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Thank you for a deep reflection on a very interesting article. My comment focuses on v and vii.

I'm sure quite a lot of people go into professional philosophy because they realize they have something to contribute to constructive work and policy work. But I'd wager this is the minority. More generally, people are (or were) simply drawn to the challenge of dealing with interesting problems. Such challenges become all the more acute, when the idea in question is something they'd rather not accept as true, and when the mooted argument has the clarity and plausibility of, say, Singer. "Something must have gone wrong, what is it?"

What is the alternative to not taking up the challenge? Does it not reduce philosophy to mere rhetoric* in support of pre-theoretic views (of some) - or perhaps, to nibbling around the edges?** There simply must be hard problems, if philosophy is to be worthwhile at all. And to be a hard problem is to countenance at least the possibility that "intuitively" false (even abhorrent) views may be true - and further, may be plausible. If the self-indulgent is merely discussion of what we already know, pre-theoretically, to be false, then it is a waste of time. What, then, do we need philosophy for? We have the answers already.

*How else should we characterize hiding the truth (or outright lying) to get the desired social consequences? To worry about the consequences is of course appropriate. But are we to take these as definitive?

**Shall we leave such challenges to junior faculty at non-R1 institutions (lest they be read by those who might be influenced in the wrong direction)? Such writing is (happily?) ignored, and thus safe.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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