Archive for the ‘Political Philosophy’ Category

“There are good psephological reasons for thinking that Labour’s 40% score in June might be a high-water mark” — psephological?

August 12, 2017

“Psephology /sˈfɒləi/ (from Greek psephos ψῆφος, ‘pebble’, as the Greeks used pebbles as ballots) is a branch of political science which deals with the study and scientific analysis of elections.” (

“If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” – – Karl Popper

April 8, 2017

“[Natural law’s objective goods:] knowledge, aesthetic appreciation, play, friendship, practical reasonableness, religion and [life].”

March 24, 2017


Tapping into a tradition that reaches back to Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle, natural law says that some things are objectively good in themselves and should therefore serve as lodestars for individuals and societies. John Finnis, Mr Gorsuch’s dissertation adviser at Oxford and one of the world’s foremost natural-law theorists, lists these goods as knowledge, aesthetic appreciation, play, friendship, practical reasonableness, religion and—most notably—life.

“[A] common phrase heard among reporters was that the `uneducated rural community’ had made a larger turnout than what was expected.”

November 14, 2016

A Facebook (and, I believe) real world friend posted the article quoted in the title to this blogpost, for which I provide the above link.

The short article includes some interesting insights about what it means to be educated, and the education of those rural people who do not have formal degrees.

I believe this is more than just semantics.

I have some relatives who have both the rural education and formal advanced degrees, others who may have the rural education but not the degrees.  Both groups know a ton that I don’t know.

The Economist: Ethics of Conviction vs. Ethics of Responsibility

October 1, 2016

A bit of political philosophy I was exposed to his morning.  I cannot recall having heard of this before.

Excerpt:  THE phrases “ethic of conviction” and “ethic of responsibility” mean little to most English-speakers. In Germany the equivalent terms—Gesinnungsethik and Verantwortungsethik—are household words . . . [Sociologist Max] Weber described an “abysmal opposition” between two types of ethics. Those following their convictions wish to preserve their own moral purity, no matter what consequences their policies may have in the real world. “If an action of good intent leads to bad results, then, in the actor’s eyes, not he but the world, or the stupidity of other men, or God’s will who made them thus, is responsible for the evil.” By contrast, someone guided by responsibility “takes account of precisely the average deficiencies of people…(H)e does not even have the right to presuppose their goodness and perfection.” This sort of politician will answer for all the consequences of his actions, even unintended ones. Weber left no doubt about his sympathies. Ethicists of conviction, he said, were “in nine out of ten cases windbags”.