Category Archives: Ethics

Bodies and categories

If an individual elects to be part of a political body, then that individual shares responsibility for those who act on behalf of that body. It is fair to hold people responsible for what their political bodies do. But if you classify a … Continue reading

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Jewish red thread

A part of my autobiography that I had to compress into two lines was my experience with Jewish thinkers. Judaism only became a serious interest for me following my very strange experience of intensive study of Nietzsche starting in 2002 and extending to … Continue reading

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Overcoming ressentiment

I’ve been thinking a lot about ressentiment lately. It saturates the news, art, conversations, nearly everything. Or so my eyes tell me. * What is ressentiment? It is not as some (including me) an exact synonym of resentment, but a distinct flavor of resentment. I … Continue reading

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Channeling La Rochefoucauld

Being offended offends less than giving offense. This can be seen as a kind desire to not cause others pain, or it can be seen as a narcissistic desire to be viewed as blameless. * Long version: A morally undeveloped boor who … Continue reading

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Yet another attempt at Levinas

Whenever I try to read Levinas I have two reactions: first, an immediate relief in reading someone who shares my understanding; but second, a lingering anxiety that pervades and darkens every moment and detail of my life. I have had … Continue reading

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Life is unfair

This scale is an attempt to diagram a framework I posted to Facebook. Lately, I’ve been hearing more and more people declaring that “Life is unfair.” I actually grew up hearing that. I’m starting to believe this statement is the essence … Continue reading

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Going first

Being morally responsible means going first. Trying first. Opening first. Listening first. Repenting first. Giving first. Disarming first. Showing goodwill first. Seeking forgiveness first. Acting first. We can speculate on how others will respond — whether they will or won’t reciprocate, cooperate, collaborate, exploit or humiliate … Continue reading

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