Other Philosophy Work
'Philosophy as Deep and Shallow Wisdom' is a chapter on the quest for wisdom in academia. We usually think that wisdom is deeper or more profound than ordinary life, but in fact it can only ever be justified by reference to our everyday activities. Wisdom is worthless if it is just an arbitrary and rather exhausting end in itself - we should only pursue it if it gives us better food, hot sex and/or loads of money.
Pax Americana was written at the start of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and it examines the rhetoric of Bush and Blair about how the war would bring happy democracy to the people of Iraq. On the surface there seemed to be a case for invasion independently of any alleged weapons of mass destruction that Hussein might have had. After all, don't we all believe that Britain and America are happier wealthier freer places than an Iraq groaning under the weight of a dictator's oppression? At least many people at the time appeared to accept this story, and so this paper took a careful look at America's claim to be a utopian country and examined the likelihood that America could spread its 'happiness' through military invasion. This led to six extensions of just war theory that need to be in place if an invader is going to successfully improve another country. Needless to say, none of these conditions was present prior to the recent invasion of Iraq.
I presented 'Alienation Ends with the Modern Subject' at SEP 2002 in Cork. It looks at the idea that we are alienated in the modern world and shows how alienation is so deep that there is no longer a subject left who could be alienated from him or herself. We are no longer alienated because there is no longer a we.
I am currently planning an 'ethics' that will use Damasio's theory of the emotions to examine the problem of how to live.