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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More of the same from Somerville - back to the Endarkenment

I'm 90 pages into Margaret Somerville's new book, The Ethical Imagination. So far, I don't think she has said anything of real substance: rhetorical questions here; flowery metaphors there; inflated rhetoric of other kinds somewhere else, or in the same places; inaccurate descriptions of positions in moral philosophy all through the text. Thankfully, this book is shortish. I guess I'll say more when I get further into it or reach the end.

Edit: Okay, I'm now 200 pages in. It's not getting any better. The argumentation is weak and the whole approach to ethical and legal philosophy incredibly silly. Also, it does not add much to The Ethical Canary, except for a thin discussion of transhumanism. Unfortunately, I won't have time to write properly about this book before going away for a week. Later!

By the way, I love this sculpture.


Anonymous said...

Think of the children!

Russell Blackford said...

25 pages later ... I am making slow progress because I'm taking some notes. She's given a sort of explanation of her valorisation of "the natural", but never quite explained what it actually is or said anything very cogent about why it's so important.

Anonymous said...

The moral
The ethical
The imagination
Let the children come to me

Blake Stacey said...

That's a cool sculpture.

People will offer you a pill made from the leaf of an obscure plant and say, "Take it, it can't hurt you, it's natural." But so is deadly nightshade.

Alan Alda