Bark! Grrrrrrrrrr! Bark! UPDATED

Apparently good old Barney doesn’t like teddy bears. He may not even have know this until he was supposed to guard a collection of highly prized ones. And then he did what a good dog has to do.

There may be times when a human being too wants to tear into prized icons, though hopefully not quite so literally.

Have a look at Leiter’s comments on a round table on modes of philosophizing in EurozineYou can tell it’s really weighty stuff from BL’s title:  “Four Philosophers Answer Questions about Philosophy: Its Purposes, Nature, History.”

Well, the guys (of course!) take up the big issues.  My favorite observation comes from Jonathan Barnes, who addresses the question of whether philosophy is relevant to real life:

But surely, you will cry, moral philosophy must impinge on Real Life? After all, we do ethics – as Aristotle says – in order to become good, don’t we? And surely logic must impinge? Isn’t it the science of reasoning? And don’t we all want to reason as sharply as we can? – Well, glance about at our colleagues. There’s Professor W, who has written some brilliant pieces on ethics: Is he more honourable in his philandering than my neighbour Bernard?

Not, I have to say, the example I would use. When thinking about whether working on ethics produces morally improved people, I think of the ethicists I know who are completely ignorant of how exclusionary their highly privileged pursuits really are. And who, quite frankly, do not seem to give a damn.

On the other hand, two women philosophers are mentioned in the article.

O, let’s just go to a library and consign some volumes to the flames.  Or tear them apart.

(Thanks to Calypso once again.)

UPDATE:  It is possible that this post was written in a fit of pique, but, thanks to Calypso, some more substantial issues arise in the comments.  Come join in the discussion!

Intersectionality = Lack of Focus

Is apparently what Linda Hirschman thinks intersectionality brings to Feminism, as expressed in the Washington Post. Apparently women’s issues and race issues are separate things.

The limitations of this position should be obvious when the author apparently made no effort to garner the opinions of the women of colour that she uses as examples, brownfemipower and sudy. Women, who actually engage with intersectionality.

Hirschman’s feminism illustrates perfectly what bell hooks calls ‘reformatory feminism’ – feminism  that does not strive to bring social justice to women are, so to say, at the bottom of the heap, but to a small subsection of women, who already have a considerable amount of social privilege (based on class, race, etc). Intersectionlity, in contrast,  can address the worst circumstances women are in and allows women to articulate their concerns.

Responses to Hirschman here and here.