Saturday, May 8, 2010

Last Chance Bloggers!

In the spirit of gift, we have one last chance (ending at midnight Sunday) to get full participation in the blogging element of the course. Two thoughtful contributions to your own blog and/or someone else's thread is all it takes!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Epistemology and Metaphysics

Due to an unfortunate oversight, next semester's course in Epistemology and Metaphysics competes with another philosophy course in its time slot, and is consequently under threat of cancellation for undersubscription. All students who have enjoyed prior philosophy courses, including logic, world religions, first course, constructing reality, owning and belonging, etc., will find that this challenging topic takes their understanding of philosophy to the next level. Please speak with me or Professor Johnson right away about signing up for the course as soon as possible, so that we can keep it on the schedule.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Waldron & MacPherson

From different perspectives and in different vocabularies, Waldron and MacPherson diagnose a similar difficulty: how to understand and justify property as a general, inclusive right. MacPherson's strategy is to modify the exclusiveness of the concept, stipulatively/hypothetically re-defining property as a right to participate (not be excluded). Waldron reinforces this suggestion by observing that we already, and for good reason, accept many limitations on individual property acquisition and use.

These solutions are suggestive, and are certain to raise objections from the defenders of absolute individual property rights (notably liberatarians, but others as well). Given MacPherson's analysis of the original motivations behind those who framed these concepts, however, it is hard to see how they can do so without presenting themselves as defenders of radical inequality (i.e.: oppression).