April 23rd, 2010




this here is a debate between singer (philosopher) and posner (judge) on animal rights. it's interesting to me more for their methods than the content - i find it interesting how flimsily two rather brilliant people argue with each other. they keep throwing around strawmen and mischaracterizing each other's arguments and avoiding the point. or maybe their thoughts are just too subtle for me to follow, i dunno. but at any rate, i spent the first half mostly in singer's corner, but then posner started making good points, mostly saying philosophy is useless. i like to think in the end singer wins, but of course i also like to pretend i live by a philosophy so whatever.

also, i enjoy that posner sees himself as a softie here. for the non-law nerds reading, he is one of the leading lights of the law and economics movement, which is entirely un-soft and basically says whichever solution to a problem makes society the richest is correct.

i kind of wonder at the context of this. it looks like they started emailing each other one day (or more accurately, singer emailed posner, and then after a few exchanges said okay i'm done here), and then thought "hey let's send these to a magazine!" i'm gonna start sending all my emails to vanity fair. and they are so unflaggingly polite with each other, despite basically calling each other immoral idiots repeatedly. how much more fun would this be to read with a few "fuck you, tha's not what i said!"s thrown in? come on now.
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