Thanksgiving Is Ruined
January 26, 2006
The Great Reversal
The currently out-there issue of Philosophy Now celebrates Sartre's 100th birthday.
In the articles about him, the paragraph most directly relevant to current headlines (or the most philosophically "now") seemed to me to be one by Ian Birchall, in his essay that discusses JPS's moral/political view of the phrase "by any means necessary."
It is interesting to note that in recent years the debate has shifted. In the Cold War period it was the left who were repeatedly denounced, sometimes with justice, sometimes not, for believing that the end justifies the means.
The above is a reflection on the Sartrean view that Birchall provides in a précis as follows:
[I]f there is no pregiven end, then any end we arrive at will be the product of the means used to get there.
One supposes that the "moral clarity" crowd within this so-called "pro-war right" could try to dismiss Sartre by arguing that, in contrast to the non-"pregiven" end of his socialism, their cause entails a pregiven end: Freedom™.