Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Real philosophy in the news

Keith Burgess-Jackson's piece in today's Wall Street Journal is quite refreshing. It is rare that one sees a competent piece of philosophical analysis in a daily newspaper. The article on torture actually gives no view on what torture is, but expresses the frustration that a lot of thinking people feel when confronted with questions like "is waterboarding torture". The answer, and he expresses it well, is a matter of one's definition of torture. Now, once we have that, we still want to know whether all torture is bad, and if it is always bad, and why. The question is also completely divorced from the legal question of whether this particular form of treatment is legal, and it is further divorced from the question of whether it ought to be legal.

It is nice to see that there is a market for real philosophical analysis out there, and that someone is taking the time to disseminate it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Israel's approach has always seemed sensible to me. Put torture on the books. Define what it is, when it can be done, for how long and to whom. It's more humane than denying that we do it and having no repercussions for those who are simply sadistic and evil.
uhm, on that note: Happy Hanukkah!