Apples 'n Trees ...
You know that old saying about an apple never falls far from the tree? I suppose it's true, except for when it does. Take the case of John Rawls's son Alec. He sends this bit of philosophical eloquence on the debate between Eric Muller and Michelle Malkin on Japanese internment in an e-mail to Muller:
It really is astounding that you can continue to grasp at straws in order to make scurrilous attacks. Are you ever going to vet one of your own charges for accuracy before you post it? You are such an incompetent asshole. Crawl back in your hole. Or let Michelle keep chopping your limbs off like Monty Python's Black Knight. Either way, moron. I presume you are taking comfort from all the brain dead bigots in law schools across the nation who don't want to know the truth about internment. You are their champion! Enjoy it, because amongst honest people, you are exposed as a complete fraud, now and forever.
Although he is apparently a doctoral candidate in economics at Stanford, the elevator may not go all the way to the top for poor Alec and he seems determined to let us all know about it. Hat tip to Ogged at Unfogged and Brian Leiter.
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Richard Henry Morgan - 9/17/2004
Well, John Rawls wasn't exactly known for philosophical eloquence, either. In fact, he was known for his turgid prose. His "original position" brilliantly captured competing conceptions of justice in one formulation, but then, by a series of sometimes plausible and sometimes not so plausible deductions, he rather unconvincingly derived a set of implications absolutely indistinguishable from a Cambridge liberal -- right down the line. What an amazing coincidence.
I met him once at Harvard. He seemed a nice enough guy (rather tall and withdrawn), though a little lost -- he was standing at the entrance to the building housing the philosophy department (I was there on a pilgrimmage to Quine), tugging on the doorknob, a look of perplexity across his face as he finally concluded the door was locked. What a metaphor. I would hazard a guess (warning: slight hyperbole) that as many people actually read all of his A Theory of Justice as have read the third volume of Marx's Das Kapital.
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