to be paid in Western Europe and the US over the mass numbers of casualties in the Congo, which were by 2008 claiming tens of thousands of lives per month. But I digress…

I was more or less using his post as a jump-off for the discussion of the legacy of the culture wars.  I think I guess what I was thinking more was something I see in a number of the SR-related blogs, namely an idea that all those philosophies of difference were not serious, were just about play. I think this came up in an interview with Chris Srnicek, whose piece in the recent Pli, like so much of his stuff that I’ve read, is really good. But he says something like, “do we need another article on marginalized cultures?” And I thought, well, that’s better than reading, say, another piece on Heidegger and the wonder of the Greeks. (Not that, like you, I don’t get so much out of reading and re-reading Plato and Aristotle…) And I guess i don’t know if I would say I would even have a grudging respect for that time, given that religious fanaticism (e.g., the killing of abortion doctors) continues. Though, when the time does come for the SR death panels, I will wholly submit to my worthy overlords…