Sunday, July 1, 2012

Perhaps there SHOULD be a litmus test for Supreme Court Justices

In addition to ascertaining a SCOTUS's nominee opinion on stare decisis, super-stare decisis, super-duper-whip-cream-with-cherry-on-top stare decisis, perhaps the Senate confirmation committee can also query the nominee's favorite philosopher. If it's Emerson, William James, or Nixon, the committee might wish to give a collective thumbs down.

I'm re-reading Ayn Rand's Philosophy: Who Needs It, who seems to harbor a similar if not quite identical complaint of Jonah Goldberg from his recent book, The Tyranny of Cliches, How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. Rand complains that some sheeple mindlessly regurgitate glib phrases they've imbibed without properly assessing the underlying philosophies & rationales of said phrases. She quickly dismisses a slew of philosophers in short order:

They might say:"Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." They got it from a very little mind, Emerson. They might say: "But can't one compromise and borrow different ideas from different philosophies according to the expediency of the moment?" They got it from Richard Nixon -- who got it from William James.

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