Welcome to the NDPR discussion of Alan Thomas’s new book Republic of Equals: Predistribution and Property-Owning Democracies, recently reviewed by James Lindley Wilson at NDPR. We have invited both Alan and James to participate, and we encourage readers to comment as well on anything related to Alan’s book or James’s review. Blurbs for each below the fold.
Re-posting after a technical glitch this morning (eds.)
Current events are reminding us that patriotism, at least of the sort that gets publicly acknowledged, is a confusing virtue. I don’t mean that the patriot might get drawn into doing bad things on behalf of his country. Patriotism is a form of loyalty, and loyalty, whether to friends, family, one’s university, or whatever, can draw us into doing bad things on their behalf. I mean instead that those who say they care about patriotism seem surprisingly okay with others doing bad things without regard for the interests of their country.
Welcome to our discussion thread on Julie Rose’s Free Time, recently reviewed by Eric Rakowski for NDPR. We have invited Julie and Eric to provide any comments they’d like on either the book or the review, and we hope other readers of PEA Soup will chime in with their thoughts on either the book or the review as well.
Much is made these days of ideological bubbles and commitment cocoons (OK, I made up that one), in which people stick to their beliefs regardless of any “evidence” or “reasoning” otherwise. But, let’s admit it, it’s hard to change your mind about something you’ve been committed to solely based on your assessment of reasons. This is true even for — perhaps especially for — professional philosophers.
It might be worth hearing, then, about your true conversion stories and the role contrary reasons played for you: What moral/political view were you committed to — perhaps even published about — that you abandoned solely in the face of good reasons otherwise? Were the reasons available to you all along and you just saw them in a newly salient light, or were they new reasons to you? Have you “backslid”? Have you gone on to publish on the contrary view? (See my conversion story below the fold.)