interests -Reply

Thu Apr 13 08:53:50 MDT 1995

Date sent: 13-APR-1995

Justin seems to me to be on the mark here:

 >Well, all reasons are prima facie, contingemt and rebuttable. As a parent,
 >I take a very paternalist attitude towards my kids. When I was a teacher I
 >was moderately paternalist towards mny students, though less so than many
 >of my colleagues. As a society many people support various paternalist
 >policies, e.g., about drug use. Paternalism ought to be regarded with some
 >suspicion. But it isn;t false by definition. As to other grounds for
 >nonpaternalis, how about my suggestion that choice and the freedom to make
 >mistakes is a fundamental human interest which should be overriden only
 >with great caution?

Something like this would appear to be Marx's view, insofar as he thought both
that socialism was in the interests of the working class and that it must come
about through the self-emancipation of the class.   It also serves to illustrate
the the simplicity of claims of some (inlcuding Laclau & Mouffe) that talk of
objective interests leads post haste to authoritarian political practices.

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

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