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June 16, 2011
"All Things Shining" is full of
hedging such as this:
"Our view is that nihilism is every bit as close-minded
as fanaticism, and that neither is a sufficient ground
on which to base a liveable life."
-- p.21 "Our Contemporary Nihilism"
This sort of thing sounds all very
reasonable, and Dreyfus and Kelly
are of course in the business of
being Reasonable Men, so they prefer
to take a reasonable tone.
But why *aren't* they fanatics? Don't their
ideas lend themselves to fanaticism? Nihilism
is the great devil, and "nihilism" for them is
the notion that each individual is free to
choose how they will live. There's a pantheon
out there for those that have minds that are
tuned up to percieve it, and the rest of us are
all lost in the nihilistic wasteland.
Just skim through "All Things
Shining", and the things that
you find praised are unthinking
reflex and faith. Freedom and
individuality are repeatedly
We're told we should feel
gratitude that we exist, and
display appreciation in the
prescence of our betters, Dreyfus and Kelly interpret the example of
those whoosh-meisters (the Helen to mean that faithless, adulterous
uber-mensch?), who are above behavior is okay *for her*, because she is
normal laws because they are one of the special ones, her erotic nature
touched by the gods. is a gift of the gods.
If this is not a formula This example works only because we
for fascism, it certainly now have some respect for the idea
sounds like one. No wonder of women's sexual freedom. Is it
Dreyfus and Kelly expend so portable to other realms? Is it
much verbiage (I wouldn't okay to kill if you're someone
call it "thought") trying who's really good at killing?
to distance themselves from
(Be silent, curb your
thoughts, this is the
work of the Ivy League.)
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