Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
15 February 2013
“If we manage to lead a good life, we make our lives tiny diamonds in the cosmic sands”.
Ronald Dworkin (1931-2013), liberal philosopher of law, born Worcester, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard and Oxford (Magdalen College), who died yesterday.
Dworkin’s epigram elegantly epitomises a key aspect of the “Philosophical Background” of our Mission Statement, which can be accessed under our logo at the top of this page.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.
It’s probably just me, but I find the notion of people devoting their lives to becoming fragments of “good” diamond lost in a universe of “bad” (?) sand profoundly depressing. I assume that is not the effect that Ronald Dworkin intended?
We have just lost our initial reply to this comment. It has just vaporised into cyberspace. The sooner we go back to typewriters or even quill pens the better. And we’re not joking.
Here we go again then. We can’t speak for Dworkin – and he can’t any longer speak for himself. He died yesterday.
We can only, therefore, surmise. Dworkin says: “If we manage to lead a good life, we make our lives tiny diamonds in the cosmic sands”.
The emphasis, it seems to us, is on “manage”. It suggests that this is a difficult thing to do. If it is in fact difficult to do, then it is likely that few people will succeed in doing it. However, that may not be their fault. There are multiple reasons for failure apart from badness. Hence, can it be justifiable, in the absence of other evidence, to refer to such failures as bad?
Moreover, since we are about it, how come that you, Mr Bradney, have the time to occupy yourself with such matters as cosmic diamonds? Our investigations reveal that you appear to be a notorious journalist in what was once hitherto thought to be ultima thule, but which in fact at present is the centre of the universe so far as the global trade in horsemeat is concerned. How is it, we beg to ask, that you have found the time to preoccupy yourself with the sort of alembicated metaphysical conundrums that are posed by this blog? Surely, you should be scouring the Welsh countryside, night and day, on the scent of the stench of rotting horsemeat?
Just a thought. With best wishes. Antigone1984.
calm down dear, I am retired, as should you be!