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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


My thesis was originally intended to look into the ethical basis (or not) of anarchism according to neo-Aristolean ethics, but now seems to be a 10,000 word mini-treatise on the definition of a State, searching for the essential characteristics of a State, followed by a discussion on perfectionism, and then the application of perfectionism (some variant of, mind you) on the definition. That should use up if not all of 45,000 words or so, then most of it. Also have a fair introduction, stating the relevance of such a project (that should be kind of fun).

Lately, I've been reading perfectionist philosophy in the mornings, which is some of the quietest time I have. While the rest of the household is snuggled up, sucking thumb or toes, or downright snoring, I'm outside with the dogs and a copy of Thomas Hurka's originally entitled Perfectionism or some other such tract (Wilhelm von Humboldt's On the Limits of State Action). Occasionally, if bored, I spice things up with Ishi Press's Endgame.

The plan for the thesis is to do one section each on Aristotle, Green, Nietzsche and von Humboldt (just because he's A: minor, B: slightly obscure, C: interestingly different), with a nod to a few others (Marx, Hurka, and so on). I've pretty much decided to take a non-consequentialist approach (i.e. non-teleological) to perfectionism. Intentions to perfection seem more realistic than achievement of perfection; I may strive to perfect my go for the next 30 years, but that doesn't mean I'll end up as a professional with a new joseki after my name. That I don't achieve that sort of perfection is okay as long as I strive to do so.

The trick to the thesis now involves some typing.



  • you mean Freiherr Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt? That Humboldt ? :)

    Wow. I just read that he was Mills' source for On Liberty, and Chomsky's intellectual predecessor in linguistics. Cool CV.

    By Anonymous dale, At 2:40 pm  

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