Pick the odd name out

Alasdair Macintyre, Colin McGinn, Andrew Norton, Martha Nussbaum, … John Searle, Peter Singer

– from the contributors list in the 1st quarter 2008 issue of The Philosophers’ Magazine

Philosophically-inclined readers will realise that this is a case of a peasant mixing with the intellectual aristocracy, thanks to the egalitarian institution of alphabetical listing. I’m there at all because of my exchange of letters with Alan Soble over The Peel’s door policy, which in turn came about because someone at The Philosophers’ Magazine found this post from May. As I said earlier this month, I don’t think that debate went as well the public school debate with Andrew Leigh, but both seemed to have picked up audiences I would not normally get.

5 thoughts on “Pick the odd name out

  1. Not strictly relevant, but seeing as philosophy got a mention, I have a question for classical liberalists – how important do you see the doctrine of determining legislation based on Bentham’s “greatest happiness for the greatest number”? And if it turned out that the “greatest happiness for the greatest number” could only be achieved by quite strong restrictions on personal liberty, how do you reconcile the two?


  2. Newpov – There is no strict philosophical need to reconcile the two. Few if any classical liberals would class themselves as Benthamite in that sense, for reasons that become evident when you read modern-day utilitarian texts like Richard Layard’s book on happiness. For those who claim to know how to create happiness utilitarianism creates extensive scope for big government.

    Fortunately, in any case as an empirical matter liberal democracies achieve high average happiness scores.


  3. Andrew…

    If I was really impressed- would that be cause for concern for you??? I’m a little concerned about this philosophical foray- luckily- it seems as if there was no french representation:)



  4. This is where searching for “Andrew Norton Martha Nussbaum” brought me. I don’t suppose I’ll need to remind you of the magazine title now.

    I think you were especially lucky with your company that issue. The only one I’d never heard of is McGinn. This issue, the only names I recognize at that level are Roger Scruton and maybe Lewis Wolpert.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s