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Eric Steinhart

Yeah, that's a good post. It makes me think history is dead. Perhaps it should be.

Cora Diamond

Just asking...does Augustine count as a European?

Eric Schliesser

I suspect he counts as Roman the way Philo counts as Roman or Hellenic.:)

Graham White

Does Augustine count as European? Well, that's probably an anachronistic question to ask. He was Mediterranean, and before the rise of Europe, many people located themselves, culturally, as Mediterranean. And that continued up to the seventeenth century, say. Braudel's work (La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II, etc.) was formative on this, but there's an awful lot of more recent scholarship. And, of course, the Romans, and the Greeks, and the Carthaginians, all thought of themselves as Mediterranean. Roads were really bad then, of course, which changes one's attitude to what the natural groupings are.

Graham White

(this comment is not a continuation of my previous comment). I am interested by the way in which critique and metacritique interact here. One of the significant things in which this current round of critique (which, by the way, I wholeheartedly support) differs from much earlier scholarship is that, previously, philosophers of the past could be excused from, for example, particular attitudes to women, slaves, etc., on the grounds that those were different times. Now this seems much less tenable, at least partly because those attitudes back then seem, now, to be much less excusable. And this questioning needs, surely, to be taken up into metatheory: we have to start asking ourselves "how do we select a balanced set of teaching materials" and answering it in a theoretically grounded way. I suspect, though, that it may take some while before things come to rest again. I suspect, as well, that it will be an awful lot of work.

Eric Schliesser

Hi Graham,
I have written a bit, meta-theoretically, on the very idea of excusing by way "different times, different attitudes.' Maybe you find it useful:

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


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