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  #1  
Old 06-27-2011, 07:22 PM
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Default Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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  #2  
Old 06-27-2011, 08:45 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

I didn't know that nobody really agrees with Daniel Dennett. Poor guy.

So what is the critique of the critique? They spent the time talking about Nozick and not mentioning Metcalf.

Julian does his very best William Buckley impression, complete with eyebrow raise.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:20 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Julian does his very best William Buckley impression, complete with eyebrow raise.
Dude, I've been trying to figure out for the longest time what it was about Julian that reminded me of something...

I think you nailed it.

This is a bummer about Nozick because I haven't read him and so I haven't had anything to say about him.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I didn't know that nobody really agrees with Daniel Dennett. Poor guy.

So what is the critique of the critique? They spent the time talking about Nozick and not mentioning Metcalf.

Julian does his very best William Buckley impression, complete with eyebrow raise.
lol that's adorable. Here is what I was thinking:

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  #5  
Old 06-27-2011, 09:56 PM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

It is quaint to carry on about Wilt Chamberlain's salary today. The salaries of athletes today is much, much higher.
At one point, Wilt Chamberlain was making $100,000 a year. Bill Russell (who at the time had won, with the Boston Celtics, the NBA championship about seven years in a row.) signed a contract for $100,001, making him the highest paid player in the NBA.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2011, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

Why is the libertarian cult getting a diavlog when there's so much news going on?
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2011, 10:20 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by Hume's Bastard View Post
Why is the libertarian cult getting a diavlog when there's so much news going on?
Because you liberals are getting scared of us.

As a side note, Matt seems a smidgen more libertarian since he last appeared with Tyler Cowen or maybe it just has to do with the Nozick topic. But regarding the usefulness of philosophy, it probably doesn't matter all that much, but it does still matter in constitutional law. At least court rationales are still based in first principles, philosophical justifications. Congressional legislation, definitely not as much.

Holy crap. Matt Yglesias is now a right winger and Julian Sanchez shat a brick.

You mean we're not just driven purely by evil Matt?
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2011, 03:19 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by Hume's Bastard View Post
Why is the libertarian cult getting a diavlog when there's so much news going on?
Excellent question. Robert Wright obviously has an interest in the cult, it might be financial, it might be intellectual, it might be both.

One is struck by how little interest there is in actually discussing Nozick's argument. This reminds me of another "conservative" cult, that of the acolytes of Leo Strauss. "But you don't understand the argument." "Then explain it to me." "Sorry, I can't, it's too subtle for you, it's only for initiates." Then one begins to get the feeling that the argument is so subtle that the adepts themselves are at an utter loss to explain it, which turns out to be advantageous from a sociological point of view, so long as there is money willing to back the cult. And in the case of every "conservative" cult, there is money, and lots of it.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:45 AM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Excellent question. Robert Wright obviously has an interest in the cult, it might be financial, it might be intellectual, it might be both.

One is struck by how little interest there is in actually discussing Nozick's argument. This reminds me of another "conservative" cult, that of the acolytes of Leo Strauss. "But you don't understand the argument." "Then explain it to me." "Sorry, I can't, it's too subtle for you, it's only for initiates." Then one begins to get the feeling that the argument is so subtle that the adepts themselves are at an utter loss to explain it, which turns out to be advantageous from a sociological point of view, so long as there is money willing to back the cult. And in the case of every "conservative" cult, there is money, and lots of it.
Reading this I'm reminded of that quip, "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean someone isn't after you." Or, that I appreciate your echoing of my rant. Maybe this was part of a plot to endear the WinB feature, because Wisconsin, Florida, the WalMart decision, gay marriage, etc. are Scher's bailiwick. At which point, I'll cave: I love you Bill!

But, hey, bh.tv staff, ledocs has thrown down an argument, and two 'heads should debate whether he's dead on or a conspiracy theorist!

On a substantive point, fuck Nozick and Rawls! Read Rousseau, Hume, Kant, Locke, Hobbes. At some point after the James brothers (and supposedly Alice James was better than both her brothers), academicians forgot how to write (or think). For those with a conservative liability, I recommend Hobbes' Leviathan. The last two books are usually ignored, but I found "Christian Commonwealth" revelatory (pun intended) and "Kingdom of Darkness" both better than fantasy and illiminating. There's also this podcast on Smith, so that the market fundis can stop taking Adam Smith's name in vain.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2011, 10:39 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

Let's pretend we humans have not been ruthless over our history as we have been and the cumulative transactions that resulted in today's wealth disparaties were all voluntary. I'm a big fan of "Geographical Determinism", so let's also say advantaged and disadvantaged groups do not correlate with such things as gender or ethnicity. There will be however, even in this hypothetical better world, advantaged and disadvantaged groups that have a hereditary component when determining the composition of afformentioned groups. Coercion is bad, both when it comes from the state and the accidents of birth. The state by partaking in the first can reduce the latter.

{Edit: I'm somewhat meandering tonight and realize now I never explicitly made my point; The amount of coercion in a society is not a function of the "size of the state"}

Second argument; The only reason any of us scrape by at more then subsistence is because of a highly interdependent network (Society) in which we all voluntarily participate in. No one is stopping some wanna be Galt from moving to a forest and actually living by the fruits of his labor in truth. The fee for partaking in the aforementioned network is whatever the cumulative will of the network wants it to be as expressed through elections. There is no need to bring in all these thought experiments. It's all really is that simple.

The Libertarian response would be?
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2011, 10:54 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
There will be however, even in this hypothetical better world, advantaged and disadvantaged groups that have a hereditary component when determining the composition of afformentioned groups. Coercion is bad, both when it comes from the state and the accidents of birth. The state by partaking in the first can reduce the latter.
You've expressed a normative judgment that accidents of birth are, a priori, bad? I haven't read Nozick.

Quote:
Second argument; The only reason any of us scrape by at more then subsistence is because of a highly interdependent network (Society) in which we all voluntarily participate in. No one is stopping some wanna be Galt from moving to a forest and actually living by the fruits of his labor in truth. The fee for partaking in the aforementioned network is whatever the cumulative will of the network wants it to be as expressed through elections. There is no need to bring in all these thought experiments. It's all really is that simple.
That sounds about right. The debate point is "cumulative will of the network" and how one goes about measuring this. Is that metric determined by the state, like in The Lives of Others or is it represented by the people like in an idealized version of the United States? Cumulative will, does that suppose that the people know what they want? And would the people be happy in getting what they think they want?
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2011, 11:02 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
You've expressed a normative judgment that accidents of birth are, a priori, bad? I haven't read Nozick.
I haven't either, but assume he does. Seems like a fairly fundamental argument that would need to be covered in any comprehensive treastise on Libertarianism. Elections are good enough for me.
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:07 AM
brucds brucds is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

"Because you liberals are getting scared of us."

We're scared of the insane demons...Beck, Bachmann, et. al. that have been unleashed under the rubric of "libertarianism."

Sanchez' T-shirt says it all...that's all libertarianism is, and I salute his honesty in iconography.

Incidentally, having read the Salon article, Nozick sounds like a total joke of ivory tower academia. Nothing there...the Chamberlain straw man borders on the ridiculous. As Yglesias notes early on (and I admit to not listening to much more because I totally could care less about libertarian whining about being subjected to the most modest normative standards of relevance to reality) what actual argument is this "thought experiment" addressing ? Total straw man. Libertarianism is grist for the utterly sophomoric.
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  #14  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:38 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by brucds View Post
"Because you liberals are getting scared of us."

We're scared of the insane demons...Beck, Bachmann, et. al. that have been unleashed under the rubric of "libertarianism."

Sanchez' T-shirt says it all...that's all libertarianism is, and I salute his honesty in iconography.

Incidentally, having read the Salon article, Nozick sounds like a total joke of ivory tower academia. Nothing there...the Chamberlain straw man borders on the ridiculous. As Yglesias notes early on (and I admit to not listening to much more because I totally could care less about libertarian whining about being subjected to the most modest normative standards of relevance to reality) what actual argument is this "thought experiment" addressing ? Total straw man. Libertarianism is grist for the utterly sophomoric.
why am I not surprised this is the first time you've heard of robert nozick
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
why am I not surprised this is the first time you've heard of robert nozick
And how does Nozick inform your existence or worldview?
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  #16  
Old 06-28-2011, 02:07 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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And how does Nozick inform your existence or worldview?
that's not at all relevant to my point. I work from the premise that people interested in politics, public policy, etc. (the stuff we talk about here) should have a basis of understanding for their beliefs. these understandings are often rooted in grappling with important works in the field. a theory of justice by john rawls is uncontroversially the most important work of political philosophy in the last 100 plus years. nozick's anarchy, state and utopia is the best known (attempted) rebuttal. so I'm not sure it's totally bizarre for me to think that someone interested in the sort of stuff we discuss here might at least know who robert nozick is.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
... so I'm not sure it's totally bizarre for me to think that someone interested in the sort of stuff we discuss here might at least know who robert nozick is.
I wouldn't say it's totally bizarre, but it's a bit off. This is not an academic department, or a political philosophy group. This is a general audience forum. Many people volunteer their views and opinions without having any deep knowledge of the issues or their philosophical roots. That's the nature of these discussions.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:53 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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I wouldn't say it's totally bizarre, but it's a bit off. This is not an academic department, or a political philosophy group. This is a general audience forum. Many people volunteer their views and opinions without having any deep knowledge of the issues or their philosophical roots. That's the nature of these discussions.
that's fine. although as Julian notes in the diavlog, thinks have certainly changed on this front. he argues that 25 years ago, it would be unusual for someone interested in politics to not have any knowledge of political philosophy. today, it seems pretty common. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I think he's right either way.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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I wouldn't say it's totally bizarre, but it's a bit off. This is not an academic department, or a political philosophy group. This is a general audience forum. Many people volunteer their views and opinions without having any deep knowledge of the issues or their philosophical roots. That's the nature of these discussions.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:01 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
that's not at all relevant to my point. I work from the premise that people interested in politics, public policy, etc. (the stuff we talk about here) should have a basis of understanding for their beliefs.
There was actually some talk about this in the diavlog, so it might be interesting to link your thoughts with what was said.

Personally, I don't see anything in the post to which you were responding that would allow you to conclude an absence of such a basis. That has been largely answered by the poster anyway, so I'll go on to the more interesting bit of the post to me.

Quote:
these understandings are often rooted in grappling with important works in the field.
True, although also through other means, as was discussed in the diavlog.

One problem I see is that in our current society you have both involvement by many not particularly educated people, which many will argue is good. Or at least many on both sides -- and not least on the RW side -- will argue is a positive and anyone claiming otherwise is a negative. They would point to the day to day concerns of living or running a busines or working with their hands or balancing a check book or raising a family or whatever as all we need to know.

Another problem, and one that interests me somewhat more, is that we lack a consensus, even compared to 50 years ago, regarding what an educated person should have read. I have my ideas, you have yours, but it's certainly possible for a well-educated person to graduate from college without having read numerous works others will consider crucial. And even to live to a ripe old age and not fill in all the holes everyone thinks should be filled. It's impossible.

It's actually why Julian's point about the RW identification and education plans is interesting (okay, that's a somewhat unfair way to describe it, but the same kind of thing was going on back when I was in school too, and actually was an advantage for those willing to take advantage of it and be groomed and cultivated). Absent going to a school that still has a strong core and running into students who also went to that school, it's one of the few sources of a really common base of knowledge, especially in economics and philosophy. I wish we could assume otherwise, but I doubt it.

And I'm all for Nozick, but if I were constructing a core, he wouldn't make it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:56 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

chiwisoxx - why am I not surprised that you leap to a false assertion that is little more than an ego stroke, while ignoring the question I asked - as did Yglesais - that makes it obvious Nozick is steeped in a ridiculous straw man of a thought experiment. I haven't read into Nozick, but of course I've heard of him and read many references to him. I had not paid attention to the "Wilt Chamberlain" issue...which is hardly a reflection on me. Because it's a bogus issue. Total BS that has nothing to do with any relevant critique of liberal concerns with economic inequality. As Yglesias notes, there are these things called taxes. Adam Smith was for a progressive version. Once you introduce the concept and validate it, Nozick's thesis becomes irrelevant.

If you want to jerk off with Nozick's puerile thesis, more power. And I won't be surprised.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:57 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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- that makes it obvious Nozick is steeped in a ridiculous straw man of a thought experiment. I haven't read into Nozick, but of course I've heard of him and read many references to him. I had not paid attention to the "Wilt Chamberlain" issue...which is hardly a reflection on me. Because it's a bogus issue. Total BS that has nothing to do with any relevant critique of liberal concerns with economic inequality. As Yglesias notes, there are these things called taxes. Adam Smith was for a progressive version. Once you introduce the concept and validate it, Nozick's thesis becomes irrelevant.
I haven't read him but I've read about him and some of the people I've read about him from don't like him and that's enough for me. Furthermore, what he says is BS and has nothing to do with economic equality. I say this having never really read into him. Therefore I feel fairly confident that I can say with certainty that Nozick's thesis is irrelevant. And, although I haven't read into him or have a feel for the context and stuff like that, Adam Smith is cool because he calls for a progressive version of taxes.
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  #23  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:41 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by brucds View Post
"Because you liberals are getting scared of us."

We're scared of the insane demons...Beck, Bachmann, et. al. that have been unleashed under the rubric of "libertarianism."

Sanchez' T-shirt says it all...that's all libertarianism is, and I salute his honesty in iconography.

Incidentally, having read the Salon article, Nozick sounds like a total joke of ivory tower academia. Nothing there...the Chamberlain straw man borders on the ridiculous. As Yglesias notes early on (and I admit to not listening to much more because I totally could care less about libertarian whining about being subjected to the most modest normative standards of relevance to reality) what actual argument is this "thought experiment" addressing ? Total straw man. Libertarianism is grist for the utterly sophomoric.
Okay, so let me make sure I've understood your argument.
Libertarianism is grist for the utterly sophomoric because:
1. Julian Sanchez is wearing a t-shirt with a baby printed on it; and
2. Salon is the arbiter of truth and from the absolute truth that Salon puts out, it sounds as if Nozick is a total joke.

And if you could care less about libertarian whining, how much less could you care?

Incidentally, why are there Glenn Beck TV adverts on my Chrome? I think I'd have to blame badhatharry...
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  #24  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Okay, so let me make sure I've understood your argument.
Libertarianism is grist for the utterly sophomoric because:
Okay, so you've posted hundreds of times this month as a libertarian exemplar, that hasn't amounted to much more than: free markets good.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:56 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Okay, so you've posted hundreds of times this month as a libertarian exemplar, that hasn't amounted to much more than: free markets good.
I don't see how that's possible (me as exemplar) since I haven't even read the Nozick. I was a full on Chomsky loving liberal until 2007. And what's wrong with government institutions having to justify their existence? Or do you like a little arbitrary coercion with your latte each morning?
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:02 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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I don't see how that's possible (me as exemplar) since I haven't even read the Nozick. I was a full on Chomsky loving liberal until 2007. And what's wrong with government institutions having to justify their existence? Or do you like a little arbitrary coercion with your latte each morning?
Okay, you're not a stellar example period ... Except of a broken record. One note Johnny. A hammer that sees nothing but nails. Got it yet?

Nobody is countering the idea that institutions need accountability. The conversation could or should be in the details. And when Stephanie asked you to dig deeper, you ran away. Generalities R U.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:36 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Okay, you're not a stellar example period ... Except of a broken record. One note Johnny. A hammer that sees nothing but nails. Got it yet?

Nobody is countering the idea that institutions need accountability. The conversation could or should be in the details.
When the people voted on institutional accountability in WI and NJ, the liberals ran from the details (which embarrassed them) and were the One Note Johnnys. Well, two notes maybe, public union members were losing their civil rights to bankrupt the state and conservatives were nazis.

Nice to see that some democrats are now accepting, if not exactly embracing reality in NJ:

"Predictably, labor unions are excoriating Democrats who joined Republicans to pass the law, but even "tax and spend" Democrats are beginning to realize we can't go on like this, and that the future of the country is more important than seeking short-term partisan political advantage."

In WI........not so much (are the unions still sending cops and firefighters around threatening to destroy the businesses of those who resist strongarm tactics?).
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:42 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

"okay, let me make sure I've understood your argument."

Pretty much what I'd expect from someone with the kind of equipment that flits from the seamless left-wing views of Chomsky (not a "liberal" by the way, and loved by very few who consider themselves such, contrary to your characterization) to the sophomoric charms of libertarianism. A pattern if there ever was one.

But to the point, there was a central question embedded in that comment that apparently went over your head...
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:44 AM
JulianSanchez JulianSanchez is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

As I note in the dialog, every person I've spoken to about this who is actually familiar with Nozick—including staunch progressives who utterly disagree with him—regards the Slate piece as an embarrassing farrago whose author does not appear to even grasp the point of the argument he imagines himself to be answering. If you're going to form an opinion of the work based on summaries, it's probably better to pick a guide who (however unsympathetic he might be) understands what he's explaining in some elementary way.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:15 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Originally Posted by JulianSanchez View Post
As I note in the dialog, every person I've spoken to about this who is actually familiar with Nozick—including staunch progressives who utterly disagree with him—regards the Slate piece as an embarrassing farrago whose author does not appear to even grasp the point of the argument he imagines himself to be answering. If you're going to form an opinion of the work based on summaries, it's probably better to pick a guide who (however unsympathetic he might be) understands what he's explaining in some elementary way.
I think Matt's point was that the technical reading of Nozick's argument is irrelevant to political discourse because that is not how we do politics in the U.S.A. The non-technical, bastardized version of his arguments are what live in the minds of libertarians (see sugarK's constant refrain about coercion, for example) and some conservatives, so that shallow understanding should be refuted - which is what the article did.

The author should have been clear about what he was doing, but overall I'm happy the article was written and it does a good job of eviscerating the ignorant understanding of Nozick's arguments that are used in popular politics.
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  #31  
Old 06-28-2011, 05:20 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
The author should have been clear about what he was doing, but overall I'm happy the article was written and it does a good job of eviscerating the ignorant understanding of Nozick's arguments that are used in popular politics.
So the article was not a critique of Nozick but rather the ignornant people who might somehow manage to slog their way through his books.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:45 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
I think Matt's point was that the technical reading of Nozick's argument is irrelevant to political discourse because that is not how we do politics in the U.S.A. The non-technical, bastardized version of his arguments are what live in the minds of libertarians (see sugarK's constant refrain about coercion, for example) and some conservatives, so that shallow understanding should be refuted - which is what the article did.

The author should have been clear about what he was doing, but overall I'm happy the article was written and it does a good job of eviscerating the ignorant understanding of Nozick's arguments that are used in popular politics.
it seems pretty clear to me that Metcalf's article was trying to eviscerate Nozick himself, not the common understanding of his work. what you seem to perceive as "him not being clear enough" seems much more likely to be "Metcalf has no clue what the fuck he's talking about"
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  #33  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:20 PM
Jay J Jay J is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

JulianSanchez,

I really enjoyed the conversation between you and Matthew.

And hey, you used to have the audio of your interview with Nozick on your website. Any chance that's coming back, or that I'm overlooking it at your site?

Last edited by Jay J; 06-28-2011 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:23 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

I have not watched your diavlog, but I did read the Metcalf article and the Wilt Chamberlain argument in "Anarchy..." within the past week. I had the following criticisms of Nozick's hypothetical.

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpo...2&postcount=26

I did not even mention that it is crucial to the Chamberlain "argument" that economic goods are perfectly distributed, in the sense that no individual has a complaint about that distribution, prior to Wilt's entry into consideration. The argument fails utterly, unless one further specifies that the psychology of individuals in the assumed perfect state of distribution must differ markedly from the psychology of people in the real world.

It is well known that people with exceptional earning potential, like investment bankers or movie stars or Wilt, but also like the other players in any hypothetical game involving Wilt that people would be likely to pay to watch, tend to be highly jealous or envious about how income is distributed. As an example, just have a look at the description by David Halberstam of Maurice Lucas, Lionel Hollins, and Portland's third-rate center whose name I can no longer remember in "Breaks of the Game," written just a few years after "Anarchy...." The Maurice Lucas envy problem arose primarily because Bill Walton, the white Wilt, was making so much more money than Lucas. But Nozick completely ignores this problem or says something about it that is obviously false, namely that it is inconceivable that other players could object, on the grounds of distributive justice, to Wilt's 25% share of the ticket price (provided that they had no complaints about their income and wealth prior to the new dispensation involving Wilt).

What is the elementary point about the argument that Metcalf fails to grasp?

I am guessing, partly a priori, but partly based upon glancing at some of the comments here, that you and Yglesias fail, like Metcalf, to go through the argument of the hypothetical in any detail.
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  #35  
Old 06-28-2011, 05:33 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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I have not watched your diavlog, but I did read the Metcalf article and the Wilt Chamberlain argument in "Anarchy..." within the past week. I had the following criticisms of Nozick's hypothetical.

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpo...2&postcount=26
You said:

Quote:
If WC's share were 75%, the games might not be played, for example, because either the fans or the other players or neither would agree to be a party to games played under those terms.
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  #36  
Old 06-28-2011, 06:17 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
I am guessing, partly a priori, but partly based upon glancing at some of the comments here, that you and Yglesias fail, like Metcalf, to go through the argument of the hypothetical in any detail.
Good guess.

It's too bad, as that would have been interesting, although the discussion was enjoyable anyway. The topic was just somewhat misleading.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:32 AM
Peter Sibley Peter Sibley is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

Few here have actually read Wilt's autobiography. I have. Allow me to distill it:

I wore a rubber band around my wrist that my opponents snapped so as to get into my head.

I cried when I couldn't fit into the car I desired. Still, I refused to fly across the country and preferred to drive. Seven-Up was my drink of choice on these drives.

When a coach said he couldn't 'handle' me, I bucked. You 'handle' a horse; you 'work with' a human being."

I boned a stewardess in flight.

That's about it. You're welcome.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:37 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

Thank you Matthew and Julian, members of the American intellectual "demi-monde,"* for your excellent "geeky" diavlog. I have never thought of philosophers as geeks, but that is because I live in France where, as you rightly point out, philosophy is taken a little more seriously than in the US, mainly because it is taught in high school by degree-holding philosophers who would otherwise be members of the demi-monde like you.

I agree with both of you that political philosophy has little bearing on practical politics, and that neither Nozick nor Rawls has had much influence on the political debate in the US. But are Americans really more "pragmatic" than the French or other Europeans? I don't think so. American pragmatism seems to be in retreat of late as political debate becomes more and more polarized around certain issues---taxation, health care, regulation of financial markets---and more and more oriented towards market solutions of all problems, even though Mr. Market has shown himself unable to regulate himself (the financial crisis) or to come up with a fair or even an economically efficacious health care system (by European standards), or to deal with the high levels of unemployment which have resulted from the offshoring of the US economy and from the absence of any long-term government economic planning (of the kind that exists in Europe--for public transport, efficient energy use, "green" technologies, infrastructure etc.). And it has become polarized because of certain libertarian "memes" that regard the government, or state, as the source of all economic and social problems.

Until Americans discard their naive faith, rooted in their constitution and in the 18th-century ideology of Adam Smith (who was, however, less libertarian than some contemporary libertarians), that state and society stand in antithetical relation to one another, they will never solve their problems. Maybe it is time to introduce philosophy to high school students?

*Demi-monde= société de femmes légères, de moeurs équivoques, et de ceux qui les fréquentent. (Are your morals equivocal and do you frequent loose women?)

Last edited by Florian; 06-28-2011 at 05:58 AM..
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:01 AM
Hal Morris Hal Morris is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Until Americans discard their naive faith, rooted in their constitution and in the 18th-century ideology of Adam Smith (who was, however, less libertarian than some contemporary libertarians), that state and society stand in antithetical relation to one another, they will never solve their problems. Maybe it is time to introduce philosophy to high school students?
Smith mentioned an "invisible hand" a couple of times, but it was later economists who invented the magical infallible invisible hand. Amartya Sen has an interesting (fairly long) lecture on "The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith" (<=== Link to it).
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:45 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Political Philosophy and Wilt Chamberlain (Matthew Yglesias & Julian Sanchez)

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Smith mentioned an "invisible hand" a couple of times, but it was later economists who invented the magical infallible invisible hand. Amartya Sen has an interesting (fairly long) lecture on "The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith" (<=== Link to it).
The way I have interpreted the invisible hand is that no one can imagine all of the decisions which go into making up an economy but that somehow, because of self interest, the proper amount of goods get to market and people purchase them with the money they have earned from making products for consumers.

The (simple) reason that libertarians don't like excessive regulation is because they feel that they muck up what is otherwise a very efficient process.

Looks like a good article.
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