Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Killing history

I've argued in the post below that the Labour Party's electoral corruption is founded in post-structuralist pomo-wank -- in a phrase, bad philosophy justifying the left's pet cause: staying in power.

Pomo-wank pollutes everything it touches. As historian Scott Powell summarises, for example, it's killed the study of history. The Enlightenment originally promised to bring scientific certitutude to the study of the humanities.
If natural science could find laws and a natural order in the physical world, could a social science not achieve the same for civilization (and thus derive the proper foundation of social systems)? Unfortunately, in their quest to give history a Newtonian clarity, historians found no worthy ally among philosophers.
What they got instead was the godfather of pomo-wank, Immanuel Kant. In the historic duel between men of action and those who despise them -- a battle Powell characterises as a duel between Columbus and Kant -- "that is, between men animated by rational ideas toward action and the proponents of a philosophy that says all man's ideas are inherently suspect simply because they come from man" -- Kant has won.

Ed Cline summarises the battle, and today's cashing in:
So rather than serving as a tool for understanding how man's ideas shape his actions, history becomes a tool for distortion and for propagandizing someone's pet cause.
As you see, we're back to where we started.

Scott Powell's four-part article on how philosophy killed history can found here: Part one, two, three and four.

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