How Robert Nozick put a purple prose bomb under analytical philosophy

Nozick opened a new line of attack. Philosophers, he posited, would be better off if they stopped trying to prove things like scientists, an impulse he believed led thinkers to overlook how philosophy might stimulate the ‘mind’s excitement and sensuality’. Rather, they ought to limit themselves to explaining how a system of thought is possible. This would allow a ‘basketful’ of approaches to exist within philosophy, transforming it into an art form

.. ‘Those philosophers who are willing to derive moral directives from their philosophies can only offer you a sham proof.’ Proof, in this rigorous, new philosophy, was everything.

.. Nozick largely won praise from his colleagues. He had appeared, as one reviewer wrote, like a ‘knight in shining armour’, rescuing his peers from doing obscurantist philosophy. Thanks to his willingness to quit arguing and start explaining.

.. ‘The libertarian position I once propounded now seems to me seriously inadequate,’ he announced in The Examined Life. From here on out, he would apply his libertarianism inwardly, focusing on the cultivation of his self rather than the destruction of the state.

.. After all, this was the man who had declared that attempting to convince others of your views – the modus operandi of politics – was a ‘philosophically pointless task’.

Will Trump Help Make The Daily Show Great Again?

Trevor Noah may find his breakout moment during a presidency that promises to dismantle many of the established systems of American democracy.

.. Trevor Noah tends to be at his best—as a comedian, and as a political observer—when he can apply his perspective as a non-American to the assorted antics of the American political system. Noah’s extended riff on candidate Donald Trump’s resemblance to an African dictator might have been the most culturally enduring observation he made during his first year at the helm of The Daily Show;

.. He hasn’t been righteously angry, in the manner of Samantha Bee, or indignantly wonky, in the manner of John Oliver, or impishly cheeky, in the manner of Stephen Colbert and Jimmys Fallon and Kimmel.

.. Noah’s comment, here, was designed not necessarily to provoke guffaws or even outrage, but rather to provoke … thought. Critical assessment. It was wonkery in the guise of comedy.

.. And on the other, there’s the fact that Noah seems to be, much like Obama himself, constitutionally calm: His perspective is more observational

.. late-night audiences, the argument further goes, haven’t been looking to comedians to explain the world so much as they’ve been looking to them to channel its many outrages. They’ve been seeking catharsis, not analysis.

 .. Trump’s victory has been called, by Trump himself, “Brexit plus plus plus.”
.. Trevor Noah—the man who locates himself both outside the American system and within it—may be poised, as is traditional, to help his viewers rage at the world, and to help them laugh at it. Just importantly, though, he may also be poised to help them re-imagine it.