Wednesday, October 27, 2004

SOCIALISM IS DEAD; LONG LIVE LOCKE! That isn't me speaking, but Martin Kettle in, of all places, the Guardian. I'm not sure about the death of socialism (given the reported death, a few decades ago, of capitalism), but Kettle's homage to one of the great British liberal thinkers (who was also, as Kettle doesn't note, a sort of important philosopher of knowledge, too) is worth a look.

OBNOXIOUS SELF-PROMOTIONAL POST OF THE MONTH: Vain creature that I am, I'm ridiculously pleased to announce the online publication in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (an excellent scholarly project, despite my association with them) of an article on Isaiah Berlin that I wrote with Henry Hardy. Check it out here.
(The article will continue to be revised and updated -- one of the neat things about the SEP -- so if anyone has any comments, criticisms, questions, or corrections, do let me know. Also, hopefully a note will shortly be added to the article expressing our indebtedness to George Crowder for his reading of the text and helpful suggestions for improvement; but in the meantime I'll take the opportunity to acknowledge that debt here -- and also urge readers to go out and read George's new book on Berlin, which has a good claim to being the best single study of Berlin's thought written to date.)

MORE MORGENBESSER: Via Norm Geras, news of a memorial service for the irrepressible, irreplaceable Sidney Morgenbesser.

JOHN PEEL: Probably the greatest rock n' roll (and much, much else) DJ of all time has died, at the relatively young age of 65. There's copious news and tributes to John Peel at the BBC website and the Guardian; in the blogosphere, much grief has been expressed at Crooked Timber, and no doubt elsewhere.
As it happens, over the last couple of days I've been listening through all the music copied onto my computer while trying to work; as I think of it now, it's staggering how many of the songs are by bands who were discovered or championed by Peel. As far as influences on my life -- not its direction, but its texture -- he must rate fairly high, something that hadn't occurred to me until now.

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