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September 19, 2004
Morality and Mind
Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.
There's an interesting discussion on morality at Steph's place, and an interesting trio of posts at the Glittering Eye, Brad DeLong's site and Matthew Yglesias's site. They aren't really closely related, but they are interesting when taken together.
When I read DeLong's post I had a sudden flash of insight. I understood something that had puzzled me: the rather manic search for inconsistencies that appears to be common within a particular spectrum of opinion. I know about the post-modern thirst for authenticity but this struck me as being different somehow. Now I get it. DeLong seems to believe that inconsistency (frequently characterized as "not being serious") grants a license to deny respect and even humanity to the poor shlup so characterized and thus avoids the nuisance of actually having to address his arguments.
That's the ad hominem fallacy, of course. But what ground my grits was the condescension.