DIALECTICS VS AM (SAYERS VS COHEN)

DARREL MOELLENDORF dmoellendor at csupomona.edu
Wed Apr 12 16:19:19 MDT 1995


Date sent: 12-APR-1995
  Ralph says:

 >Yes, these are valid points.  However, my criticism is not based
 >on a requirement that philosophers be openly political as
 >philosophers.  I have no problem with specializing in a narrow set
 >of intellectual problems.  I do have a problem with the notion
 >that all philosophy can ever be is a specialized, technical focus
 >on a narrow set of discrete problems with no concern for a
 >coherent view of the whole and no recognition that other aspects
 >of philosophy constitute a legitimate philosophical enterprise.
 >This is not even to broach the question of whether one is aware of
 >what kind of society one is doing one's work in and how it is
 >shaped thereby.  My criterion for judging intellectuals is not
 >whether you politicize your work, or what political causes you are
 >involved in, which are none of my business as long as you are not
 >acting against my material interests, and not with the direct
 >political "relevance" of your work either if there is none, but
 >what the assumptions contained in your work tell me about the kind
 >of world you think you live in.  I am not just some leftist dweeb
 >who wants to politicize everyone so he can suck them into his
 >squalid little sectarian subculture.  Darrell, you weren't paying
 >attention.

Ralph You're not the first teacher to have complained about me in this way.
And I'm glad to hear that you're not a dweeb.

Let me see if I understand.  You don't like philosophers who believe that
philosophy can only be spealized without a view of the whole.  In addition, you
judge work by the assumptions it makes about the world it is performed in.   I
take it then that you see analytical Marxism as guilty of over specilization
(without a view of the whole  [the whole what?]) and based upon spurious
asumptions about the world it is written in.  I wonder if you think so after
Justin's post on Wright.

Perhaps you could explain how analytic marxism is guilty of these two sins, and
therby put to rest all rumors about your deisre to suck everything into your
squalid sectarian subculture.

---
Darrel Moellendorf
Philosophy Dept.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Email: dmoellendor at csupomona.edu
Phone: (909) 869-4754
fax: (909) 869-4434


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