So you’re a philosopher are you?

Nina Power…..As an academic philosopher....

But by querying the values that underpin capitalism’s relentless and narrow celebration of “success” as dominance and power over others,

Sorry? Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production. As opposed to the communal. What’s that got to do with success being defined as power over others?

The values of contemporary capitalism are, by contrast, intensely immoral by any standards: selfishness, aggression and indifference to the pain and need of others.

Where in buggery did this come from?

While it would be a radical gesture for “Darwinian” corporate culture and male leaders such as Roberts to collectively self-abolish, there is a deeper point here. A total revaluation of our values, inside and outside of waged labour, would lead us to understand that the most important things in the world are those that are currently valued the least. While it might historically be important to move some pieces from one side of the board to the other, a deeper perspective might lead us to chuck the board off the table and stop playing the game altogether in favour of recognising what was always right there in front of us all along.

I thought philosophers were in the business of thinking? Not teenage emoting?

29 thoughts on “So you’re a philosopher are you?”

  1. Typical lefty pseudo intellectual boilerplate.

    There is no rational thought process here, merely trotted out a sequene of non-sequitereurs designed to appeal to her readership.

    Idiot woman.

    To think that she self categorises with real philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, Wittgenstein and our very own Mr Ecks…

  2. As far as I remember, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, Plato could stick it away and Wittgenstein was a beery swine.

    Not sure what Mr. Ecks’s tipple is.

  3. This is the Nina Power who, back in 2014, was championing universities as ‘places of dissent, disagreement and debate’, despite the fast-growing body of evidence painting them as hotbeds of Left-wing thought lockstep, yes?.

  4. Yes, because there was no selfishness, aggression and indifference to the needs of others in socialist states was there?

  5. Many cultures consider aggression very highly. Some punish lack of aggression quite strongly, including many of those cultures supposed to be “close to nature”.

  6. Wow, the lack of insight and actual critical thinking is remarkable.

    ‘success’ isn’t *defined* as power over others, but in any practical culture success results in reward, a larger slice of some scarce resource. Whether commodities harvested from the environment, or social status, or whatever. See also Victimhood Olympics.

    Those extra resources, plus the expectation of future success, are what puts successful people in positions of power. And because *that* pattern works, people will compete. Inevitably.
    The only alternative, this side of eliminating all scarcity, is to throw away the concept of ‘reward’. If the left still hasn’t worked out why communism fails, God help them.

    Competition means there will be losers, and nobody sensible wants to be the loser. Hence ‘selfishness, aggression and indifference to the pain and need of others’, if only to avoid being on the bottom of the heap.

    Yes, once you recognise relative positions of power, people will look to game the system. To get the position without having to seriously compete. There are no perfect systems.

    Ironically, the altruism and ‘fairness’ that the author seems to think is some natural state of grace crowded out by consumerism, is one of those social constructs the radical left normally bangs on about needing to be smashed. Social programming to prevent runaway success from tearing up the social fabric.

  7. ” a deeper perspective might lead us to chuck the board off the table and stop playing the game altogether in favour of recognising what was always right there in front of us all along.”

    Just like Venezuela you evil cow?

    Boilerplate Hate. That’s all the left have.

    That and being a poet without that they know it.

  8. The Meissen Bison

    Nina Power vituperates over power over others? This is what we philosophers refer to technically as howlround.

  9. David Thompson back in 2011:

    ‘In the Guardian, the comical Nina Power – yes, her – once again wheeled out her rickety Marxist boilerplate. For our academic radical, the causes of the riots are “clear.” And they just happen to correspond with her own doctrinaire outlook. And so, eagerly, she casts the muggers, thieves and arsonists as the “dispossessed” fighting against “entitlement” and therefore deserving of our “understanding,” which in her case means projection, excuses and flattery. Yet these “dispossessed” souls seemed for the most part quite well kitted out and intent on possessing more. Say, by beating up pensioners, punching women and robbing children of their clothes. The muggers’ own rather prodigious sense of entitlement – which you’d think was hard to miss – somehow escaped Dr Power’s notice. Must be all that “critical thinking” she does.’

    http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2011/08/the-riots-summarised.html

  10. The university of Roehampton?
    formerly Roehampton Institute of Higher Education

    They have a philosophy department? The mind boggles.

  11. “A total revaluation of our values, inside and outside of waged labour, would lead us to understand that the most important things in the world are those that are currently valued the least”

    TRANS: philosophers should be paid a LOT MORE than I currently get

  12. Bloke in Wiltshire

    The problem is that it’s the whole “untested academic” thing. People who will lose money/die that can be linked to bad philosophical teaching? About none.

    Not saying philosophy is a bad subject, just that it’s easy to teach a load of shit and get away with it in a way that physicists and veterinary schools can’t.

  13. Where in buggery did this come from?

    As Julia says, its the “Left-wing thought lockstep” as taught in (and examined upon – no deviations allowed) university Arts and Humanities faculties all over the Western world.

    I hate to get Ecksy about this but they could do with a thorough decimation of the worst. To be repeated until those remaining get the message.

  14. To date, Dr Power’s greatest claim to fame is her insistence – based on nothing – that equality of intelligence is “something to be presupposed” because – well, just because – “everyone is equally intelligent.” How lucky her students must be.

  15. “in a way that physicists and veterinary schools can’t”: well, vet schools anyway.

    Dark matter and strings are somewhat philosophical.

  16. Ken,

    And her PhD is from Middlesex Poly.

    Sounds like her biggest claim to being an “Academic Philosopher” is that she’s been to the university of life, and got a pass degree.

  17. @DocBud – for those of us who’ve been to, in the words of Blackadder, “the university of life, the school of hard knocks and the kindergarten of having the shit kicked out of me”, I can’t help wondering how such a precious snowflake would fare in the commercial world….

  18. Bloke in Wiltshire

    dearieme,

    “Dark matter and strings are somewhat philosophical.”

    Sure. The whole subject is wildly theoretical, but at the very least, that stuff is consistent that the facts we have. It’s an explanation, and one as good as any other.

    And I think it’s about the fact that lots of them at least go into something somewhat related, particularly once you reach a master’s level. You can’t have people at CERN who don’t know what they’re talking about.

    But philosophy? How many are there? And how many people are there who basically do philosophy but without a qualification in it like stand-up comedians, screenwriters, politicians?

  19. Dark matter and strings are somewhat philosophical.

    Dark matter, the existence of, and the same for dark energy, are not “philosophical”. They are the basic rational explanation for observed phenomena. Unexpected observed phenomena, indeed, but that doesn’t change the point.

    Various explanations for what constitute dark matter and dark energy are speculative. Some of them more than others. The usual term is hypothesis rather than philosophy (which is considered thinking about thinking, rather than thinking about physics.) There’s a reasonably good Edinburgh University course on Astrophysics and Philosophy on Coursera.

    Strings? Yes, well …

  20. That dark matter and strings are “observed” is news.

    They are theories reached by maths–in the case of dark matter theories emerged from earlier failed theories.

    Lots of maths but none too much actual evidence.

  21. Dark matter: “It’s an explanation, and one as good as any other.”

    Is it really as good as “Fuck me, we’ve been wrong all along”?

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Read what SE wrote. There exist observed, incontrovertibly observed, phenomena. The rotation curves of galaxies are measured, and they are anomalous. We see gravitational lensing without any apparent intervening body to cause it. We see that the expansion of the universe, rather than slowing down as would be expected, is speeding up. These aren’t reached by maths. They’re reached by telescope. The hypothetical explanation for these observations is that there is a form of matter that apparently only interacts with normal baryonic matter via gravity and perhaps the weak force (dark matter) and that the vacuum has a non-zero energy density (dark energy).

    String theory is primarily a mathematical contrivance to get round the non-renormalisability of quantum gravity. We know quantum mechanics is incredibly successful; likewise general relativity. Bolting them together is hard. Some of its predictions are in principle testable in the comparatively low-energy regimes we can reach with current or near-future accelerators.

    As Isaac Asimov said, “theory” does not mean “something I made up last night while drunk”.

  23. “There exist observed, incontrovertibly observed, phenomena.”

    But all observations are themselves partly a matter of theory. That’s inescapable.

  24. BiCR–It means they have a load of seeming facts– facts they can’t explain and dark matter etc is the bullshit they have come up with to fill the gaps.

    Just like the wheels within wheels of Ptolemy’s followers

  25. I don’t know.

    But I’m not telling the world that I do know and filling Journals with earnest theory-based bullshit.

    Or making a very nice salary for doing the above.

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