Harry Hope's Saloon

This blog takes it's name from the setting for O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh -- a lousy gin-mill; a smoked-out, greasy dive where the habitues have all landed, it seems, permanently. Their lives, in each case, are paralyzed by fear and laziness. Like my own.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Meek Shall (maybe not) Inherit the Earth

My hopes are high but my goals are modest for this little project - this weblog of mine. It's all about being slow and persistent, posting with some regularity and trying thereby to find my "voice," as your typical community colllege creative writing instructor might have it. Being new to the medium, I've been scouting as many blogs as time allows for method and content.

My favorite so far is The Leiter Reports,
hosted by Brian Leiter, in the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas. He posts frequently (at least once a day), he leans my way politically and culturally. Discerns a frighteningly definite fascist strain at work in our society.

I used to own one of Leiter's books (wish I knew what became of it), Nietzsche on Morality, a pretty decent introduction to Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals that treats the proto-existentialist and psychologist non pareil as a hard-headed philosopher of naturalism and virtue-ethics. Some of his posts, indeed, are Nietzsche-oriented, and tend to be a bit crabby. Philosophers in America are kind of a prickly bunch, sometimes defensive, often a little nasty and even contemptuous in the way they attack the arguments (or pseudo-arguments) they find in the lesser lights they take to be encroaching on their field. This is an old tradition in Philosophy. Schopenhauer, in his writings, used to refer to his own contemporary Hegel as a "blockhead." In these less colorful times, in this more muted environment, professional philosophers won't usually go so far - at least not in their published work. But in the informal so-called blogosphere, the gloves seem to, well, sort of be off.

For instance, on The State of Nietzsche Studies, Leiter fumes over the discount thinkers who resort to establishing "specialty" associations and journals in order to publish their sub-par work on Nietzsche that just cannot cut it in more general, and more professional, academic journals:

the reason there is a proliferation of specialty Nietzsche forums is because the field is populated with mediocrities and incompetents, who can't perform in ordinary scholarly and philosophical contexts. Because the majority of those who write on Nietzsche don't do work that is publishable in legitimate journals that feature important work on Nietzsche-- European Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research, Journal of the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Journal of the History of Ideas (not to mention Philosophical Review and Ethics!)--it is necessary to create "specialty" journals that have almost no scholarly or philosophical standards in which the vast amount of rubbish on Nietzsche can find a place

Whoa. Well, I will be aiming a bit lower than these poor "mediocrities," as I keep myself for now below the acute gaze of the professionals. Heaven save me from the tragic flaw, hubris. Stay invisible and enjoy their regal disregard.


At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Christian, iwspo.net


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