Disagreeing with Plato at Medium

I have a piece over at Medium, On Disagreeing with Plato: Reflections on Plato, Popper, and Mill. I suspect it will meet with disapproval from the libertarian-leaning readers of this blog, but you might find it of interest anyway. I discuss a recent article by classicist James Kierstead, who offers a qualified defense of Popper and takes classical liberals like Popper to task for their limited commitments to democracy as genuine popular rule.

In the meantime, I have been and will continue to be scarce in these parts for a few weeks, but I’ll make my way back to pester you all in the comments section soon enough.

11 thoughts on “Disagreeing with Plato at Medium

  1. Said this on facebook but I’ll add it here too:

    My favourite story about that book: he originally was going to call it “The Open Society and Its Critics.” Then he sent a telegram to his publisher saying “CONSIDER ENEMIES BETTER.” This was during WWII. The telegraph operator called the police to report Popper as a pro-Nazi subversive.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I thought I might lose you at “it is not so obvious that government should not aim to promote certain moral values and virtues and to discourage certain vices.” But then, I didn’t say which ones, now did I?

      Like

        • And so we have arrived at Styx. I see.

          Have we arrived at Styx before? We’ve arrived at many…dubious classic rock outcomes in the past. But Styx?

          Actually I concluded a number of years ago that my finally being willing to acknowledge to myself that I kinda like Styx was a sign of maturity. But now I’m inclined to take that back.

          Now I’m thinking that these lines are emblematic for you:


          I’m not a robot without emotions
          I’m not what you see.
          I’ve come to help you with your problems
          so we can be free.
          I’m not a hero, I’m not a savior,
          forget what you know.
          I’m just a man whose circumstances
          went beyond his control…
          I need control.
          We all need control.

          You’re in control, man.

          (Also: would Styx have been possible without Queen, or is that just distorted hindsight?)

          Liked by 1 person

          • And so we have arrived at Styx. I see.

            Yes. Jump in! The water’s fine.

            Have we arrived at Styx before? We’ve arrived at many…dubious classic rock outcomes in the past. But Styx?

            What exactly is “dubious” about Shania Twain? Or Eddie Money?

            Actually I concluded a number of years ago that my finally being willing to acknowledge to myself that I kinda like Styx was a sign of maturity. But now I’m inclined to take that back.

            Life is a journey.

            To paraphrase Ayn Rand, renunciation of old classic rock heroes is not one of my premises. If I see that good music is possible to men, yet vanishes under the onslaught of songs by the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Nas, and Justin Bieber, I do not take “Such is the trend of the world” as a sufficient explanation.

            Mankind moves forward by the grace of those human bridges who were able to grasp and transmit, across years or centuries, the achievements men had reached–and to carry them further. Thomas Aquinas is one illustrious example: he was the bridge between Aristotle and the Renaissance, spanning the infamous detour of the Dark and Middle Ages.

            Tommy Shaw was another, spanning the infamous detour represented by the Monkees, Captain and Tenille, and Disco Duck. Cf. Panozzo & Skettino 2007.

            I’ve seen Styx 2.5 times. Once they opened for Def Leppard, and upstaged them. Another time they tore the house down at the Wellmont Theater of Montclair, New Jersey. And the 0.5 was Tommy Shaw opening for Rush. They rocked. They could have held their own with anyone.

            Not to drag you too deeply into the Antinomies of TMI, but the lyrics to this song are just as emblematic as the ones you quoted.

            Styx would eminently have been possible without Queen.

            OK, enough of this, lest I be accused of having too much time on my hands.

            Liked by 1 person

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