The Semantics and Pragmatics of “Black Lives Matter”

A few weeks ago, we had our weekly tabling and monthly rally in Georgetown, TX, to remove their Confederate monument. It was a special day, because in Charlottesville, VA, they removed the monuments to Lee and Jackson that had been the focal point of the Unite the Right rally in 2017 — the rally-turned-riot thatContinue reading “The Semantics and Pragmatics of “Black Lives Matter””

Were Confederate Soldiers Courageous?

That depends on what we mean by ‘courage. If by ‘courage’ or ‘bravery’, you’re trying to refer to a virtue, then they were not. If, by those words, you’re trying to refer to a willingness to face danger and overcome fear, then, sure, but in that case, courage isn’t praiseworthy. Plato and Aristotle wrote aboutContinue reading “Were Confederate Soldiers Courageous?”

Confederate Relativism

Defenders of Confederate monuments and the Confederacy itself regularly say that “we can’t judge people of the past by the standards of today”. They thus take for granted that standards can change over time — that what’s moral at one time might be immoral at another. This view is known as ‘moral relativism’. You canContinue reading “Confederate Relativism”

iF yOu fOrGeT yOuR hIsToRy, yOu’Ll rEpEaT iT

No matter how predictable these people get, they somehow never stop shocking me. If you had asked me whether a Trumpian mob would, at their first opportunity, plunder our nation’s Capitol, I’d have said, “Sure, that seems in-character”. And still, I’m shocked into disorientation by today’s events. Today (January 6) is the birthday of CharlesContinue reading “iF yOu fOrGeT yOuR hIsToRy, yOu’Ll rEpEaT iT”