The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What is Left of Left2Right?

Left2Right, a group blog featuring many prominent moral, political, and legal philosophers, appears to be sputtering. Although I'm not on the left, I'm very disappointed. Their statement is laudable:
We're a bunch of academics, mostly philosophers but also some lawyers, political scientists, historians, and economists. We're interested in liberal ideas, though we are probably far from unanimous about what "liberal" means, and our being interested in liberal ideas doesn't entail that each of us subscribes to all of them. We think that political debate in this country has deteriorated into a shouting match, a food fight, a flame war -- call it what you will. We'd like to consider whether liberal ideas should be somehow reconsidered -- in some respects revised, in others perhaps merely re-stated -- with the aim of increasing the overall ratio of dialog to diatribe in the American political forum. Some of us will be trying out various ways of re-thinking and re-formulating those ideas; others may end up arguing that such attempts are unnecessary, even counter-productive. And in the course of our discussion, there will be plenty of digressions and asides of the sort that naturally occur at the margins of a group discussion.

Contrary to what some people might think, I am susceptible to rational persuasion. When I'm not convinced, I feel better at least for having gained some insight into other points of view. That must sound trite, and it must be asking for too much. There has been one new post in the last five weeks. There were a grand total of three in September, all prompted by the Katrina disaster. You would think that these philosophers would choose to further the objective of the blog during a "cooler hour." I would have been embarassed by this post.

I've noticed that group blogs starting out many members tend to implode. Perhaps many members weren't very interested to begin with. Or maybe we're witnessing some variant of the bystander effect.