August 7th, 2009


last refuge, first duty

larvatus to aptsvet in regard of his reading of Kant:
Kant has no problems with recognizing and enforcing categorical obligations between parties in a contractual relationship. This principle applies in equal force to contractual relationships in marriage and citizenship, q.v. Die Metaphysik der Sitten 277 and 315. In other words, under the Categorical Imperative, patriotic duties have a similar footing with marital fidelity.

Concerning these passages, I think, first, that Kant should not have included family into the orbit of ethics - this is something that was already obvious to Jesus. Second, his ideas concerning obligations toward the state do not fit into his system as a whole. If 'thou shalt not kill' is universal law, how is it compatible with patriotic duties Collapse )

In Xenophon’s Symposium at 3.10 Socrates says that he prides himself most on the trade of pandering (μαστροπεία) and boasts that he could make a lot of money if he cared to follow it. When his companions press him to support his pride in this disreputable profession, Socrates explains at 4.57, that the procurer (μαστροπός) is one who makes the procured attractive to those whose company he is to keep. He concludes at 4.60 that the best procurer is one who can make the procured attractive to the whole community (πόλις). It should go without saying that procuring on behalf of amorphous abstractions is all the more glorious than doing so on behalf of concrete individuals. In other words, promotion of patriotism rates among the best kinds of pandering; all the more so as regards promotion of ideals ungrounded in our tangible surroundings, such as the rule of law. In fairness, it bears notice that for all his pandering skills, Socrates ended up condemned to death by a popular court, failing at applying his art to himself. In so far as I am unfit to tie his sandals, my preference is to stay away from pandering in matters of life and death.[4] Collapse )