[hist-analytic] Rawls and the Return of Hist-Analytic

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Wed Aug 18 14:22:36 EDT 2010

I haven't posted in a very long time. I've been working on background (non-philosophical) stuff related to issues surrounding Rawls's theory of justice. I take strong exception to Rawls on a number of points. Indeed, I think his theory is a prescription for tyranny, but that is something I would have to demonstrate within margins of reasonable certainty. This is made difficult by the nuanced application of certain principles derived from welfare economics which is compelled to accept in part owing to his negative view of utilitarianism which I share. 

Moreover, there are certain questions that have never been raised, to the best of my knowledge, having to do with the sense in which Rawl's theory IS a contract theory. I've spent quite a bit of time looking at several contract theorists, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau in particular. There is a deep divide between contract theorist like Hobbes and those more like Rousseau. Rousseau is dangerous; Hobbes depressing. Locke uninspiring but a comfort amidst the storm. I am inclined to reject contract theory, altogether. Fashions in philosophy come and go; I think social contract theory in Rawls's sense will not last as long as, say, Mill's utilitarianism applied to the theory of state power. 

State power as it relates to the social contract theory is the main issue I will undertake to explore. 

This is a political topic. I will make no reference to current events; no reference to nations or leaders (dead or alive). I would like to discuss the details of political liberalism and conservatism detached from the partisan banter that typically dominates such discussions, usually because the participants are uninformed on political theory, as such. So if you reply, be apprised that I won't allow posts that carry ANY form of propaganda, such as sample sentence trashing a politician or nation. I've seen, otherwise, good discussion lists destroyed by this and I won't allow this to happen EVEN to buttress sagging participation. But the issues are important, taken in the abstract and this is what I propose to discuss. 

I've also been thinking loosely about some problems in phil of mathematics; such as the role of quantifiers in the treatment of derivatives, and limits (more especially). Also I've been thinking a bit on causation, such as the question "Is supervenient causation, when treated as a relation, one-one. I think it must be! But this raises certain problems. More later on this, maybe. In addition the logic of comparative concepts (some of you are aware of my work in this area) figure in preference orderings. This has never been sufficiently examined in the contexts of Arrow's theorem and Amartya Sen's views on distributive justice. I will discuss this a bit later, since I'm overcoming some difficulties in understanding parts of Arrow's proof. 

Anyway, if others wish to consider other issues, that's "cool"; I just thought I'd try to bring the list back to life a bit. 


Steve Bayne 
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