Philosophy

There's 'Just Lip Service to Free Speech' on College Campuses

Philosopher Colin McGinn on ideological witch hunts, the marginalization of academic philosophy, and the limits of human reason.

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Most successful academic philosophers spend their entire professional lives operating in self-satisfied insularity, exclusively trafficking in opaque jargon in obscure journals on technical issues of approximately zero application to ordinary life.

Colin McGinn is a notable exception. He's also a high-profile victim of the destructive ideological witch hunts now conducted on American college campuses with distressing frequency. Reason recently Skyped with McGinn to get his side of the fall and to discuss his landmark philosophical arguments, which advance an epistemic modesty that should resonate with libertarians. As he puts it, "there's no shame in admitting there's a basic ignorance about our conception of the world."

Born into an English mining town, McGinn's 40-year career includes hundreds of essays and dozens of books specifically geared to a general audience, on topics ranging from Shakespeare to cinema to drug decriminalization.

It's disappointing how little interest the average philosophy department has in this kind of engagement with the broader culture. McGinn says most of his colleagues viewed his non-technical work with a "mix of disdain and envy." The pretense is that professors should be free to indulge in pure reason unpolluted by popular opinion or market demands. Yet so much of the writing produced by academic philosophers is saturated with opaque insidery jargon that's just meant to signal the author's membership in a exclusive intellectual club. "Most philosophical writing is simply unclear. And [the authors are] incapable of being clear."

Ironically, communicating with a broader audience imposes exactly the discipline of thought that's largely absent from academic papers. "You have to go back to the basics and express the basic ideas clearly. If you just write in jargon, you never have to confront the basic ideas and arguments. You just repeat the words that other people use."

At the same time, McGinn's contributions to technical philosophical debates have been substantial enough to secure him tenured posts at several major American universities. That's an exceedingly rare combination of academic accolades and pop-culture fluency.

In 2012, though, something sad happened. His career imploded amidst accusations of an improper relationship with a female graduate student. No one claimed their relationship was sexual. It appears to have been a complicated, power-imbalanced emotional thicket between a star professor and an admiring mentee that may have turned inappropriate without actually violating the university's code of conduct.

But never mind the facts. The academy's self-righteous outrage machine quickly kicked into gear and a bunch of McGinn's colleagues ganged up to denounce him as a sexist predator. The administration at his employer at the time, the University of Miami, urged him to leave before disciplinary hearings had even started. "I wasn't receiving due process. They started asking me to resign. They didn't give me any reason."

After a couple months under intense presure, he complied. "The cards were totally stacked against me because the rules allowed the university to do whatever it wanted." (For more details about McGinn's case, see this excellent investigation from Katie Roiphe in Slate, which describes the professional carnage as "a great deal of destruction for a strange amorphous amorous entanglement.")

That particular blind moral crusade is a symptom of a larger problem. Professors and administrators often "force more complex phenomena into very simplified narratives with stock characters," McGinn says. In his case, they fixated on a politically fashionable story—sexual harassment perpetrated by a powerful white male, equipped with the accent of the Great Colonizer, no less!—that ignores the nuances of an actual human relationship. "That's what ideology does. It's a set of nice simple categories so you can process much more complicated facts."

Within this regime of enforced ideological homogeneity, the expression of unpopular opinions on sacred subjects is considered a kind of mind-violence. "There's lip service to the idea of free speech, but it's only within a narrow band of opinion. You have to toe the line. You can't have an individual point of view on racism or sexism or things like that. Forget it."

How exactly does the moist meat of the brain generate the thinking, feeling, choosing "I" that's now reading this sentence? It's a baffling question. McGinn's major technical philosophical contributions are about this "mind-body problem."

He's skeptical we'll ever fully work out the connection. We should "think of ourselves as having an evolved brain and an evolved intelligence which has some inherent limits. The possible reason we're having such a problem [scientifically explaining consciousness] is because of these inherent limits on our understanding of the world."

This position, commonly called "mysterianism," is grounded in an epistemic modesty libertarians should recognize—and embrace.

The faculty of reason is wonderful. It brought us air conditioning and tapas and the smallpox vaccine. But seeing it as all-powerful is a "strangely egotistical view of humanity. Would we say the same about the other human species that co-existed with us several million years ago. Do you think Neanderthals could necessarily understand every truth about reality?"

McGinn shares my wholehearted enthusiasm for the secular rationalist project. But many of its advocates seem to have simply swapped out the stodgy dogmas of traditional religion for an arrogant scientific triumphalism that quarters no doubt about the power of the human mind. He provides a welcome reminder not to "confuse materialism with the idea that somehow everything in the end will be explained. Why make such an optimistic assumption?"

"The physical world itself is very mysterious. Nothing in evolution says that we should be able to use those brains to understand everything about reality. That's just faith. It would be astonishing if the human brain as it now exists could get to the bottom of every question about nature. That would be an absolute miracle."

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  1. I would comment but I am quite near a college campus

    1. That’s okay, this is a free speech zone.

      1. Perhaps. Just as long as nobody engages in inappropriately deadpan parody in the “name” of any University of Miami officials. If you do that, they will certainly call in the cops to get you. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

        http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    2. OK, I don’t understand the free speech issue here. He does not seem to have been canned for speaking too freely, as say Steven Salaita was, or for mysteriously rubbing his department the wrong way politically ? la David Graeber.

      As for triumphalist rationalism and scientism, I thought they had been long since disposed of by Wittgenstein and G?del, and later had their graves danced upon by postmodernists. They’re still around?

  2. From the sympathetic Roiphe article on the “sexual harassment” case – it seems the university didn’t charge him with sexual harassment, but with failing to report a romantic relationship with a student and failing to remove himself from supervising the student’s work.

    “According to university regulations, Colin should have reported the relationship and taken himself off of Nicole’s committee, and removed her as his research assistant….Looking back on it, though, Colin says he now thinks he should have removed himself as her supervisor, he should have recognized the conflict and potential explosiveness of mingling their personal and professional relationship, and told Nicole he could not work with her.,,,They seemed to share a sense of creating something new, pioneering an unusual kind of rapport, an intimacy that does not threaten a marriage or violate professional imperatives. In the emails, Nicole refers to it as “the beautiful and unique relationship that we have developed.””

    The penultimate sentence reminds us that McGinn was married (and the student had a boyfriend her own age). But they didn’t have sex, they just sought greater romantic intimacy and fondled each others’ hands and feet.

    But Roiphe says, “How does a relationship so delicately, so precariously, so self-consciously pitched outside of normal definitions fall apart?” A better question would be how it *couldn’t* fall apart.

    1. The heart has its reasons of which university bureaucrats know nothing.?a paraphrase of Blaise Pascal

      1. They don’t say not to eat of the fruit, they say don’t review it on Yelp as if you were an impartial consumer.

      2. If it were a leftist professor who was fondling and engaging in frottage with a student he was on the doctoral committee for, you people would be up in arms.

        1. You seem to be assuming that such a professor would be accused of ‘sexual harassment’. More likely, they would be lauded for providing personal tutoring

          1. At least he didn’t park perpendicular to traffic.

        2. Assuming a leftist professor in a lefty university would even be charged with anything.

          1. you guys are assuming an awful lot about mcginns politics apropos of nothing.

    2. “His mistake was that he was romanticizing what was happening, was carried away by an idea, by a feeling, and did not take the sensible or professional steps.”

      Which apparently were required by university regulations. But in his defense, it could have been awkward to disclose this to the university – “look, I’m having an emotionally intense, erotically-charged relationship with one of my students – don’t tell the Mrs!”

      But the article says the prof is trying to patch up his marriage, so good on him.

      1. Why do bullshit regulations enjoy so much of your loyalty, Lord Vader?

        1. Seriously?

          First off, there’s the problem of whether the professor can impartially review the student’s work – as in this case, he started expressing concerns about her work at around the same time the romantic relationship was developing problems.

          Then there’s the question of whether he can be fair to the other students – the ones he’s *not* having an affair with.

          The regulations don’t say “go back to your wife, you philanderer,” they say “don’t be in a position to supervise or evaluate this woman you’re having the affair with.”

          Just what Darth Vader would have said!

          1. And Roiphe doesn’t say he should have been immune from discipline, just that the discipline shouldn’t have involved losing his job.

            1. Imagine a judge who has an affair with someone who has a case pending before his court. Then he says the heart has its reasons. Maybe, but his *brain* should have intervened and gotten him disentangled from the case, since his impartiality would be compromised.

              1. Try comparing like to like. To say this bias (which at worst inflates her grades) is comparable to a judge setting free a criminal, is a laugh. A more similar comparison would be a manager or supervisor giving a higher pay or better hours to an employee for which he’s having an affair.

                But again, why is this part of the story getting so much attention? Perhaps to discredit his criticism of attacks on free speech by the managers and supervisors of universities and colleges?

                Good to know you have your priorities straight.

                1. “To say this bias (which at worst inflates her grades) is comparable to a judge setting free a criminal, is a laugh.”

                  Maybe it is, and maybe you’ve refuted the people who make such claims. Meanwhile, what do you think of what *I* said, as opposed to the statements of the people in your head?

                  “But again, why is this part of the story getting so much attention?”

                  Ask the author of the post –

                  ” a high-profile victim of the destructive ideological witch hunts now conducted on American college campuses with distressing frequency.”

                  and ask Roiphe, whose *lengthy* article the post links to.

      2. He couldn’t have abstained from sexish contact with his student? Is he a beast of the field? Freakin bleeding heart.

          1. Tulpa again.

    3. Thank you for running that down. The article’s description of the relationship seemed very vague and euphemistic which made me suspicious that the author was trying to conceal facts that don’t fit in the hagiography.

      1. No, Roiphe went into some detail – she doesn’t approve of his behavior, she just thinks the university was too harsh on what she thought was a complex, ambiguous relationship. Specifically, she rejects the “sexual harassment” label, which is fair, but what her article discloses certainly seems to violate university policy on romantic relationships.

  3. Your microaggressive post offends me.

    1. Trigger alert!

  4. It’s quite hilarious actually.

    The sixties ass-holes have turned into the very thing they were “protesting” back then.

    They’ve managed to turn college into this expensive, laughable rip-off.

    Congratulations to the “hell no we won’t go” and “hail Che Guevara” crowd

    1. How have academics made college more expensive?

      I think it’s probably the capitalists they put in charge of them.

      1. I think it’s probably the capitalists they put in charge of them.

        Yes, Tony. We know you do.

        1. It’s hilarious how in Tony’s one-dimensional vortex capitalism = higher prices. It never occurs to him lower prices is generally the direction things go in a free market. No. To him and his ilk, they conspire to inflate prices. That happens, Tony (look over here and not the sock puppet), in a MONOPOLISTIC economy. How do we arrive at a monopoly? Ask a bureaucrat.

          1. First, monopoly is uncontroversially a risk of unfettered capitalism. You guys just make yourself into asses by refusing to believe that because you worship capitalism. Second, how is there a monopoly in higher education? Seems like competition is stiff and supply and demand are working just fine.

            1. Please explain how monopoly is the natural state of business. Please include your thoughts on why there would only be one company if it wasn’t for government.

              1. “Please explain how monopoly is the natural state of business.”

                Ever play the game Monopoly? If you play the game to its conclusion, you’ll notice that in every game, without exception, one player, the winner, ends up with everything. Money begets money, power begets power. That’s as close to an explanation I can come up with at the moment.

                Go into a casino and start laying bets. If the casino starts out with more money than you have, eventually it’ll clean you out. This is the tendency when money changes hands, and the government has nothing to do with it.

                1. I’ve played Monopoly many times. My family all hates it now, wanna know why? Because we could play for days without ever having a winner. I am not going to buy a lazy argument like “because boardgames and casinos”. Sorry.

                  1. “I am not going to buy a lazy argument like…”

                    If you come across a better argument, please let me know. Mathematics is not everyone’s forte, I understand.

                    1. Well Tony seems to have all the answers, I’d really like to hear from him. Your Monopoly example is clearly false because I have never played a game where one person eventually ended up with everything. Your answer that money begets power is also nonsense. Where does the power come from? Does someone who has a lot of money just magically have a lot of power? Power to do what? Power to hire a mercenary army to make sure nobody ever competes? I’m not buying it.

                    2. “Your Monopoly example is clearly false because I have never played a game where one person eventually ended up with everything.”

                      Are you sure you are playing according to the rules? They state specifically that the last person left in the game is the winner.

                      “Where does the power come from? Does someone who has a lot of money just magically have a lot of power? Power to do what? Power to hire a mercenary army to make sure nobody ever competes?”

                      I think that if you reflected on these questions, you wouldn’t need me to answer them for you.

                    3. So you don’t have any answers. That’s cool, plenty of people make assertions they can’t back up.

                    4. “So you don’t have any answers.”

                      I gave you an answer. You said it was lazy, largely, it seems, on the strength of your family’s inability to play Monopoly according to the rules. I still think you could benefit from more reflection on the question you asked.

                2. Monopoly is a statist, anti-capitalist game in which government penalties abound and distort the market. Land in the wrong spot? Go to jail. Land in the wrong spot, pay a fine that goes into a communal pot that can be taken by anyone lucky enough to land on the right spot and get the right card.

                  It isn’t about capitalism at all.

                  1. “It isn’t about capitalism at all.”

                    It doesn’t have to be. The point stands. Money begets money, power begets power. Would you have it any other way?

                3. only a withering moron would compare a modern economy to the zero sum board game Monopoly with a straight face. you have the mind of a child, mtrueman.

                  1. Do you think children are withering morons or is it just that you have trouble expressing your thoughts. My advice, don’t post in anger.

            2. ‘uncontroversially a risk of unfettered capitalism.’

              According to whom? Progressive ding bats?

              Tony, get a fucking clue for once in your life. And the brass here don’t ‘worship’ jack shit. That’s your left-wing progressive mind projecting. We just understand there are no better alternatives devised by economic minds and that capitalism – despite all its imperfections – has advanced humanity. Your side causes more misery.

              http://yourbusiness.azcentral……-5574.html

            3. How is there a monopoly in higher education? You tell me how the NCAA is able to make billions of dollars off unpaid athletes.

      2. No it’s the loan programs that funnel government loot into the colleges that has caused tuition prices to appreciate astronomically.

  5. This sounds like a case we are going to get burned on. Please do some interviews with people besides the accused before reporting further. We aren’t SJWs. We don’t need fake cases to build narratives.

    1. Forget it, they’re on a roll.

    2. Reason doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative.

    3. How exactly do you foresee we getting “burned” on this “case”?

      1. Reason tends to represent libertarians to the rest of the media. When they make stupid illogical mistakes it gives the various folks that hate libertarians more ammo.

        1. When they make stupid illogical mistakes

          Hmmm. Tell me more.

          1. Since you see to want more info, should I assume you read the (very revealing) linked Slate article?

  6. Hey, what happened to the “it’s just sex” crowd? Funny how that narrative was quickly filed away. Guess we’ll need another Clinton in the White House to see it utilized once again?

    1. “In the course of their meetings they would hold and caress hands and feet.”
      Fucking animals!

      1. No, but bad judgment when he’s evaluating her work.

        The regulations let him get free pie from the farmer’s wife, but not to judge the pie contest at the county fair where the farmer’s wife has submitted her pie.

        1. Bad judgement? No shit. So should he have been held up by the New York Times as a prototypical academic sexual harasser?

          1. No, it doesn’t sound like sexual harassment under the conventional narrative, by all means let him sue the Times – assuming people still believe what’s published in that rag.

        2. Funny how the intimate relationship part of this story is where the comments have focused (and Reason should have reported this as part of the article) instead of what the article is primarily about: the attack of free speech on campus. But we know which group is most responsible for assaulting free speech and it’s ever so typical they would find something to deflect from that conversation, even if it means being hypocrites to do so.

          1. What on earth are you talking about?

  7. I am not sure that ‘reason’ is thought of as ‘all-powerful’. I don’t think that many people believe that human reason and logic are capable of answering all questions of the universe. But I do think that it is the only faculty that we can use to answer any question we come across. It is not perfect, but it is all we have. Is it not?

    1. “Is it not?”

      we also have high explosives and alcohol.

      But I agree in general.

    2. I mostly agree with you. However, I’m sure that there are a large number of “scientists” out there who don’t believe that the human mind is infinitely smaller than the universe and is completely incapable of understanding some things.

      1. Well no one is required to believe anything. Something either is or isn’t and it ought to be proven. I am not sure how you know that the mind is that small, or how small it is. It appears that the trend is that the mind is encased in our brain, but no definitive proof of that. You can take it on faith that the mind is explainable by biochemistry and anatomy, but it would be faith, your faith. The fact is we don’t know what the mind is comprehensively capable of.

        1. I fully accept that I may be wrong on the matter. The fact that there are so many unanswered, and I would say unanswerable, questions is the evidence that I base my assumption on. As far as I can tell, my mind is just an electrochemical process carried out by a chunk of meat jelly in my head. To go beyond that is to go into mysticism about what causes that process to make me believe it is something more than what it actually is. And I’m prepared to accept that I may never know what causes me to think.

    3. “but it is all we have. Is it not?”

      It is not. A moment’s reflection should reveal the existence of moods, tastes, and inclinations that play their role in guiding our choices. Unless you are a robot, in which case reason and logic are all you have. Humans have more than that. Odd that so many here have trouble accepting this. What’s with this Libertarian impulse to reduce humanity to the status of a machine?

      1. What’s with this Libertarian impulse to reduce humanity to the status of a machine?

        Easy, because reason, when based on the same premises, is repeatable and undeniable. At a policy level, feelings are nothing but a motivation to make bad law based on bad facts.

        Emotion and inclination is great when you have autonomy. It is authoritarian when employed as a regime of governance.

        1. “Easy, because reason, when based on the same premises, is repeatable and undeniable.”

          This makes sense, Reason is held here as an Ideal against which all other human capacities are somehow lacking. They can’t be repeated etc. I see that postmodernist or feminist questioning of Reason’s fitness to do the job you set out for it (being the foundation for good law) must be threatening.

          Can a materialist be a libertarian?

        2. At a policy level, feelings are nothing but a motivation to make bad law based on bad facts.

          Feelings are an inextricable part of the makeup of human beings, for whom laws and policies are made. There is a reason so many laws are based on a standard of what a “reasonable person” would do. What’s a reasonable person? It’s not a calculated average, it’s someone acting according to cultural norms, and those norms can be radically different across cultures. You cannot deduce that it’s better to permit abortion than outlaw it, you can only draw from cultural norms and establish a premise that one thing is valued over another.

          This strange tendency of libertarians to pretend that they’re the most rational, Spock-like guys in the room is one among many ways in which you claim extra credit for your ideology. Even though it’s fringe, simplistic, unworkable, and derived from ridiculous and untrue premises, it’s the most rational system! Why? Because you say so of course. It doesn’t actually need to be demonstrated empirically, duh.

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  9. Interesting. I’ll have to see if I can dig up some of this guy’s works. Looks like he’s working through some of the same things I’ve been thinking about recently. Thanks for the introduction “Rob” if that’s your real name.

  10. I think it’s self-evident that human brains can’t understand or completely explain reality. Why is there something instead of nothing? I’m sure there’s an answer, but I can’t conceive of one that fits reason and reality as I understand them. (And no, “quantum bubbles, all the way down” isn’t an answer.)

    1. The premise that “nothingness” is a default mode for things, or can even “exist” at all, is probably faulty. Nobody’s ever really seen or experienced nothingness; it’s just an imprecise word we use to describe the absence of something specific.

      1. That’s because “nothingness” is not a kind of “something” – it is not an existent, but rather the lack of one.

    2. Agreed. The human brain is ridiculously underpowered for perceiving the universe.

      1. Speak for yourself. You who agree with the utterly tired claim that reason is “limited” and man’s mind not up to the task of existing, do so from the (unstated) position of a mystical view of knowledge; if man is not the omniscient god of his fantasies, he must be a “limited” creature. Modern philosophy is garbage, but I’ve come to expect nothing better from you guys.

        1. What does an atom look like? I mean really look like.
          How do I go from point A to point B without passing through the space between?

          Man’s mind is perfectly capable of existing, it’s just extremely limited in perceiving the full reality of the universe. Are you just mad that someone called your brain limited?

            1. We’re all point A?

          1. What does an atom look like? I mean really look like.

            According to some images of a molecule I saw online several years ago, they look pretty much as we’ve been taught – like small, uniform, elliptical-shaped clouds with fuzzy outlines. Here:

      2. A reasonable statement.

        But also problematic, and a good example of why philosophers often have trouble being precise, and then resort to “trafficking in opaque jargon in obscure journals.”

        We can perceive of the universe. If only because we have a word for it, and that word is widely recognized and understood with some meaning. What we clearly lack is an understanding of the totality of that word.

        Starting with the fact we simply do not know if the universe is finite, or infinite. The day we determine it to be finite is the day we turn the corner on understanding it’s totality. But absent that knowledge, the word will always be an open ended question.

        If the universe is truly infinite, then it becomes axiomatic that no finite object, of any power, could ever truly perceive the totality of the universe, even if we can still speak of it as if it were finite and known.

        1. I agree. I also believe that the composition of the human brain makes it impossible to know things in a way which would make understanding of the universe clearer. One could hope that evolution continues to push humans along to a point where a deeper understanding is possible.

    3. “I’m sure there’s an answer, but I can’t conceive of one that fits reason and reality as I understand them.”

      Various sages over the years have sought answers in meditation. They seem satisfied by the experience and have interesting accounts of their practices. Rationality, unlike meditation, requires Objectivity and Reductionism. These may prejudice the search for answers to the questions you ask.

  11. Was not familiar with the guy, but his area of interest certainly is in my wheelhouse, so I’m gonna give some of his stuff a read.

    Probably start here.

    http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Li…..lin+McGinn

    Not to say that morality and human fallibility aren’t consonant topics…

    1. Alright, I lied.

      I just bought this instead.

      http://www.amazon.com/Making-P…..lin+McGinn

      1. Thanks for the idea – impulsively just bought it too. The Amazon “Look Inside” was compelling enough and however the story goes, he certainly writes well, which is a reward in itself.

  12. I don’t really go in for the “hard problem” of consciousness. I think on the contrary it is McGinn’s position and his declarative approach to it that expresses more arrogance: While not necessarily dualism, it sets the human mind apart from the physical world to some degree. But why is this phenomenon less able to be studied, theoretically, than any other, including the incredibly weird and complicated physics we’ve been able to penetrate thus far? I think the reason we don’t understand consciousness better than we do is due simply to the fact that there are technical and ethical roadblocks to studying what the brain does, which will be cleared up relatively soon with advanced techniques. There are valid thought experiments in which consciousness remains mysterious, but it’s pointless to accept dead ends in scientific inquiry, and all such positions require violating parsimony. Neuroscientists are way ahead of philosophers on this, I feel.

    1. Your faith in materialist reductionism is not surprising.

      And saying that scientists are somehow ahead of philosophers is like saying pianos are ahead of jazz.

      1. I definitely shouldn’t have implied “all philosophers.” Just the incorrect ones. What I mean is that scientists are doing seriously cool, rigorous, advanced stuff on the brain and in physics, and some anti-materialist philosophers seem simply to be unaware of it.

        1. You know these philosophers to be incorrect precisely how?

          1. Thomas –

            Tony’s an idiot. Ignore it.

            1. Sorry, it’s just whack a mole, but it still can be fun for a while.

          2. Because there’s no such thing as magic?

            1. Arthur C Clarke wept.

        2. Antoinette’s ignorance prevents her from knowing which alleged scientific “developments” are unscientific sophistry. Most of the brain theory presently on offer is pre-Copernican snake oil sales, but why should that bother Antoinette. PROGRESS!

    2. Consciousness is hard to define, unless you take the out of panpsychism (the theory that some sort of mind-substance is an attribute or aspect or component of all matter). It frequently gets mixed up with information processing, which it isn’t, unless my thermostat is conscious because it processes information about the temperature of the room into electrical signals.

  13. Kevin MacDonald (Culture of Critique) knows all about this subject.

  14. “confuse materialism with the idea that somehow everything in the end will be explained. Why make such an optimistic assumption?”

    Why? Compare the progress when mankind believed everything was controlled by the unknowable whim of an all powerful invisible wizard, versus the progress when we looked for answers.

    I think most materialists will grant that our minds are not all powerful, but we’ll still keep looking for answers. If there are answers we can’t find, then we won’t find them. For the answers we can find, we might find them if we look.

    1. Right, because the entire history of western religion is predicated on the notion that there is no knowable order to creation.

      I’m no dualist but even I can see that absent a widely accepted notion of Logos Descartes would have had no need to posit his demon of master deception.

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  17. I can’t believe you guys let mtrueman off so easily.
    He said the economy is like Monopoly. His model for the economy is a child’s board game.
    I’ll bet his understanding of medicine comes from Operation.
    His understanding of law enforcement comes from Clue.
    His understanding comes from Hungry Hungry Hippos.

    Tony sure does get mad that people think they are more logical than he is. It is fun to watch. It’s also fun to watch him drift along the progressive currents and parrot whatever the concerns de jure are, while maintaining that he is somehow an independent thinker.

    1. *his understanding of nutrition comes from HHH

    2. “He said the economy is like Monopoly. His model for the economy is a child’s board game.”

      You haven’t grasped my point. Economics is about the flow of money and capital among a group of people. A flow has a direction, by definition. Money begats money. Same principle that tells us that if you walk into a casino with less money than they have, given time they will probably clean you out, with more, you break their bank.

      1. Same principle that tells us that if you walk into a casino with less money than they have, given time they will probably clean you out, with more, you break their bank.

        Doubtful. Casinos are in the business of making money and the odds are set up in their favor. If you stay in a casino long enough, the house is going to win – no matter how much money you brought with you. That’s just Gambling 101.

        1. That’s true. Instead of the casino think about 2 people playing heads and tails. The player with the most coins in his pockets will win. As you say, casinos tilt the odds in their favour. The casino and the Monopoly game are just examples, and by no means perfect examples, for a larger point that I’ve mentioned repeatedly.

          1. That larger point is…?

    3. and parrot whatever the concerns de jure are

      Tautologically speaking, did you mean de jure or did you mean du jour? They’re nearly opposite in this context you’re offering.

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