Santayana on Fanaticism. “Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim (LR 8)” – this most famous Santayana’s quote on fanaticism encapsulates his view on the issue. The fanatics multiply their emotions in the realization of something that does not serve a worthy cause in the long run. They give up the realization of a given ideal in a positive way, which is building, attracting, and developing; instead, they attack and destroy in a brutal way the objects and humans that symbolize or represent the rivalling ideology, religion, and lifestyle. He was against such ideologies that prioritize some moral systems and depreciate others claiming that “the fanatic is a tyrant on principle and often a hypocrite in practice (DP 200).” [Read more…]
Take a look at these two crazy sentences by G. Santayana, a philosopher famous both for his philosophy and his English. You can think of the style he uses, the vocabulary, grammar, and rhythm – all employed in each of these two sentences, not to mention the messages he formulates here. All this makes this language very rich and sophisticated, which, for some readers may be unbearable though. Feel free to tell me what you think.
“1. Any madcap can mimic a clown’s antics, cleverly taking the mad words out of his mouth and telling him what he might be fool enough to think before he has been fool enough to think it.”
“2. Red tape accordingly would be entirely stultified and eviscerated if it were not suffered to be all that modern criticism, inspired as it is by a subjective and psychological philosophy, most thoroughly dislikes.”
Free Webinar: Can Philosophers be Helpful in the Age of the Internet?, Wednesday, December 16, at 9 PM CET (Berlin) / 8PM GMT (London) / 3PM EST (New York) /7AM AEDT (Sydney), in cooperation with Berlin Practical Philosophy International Forum e.V.
The humanism of Rorty’s neopragmatism weaves together practicing philosophy with experiencing life so as to enjoy a more qualitative and worthy existence, both individual and communal. One of the ways this can be done, as Rorty writes in “The Humanistic Intellectual: Eleven Theses,” is expanding our “own moral imaginations” (Rorty Philosophy and Social Hope 1999, 127) so as to better see the lot of others and the evolving possibilities of ourselves. Such an expansion refers especially to people whom he calls ‘intellectual humanists,’ that is the people who “read books in order to enlarge their sense of what is possible and important – either for themselves as individuals or for their society” (ibid.). [Read more…]
John Lachs is a fervent follower of the idea of relativism as is he a devoted educator both in theory and practice. His emphasizing of the benefits of relativism in philosophy on the one hand, and, on the other, stressing the role of teaching philosophy make me think of these two issues, that is ‘relativism’ and ‘philosophical education’ at the same time. I want to rethink of it in the context of the practical implementation with the teaching of undergraduate and graduate students who take philosophy courses (and similar courses: ethics, aesthetics, history of ideas, etc., be it in the classroom or online) within the institutions of higher education (at the departments of philosophy, humanities, the liberal arts, social sciences, and also outside of these). I think that this problem is important because it deals with the types of obligations of the philosophy teachers to provide their students with a responsible guidance as far as their (students’) developments is concerned, though the developments of the teachers are at stake here as well. An important part of this story is how much Lachs’s relativism is limited by his universal claims, and, hence, is it relativism at all. It seems to me that such terms as ‘responsibility,’ ‘obligation,’ and many others: ‘growth,’ ‘happiness,’ ‘critical dialogue,’ and ‘wisdom’ do not seem relative in Lachs’s texts at all, yet they constitute the main substance of his message on philosophy in education.