Thursday, August 02, 2007


Clearly there has not been a substantive contribution to Epideixis for a while. So with the project (that never came to be) stalled for the present, the Contributors would like to redirect our readers to Dialectic, our more active forum.

We have the intention of returning here when, eventually, we decide upon and find the time for, some more substantive discussion. As the title states, this is simply a hiatus.

Thanks to those of you who have, and continue to, stop by.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

On Ideas

'Ideas are bullet-proof' - V For Vendetta.

Arendt on Acts

'It is in the very nature of things human that every act that has once made its appearance and has been recorded in the history of mankind stays with mankind as a potentiality long after its actuality has become a thing of the past.' - Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (1994), 273.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Legal Question

‘The online purchase of a New Zealand-made drug touted as the "strongest energy pill legally available in the world" could land NSW residents in jail, police have warned.

The benzylpiperazine-based products are legal in New Zealand and marketed online under names such as "Dark Angel", "Grin", "Red Hearts", "Majik", "Kandi", "Frenzy", "Altitude" and "Humma", police said.’

Quoted from the Sydney Morning Herald on the 10th of October.

Seriously, why is there always someone to rain on other people’s parade? Presumably the jurisprudential logic behind a penal sentence for the purchase of these drugs, or for their illegality at all, is based in a desire to prevent one form causing harm to oneself, and as such amounts to a form of paternalism (I am assuming that there is no particular moral reason for their prohibition). If we are to give any weight to the liberal tradition’s justification for a criminal prohibition, as our legal system appears to do so heavily, then this should theoretically not be considered a legitimate reason for any liberty limiting legislation, or at least not in the opinion of J.S. Mill. It seems that if these drugs are criminalized because of harm to self, then so should all forms of drug, including alcohol and nicotine and presumably also caffeine and its ilk, unless there is some moral reason for paternalism, which again, Mill would not have found sufficient reason for such legislation.

What justification is there for criminalising the purchase of a drug that is unlikely to cause personal harm to the degree of causing collateral harm to others, especially if we consider that two of the most socially harmful drugs (alcohol and nicotine) are not legislated against (if you are of a threshold age and in certain areas) on the basis of either harm to others or harm to self?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Three Articles

Firstly, an interview from Cogito with philosopher John Haugeland on human intelligence and responsibility. It includes an interesting discussion of AI (so Sam should read it).

Secondly, a Foucauldian analysis of EU telephone and internet surveillance regulations, from Le Monde diplomatique.

Thirdly, a discussion of the role of religion in social cohesion.

All via Eurozine.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Question on the Relationship between Justice and Punishment

I recently spent a couple of hours talking a criminology student through various aspects of Foucault’s work – in particular disciplinary mechanisms and prisons – in the context of a paper she was writing about the success of prisons.

While this conversation was taking place, especially during the two hour intermission that was legal ethics (week nine – game theory and client counselling), the distracting question was what is the relationship between justice and penal punishment?

There does not seem to be any clear relation. But when the legal/justice system links punishment to justice, then there must seemingly be some role for punishment in the notion of justice.

Things seem to happen around here when questions are put forward, so lets treat this like the start of a discussion and see where it takes us.

Philosopher's Carnival, No. thirty-six

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sekirew on Kanzan

‘Yes, Kanzan’s heart is like an autumn moon, but what about your own heart? Isn’t it also like the autumn moon? Instead of using another’s thoughts create your own’ – Ashiza Sekirew, ‘Enso’

Monday, September 11, 2006

On ‘Choose Life’

Peter Singer, with Agata Saga, has contributed to the Australian debate regarding the legal status of stem-cell technology research, with an article in The Bulletin.

On ‘Schopenhauer’

William R. Schroeder’s review of Julian Young’s Schopenhauer, for NDPR.

On the 11th of September 2001

Allegedly, five years ago the world changed.

Perhaps the locus of change was simply in the mode of perception.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Philosopher's Carinval, No. Thirty-five

The 35th Philosopher's Carnival - the 'back to school edition' - is being hosted by Philosopher's Playground.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Spinoza On Gladness

‘there is no small difference between the gladness by which a drunk is led and the gladness a philosopher possesses.’ – Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics (London: Penguin, 1996), p. 102.

On ‘Foucault the Neohumanist?’

On Jahanbegloo

It was noted, in an earlier post, that Ramin Jahanbegloo had been imprisoned in Iran. In the past couple of days it has been confirmed that he has recently been released.

Eurozine has published a paper, delivered by Jahanbegloo earlier this year, on ‘the clash of intolerances’.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Question On Philosophers And Imprisonment

An Iranian philosopher – Ramin Jahanbegloo – is presently imprisoned (apparently in solitary confinement). (On Jahanbegloo, a collection of his papers and an interview with Postel.)

While there is a tradition of philosophers being imprisoned – Socrates springs to mind – it seems somewhat discordant with the state of the discipline at present. This raises an interesting question – are there any views that, as a philosopher, you would be prepared to endure imprisonment for?

On the Dictionary of War

An interesting project, coming out of Germany, attempting to set out one hundred concepts – in the form of a dictionary – associated with war. [Via Utne.]

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On Dreyfus

‘Human justice makes human errors. No human effort is immune from error’ – Justice Michael Kirby (High Court of Australia), ‘The Dreyfus Case a Century On – Ten Lessons for Australia

Today marks the centenary of the Dreyfus acquittal.

[This is also the 100th post on epideixis, which is considerably less significant.]

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Death of Foucault

I started reading Derrida the other day, only to be hit with the thought, why? It seemed like something that I should be interested in, but it all seems a bit irrelevant now. Who was the last deconstructionist you met? Or the last person who actually read Derrida?

So i stopped reading Derrida and started reading Habaermas. Martin then asked me 'why would you want to read Habermas?' Sadly it feels a little true, despite being the kind of thing that I would want to read, there doesn't seem to be a point. People have stopped being interested in the Marxist/post-modernist tradition in the last year or so, almost like it had reached its logical conclusion or proliferated to the point of ceasing to make sense or something.

There seems to be a distinct lack of it in blogs. Infact, it feels like everyone just got bored with it one day and thought maybe it was time to give the other guys a go for a bit and headed down the more analytic side of things? Am I imagining things or have other people noticed this? Or is it just the general trend in the small philosophical circles which I am associated? It seemed like Foucault was a perfectly good answer to everything, but now it has to be something a bit more scientific, a little more 'provable'. Maybe its just me and its been this way all the time: I only thought Foucault was the answer.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hart On Morality

‘Morality, what crimes may be committed in thy name!’ – HLA Hart, ‘Immorality and Treason’.

[There’s not been a sermon here in some months; this sort of feels like one … possibly delivered by Nietzsche in the midst of the Genealogy …]

Philosopher’s Carnival, No. thirty-two

Monday, July 03, 2006

On Singer’s ‘The Freedom to Ridicule Religion-and Deny the Holocaust’

Peter Singer – recently listed by The Bulletin as one of the hundred most influential Australians, alongside philosophical spectre John Anderson – has argued that Austria’s laws criminalising Holocaust denial are a contravention of free speech which demonstrate the hypocrisy inherent in Europe’s attitude towards free speech.

Why does reading Singer so often result in a sense of ‘if only things were so simple’?

What is it like to be a blog – Philoblog Notice

What is it like to be a blog – a wide ranging, and young, grad-philoblog.

[It may be noticed that these have become notices rather than reviews, simply because they are more notices than reviews …]

On Carl Schmitt

Long Sunday has attempted to conclude the discussion of Carl Schmitt it instigated …

Sunday, July 02, 2006

On Hamdan v Rumsfeld

The Supreme Court of The United States of America opinions in Hamdan v Rumsfeld have been released.

Legal Theory has this collection of the early commentary.

On ‘The Primacy of the Subjective: Foundations for a Unified Theory of Mind and Language’

For Samuel: Steven Horst’s review (for NDPR) of Nicholas Georgalis' recent work on the interplay between minds and language – another item to add to the doctoral reading list …

On ‘Aussie rules in the Pacific’

An all to brief critique of Australia’s ‘re-colonisation’ of the Pacific, authored by a member of the Sovereignty And It’s Discontents working group.

There remain a number of political questions about this new trend in Australia’s foreign policy – none the least of which is the extent to which this approach should be deployed, and all of which have to do with the role that Australia should play in the governance of the Pacific as this century progresses.