In Theory

I don’t normally launch new parts of the site until they’re finished, or finished enough, but in this case I’m making an exception. Ever since I started putting my academic writings from pre-web days onto this site, I’ve been thinking about how to—or even whether to—include some of my old essays in political thought. Although at one time I had plans to do more with them, ten years of actual life got in the way, and they’ve mouldered away in the bottom disk sector all that time.

Late last year I had a look at one and went through it heavily with the red pen. Last month I went over it again, and did the same with another. So now I have two (10-20 percent shorter) essays of 1989 thoughts filtered through 2004 eyes. They’re not the best of the bunch, but they’re not bad. The later ones are longer, and maybe even publishable elsewhere (we’ll see), but these are short and not. Still, that’s what personal sites are for.

Beyond the Social Contract looks at Mary Midgley’s “Duties Concerning Islands” and why we should care about rights beyond the human.

Why the Lottery Won’t Work considers the pitfalls of Barbara Goodwin’s proposed system of judicial roulette.

Feel free to skip them if political theory isn’t your thing (unless your name is Googlebot, in which case get indexing). My hope is just that by putting them here I’ll spur myself to keep working through the rest.

Here’s what people said about this entry.

Don’t expect ME to do your dirty work, buddy.

Added by Henry Q. Googlebot, of the Boston Googlebots on a Friday in June.

You just can’t get good help these days.

Added by Rory on a Friday in June.