söndag 9 maj 2010

Utmaning för liberaler

 Utdrag ur Abbey, Ruth (Editor). Charles Taylor.
West Nyack, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2004. p 109-110.

Taylor begins by asking why theorists such as Nozick ascribe rights to human beings; what is the point or purpose of so doing? His answer follows the general lines of his notion of strong evaluation: They do so because they regard human beings as possessed of certain potentialities or capacities that are valuable and hence worthy of respect, and it is the nature of these capacities that determines the shape of their proposed schedule of rights. The idea that all human beings have the right to life, freedom, the profession of convictions, and so on, reflects a belief that the capacities involved in the exercise of such rights (the capacities for rationality, self-determination, the free development of one’s mind and character) are of special significance; without them, the specifically human potential of the human animal would be crippled or remain dormant. If, however, we acknowledge the intrinsic worth of these capacities, then we are committed not only to acknowledging people’s rights to them (and so to the negative injunction that we avoid interfering with or suppressing them) but also to furthering and fostering them. For if the capacities are good in themselves, then their development and realization (both in others and in ourselves) are also good, and so the task of aiding their development (at least in some circumstances and insofar as we can) is something in which we ought to engage.

Ett elegant argument tycker jag. Någon liberal som vill ta upp den kastade handsken?



onsdag 5 maj 2010

Med dagens födelsetal är vi snart 134.000 miljarder

 Kommentar till DN-debattartikel "Med dagens födelsetal är vi snart 134.000 miljarder”, DN 2010-03-14,


What can radical environmentalist learn from Heidegger's political involvement with a dark political movement that had an undeniably green aspect? As ecological problems increasingly give rise to social and political unrest, we can expect the emergence of a revolutionary vanguard whose aim will be to compel ”selfish” people to "do the right thing" ecologically, for example, by agreeing to follow Draconian measures to limit human reproduction. During times of "ecological scarcity,” this vanguard will want to round up the ecologically unenlightened so that the Earth may recover from the "human cancer” afflicting it.  We may readily see potential parallels between talk of "human cancer” (a concept that Is scarcely new to environmentalists) and Nazi talk of the "human vermin” who were a threat not only to the purity of the German Volk, but to the very future of human life on Earth. Heidegger’s experience teaches us that we should be wary of revolutionaries prepared to use dangerous means, including the elimination of political freedoms, to achieve even noble ends, including protection of the Earth from the predations of industrial capitalism and communism.

Sidan 76 i Michael E.Zimmerman, ‘Martin Heidegger: Antinaturalist Critic of Technological Modernity’, in David Macauley (ed.), Minding Nature: The Philosophers of Ecology, New York: Guilford Press, 1996.