Monday, January 31, 2011

Philosophers' Carnivals: Now & Next

Philosophers' Carnivals "showcase the best philosophical posts from a wide range of weblogs," as it says on the carnival's homepage. From today, carnival #120 is at And carnival #121 will be here in 3 weeks time, so if you find yourself reading something nicely philosophical, posted between now and then, please consider submitting it, via the online submission form, even if you wrote it yourself: "Don't be shy, we want to hear from you, that's the whole point of this project! Your post doesn't need to be anything earth-shattering - it just needs to be something that other philosophically-minded people might enjoy reading."
......As for what you can submit, there are No Rules, except: "No self-help, mysticism, marketing spam, etc." Of course, marketing spammers are unlikely to have bothered reading as far as this, so telling them not to bother submitting seems pointless. And I wouldn't rule out what some academic philosophers like to call 'mysticism', e.g. Mathematical Platonism, Substance Dualism, Open Theism and so forth (since such is just realistic metaphysics). Nor shall I reject whatever formalized craziness such academics work on instead, of course (since I should be unbiased in my hosting). Indeed, since the number of the carnival will be 121 (which sounds like "one-to-one") there's even some hope for self-helpers (and Continental Philosophers) whose positive thinking has carried them thus far, because insofar as their posts describe how the ideal of the Socratic Dialogue relates to their brand of self-help (or Derrida) I shall look upon them kindly.
......Here's a cautionary tale about rule-following: Many years ago, a port on the east coast was industrializing. To its north and south were two large estates, the country houses of two progressive squires, who built factories and docks in the port, and cheap housing for their workers there. Peasants to the west of the port flocked there, to earn more and to be free from their old-fashioned and relatively oppressive squire. As his peasants deserted his lands, that squire soon found himself with cashflow problems, and eventually he was reduced to opening his mansion to the public. He even built an inhumane zoo in its overgrown grounds; but things got no better. He got more and more depressed. One day he became quite deranged, and smashed up his zoo. Then he climbed onto the back of a huge hippopotamus and rode it towards the port. Now, the two rich squires heard of him crashing through their workers' slums, but they were unable to stop him because he had the law on his side, the law which states that the squire on the hippopotamus is evil to the slums of the squires on the other two sides.

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