The Thief's Journal

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I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it.

All of the ephemera that is far too trivial to be bothered with elsewhere on this site or, depending on your point of view, a meta-commentary on it. This ephemera includes, but is not limited to art, music and literature. Most of the content here will be discussed in terms that are as abstract as possible, reality being a singularly overrated concept.

The Guardian has an excellent obituary (albeit not racy and juicy as Tom Lehrer described that of Alma Mahler) of Bernard Williams;

"Williams simultaneously exploited and undermined established philosophical boundaries. He deconstructed, as Derrida would do if he were cleverer and more pledged to truth. Exhuming moral philosophy from a no-man’s-land of logical, ahistorical analysis, into a sort of moral anthropology, he saw moral codes and writings as essentially embedded in history and culture, and questioned the whole “peculiar institution” of morality, which he considered a particular (modern western) development of the ethical… Hellenic ethics, Williams argued, affords an arena for praise and blame which is wider than Christian-based moral theories (stiflingly concentrated on free will, obligation and personal responsibility), and more accurate to our intuitions. "

To me, the work of Derrida is important largely in terms of denying us the ability to question certain areas in the manner we had previously done so. That is, Derrida undermines the idea of an intuitive correspondance between truth and language in much the same way Hume did between perception and facticity. The task for Williams was to determine why the initial view was so intuitive in the first place and determine a means of re-establishing it through a new route; suggesting that intuitive dealings with our social environment remain ontologically prior to the question of how they are possible (the same approach Gadamer took in Truth and Method)