The Right Coast

December 28, 2004
By Mike Rappaport

Richard Posner is guest blogging over at Brian Leiter's blog. Take a look. His response to comments from yesterday is pretty impressive. Here is my favorite bit:

I really do take the view--this is closely related to point 2 above--that the sort of political discussion in which political philosophers, law professors, and other intellectuals engage is neither educative nor edifying; I also think it is largely inconsequential, and I am grateful for that fact. I think that what moves people in deciding between candidates and platforms and so on certainly includes facts (such as the collapse of communism--a tremendous fact), as well as a variety of "nonrational" factors, such as whom you like to hang out with--I think that's extremely important in the choice of a political party to affiliate with. When a brilliant philosopher like Rawls gets down to the policy level and talks about abortion and campaign financing and the like, you recognize a perfectly conventional liberal and you begin to wonder whether his philosophy isn't just elaborate window dressing for standard left liberalism.
While I don't agree with all of this, I certainly share his view about what Rawls seems like when "Rawls gets down to the policy level."