Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2022.06.04 View this Review Online  

Babette Babich (ed.), Reading David Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste,” De Gruyter, 2019, 333pp., $25.99 (pbk), ISBN 9783110585643.

Reviewed by Stephanie Ross, University of Missouri–St. Louis  This book edited by Babette Babich is a welcome addition to scholarship focusing on Hume’s famous piece on aesthetics. Babich has assembled 12 papers as well as a copy of Hume’s 1757 essay that the papers address. The selections are grouped in three clusters titled “Of Taste and Standards,” “Causal Theory and the Problem, Dispositional Critique and the Classic,” and “Comparisons, Art, Anatomies,” but the collection might just as easily have been partitioned differently. For example, one alternative organization might first present papers that seek to explicate Hume’s theory and trace its relations to his classic earlier writings, then present…

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Once upon a time . . .

Noam Chomsky

” Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science.WikipediaBorn:Avram Noam Chomsky, December 7, 1928, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USInstitutions:University of Arizona (2017–present), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1955–present), Institute for Advanced Study (1958–1959)Education:University of Pennsylvania, (BA, 1949, MA, 1951, PhD, 1955)

Speaker’s Corner_____

Bob Lane Speaks On Noam Chomsky.

On Friday afternoon (long ago) Professor Noam Chomsky came to Nanaimo and talked to and with an overflow crowd about the United States and its relationship to the third world. The talk was inspiring in several ways:

first it provided a thorough review of the events from the Korean conflict to the Vietnam War, and all the way up to the Iran-Contra hearings of last year. The theme developed by Chomsky in the lecture was that the corporate elite and top political planners of the U.S. have been following a well-crafted plan for world domination since the end of WWII. He gave evidence that the imperial aspirations of the U.S. have been obvious in action and in strategic planning since the 18th century.

Gary Bauslaugh, in his introduction of Professor Chomsky, reminded the audience of the many distinctions and honours received over his distinguished career as a linguist and more recently as a social critic of U.S. policy in the global village. The many students in the audience were told of Chomsky’s well earned reputation as an intellectual who has used his talents to fight against suffering and pain in the world. It is as if Professor Chomsky has had the energy and intellect to serve with distinction in two complete careers: his work in linguistics has changed that discipline completely and his criticisms of U.S. policy are certainly a part of what has allowed the public to maintain a growing opposition to U.S. policy in the third world.

Evidence of that growing opposition could be seen in the Iran-Contra hearings which showed that the U.S. was involved in “clandestine terror,” an approach which Chomsky argued would not have been necessary if the public did indeed support the policies of the government.

Briefly, the description of U.S. post war policy presented by Chomsky is this: U.S. economic interests require a hinterland to provide resources and a market for products.

In order to have such a hinterland the planners had to see to it that “the virus of nationalism” did not spread through third world countries such thilt those countries would remove themselves from the sphere of influence of the U.S. To stop this illness, the U.S. has quite consciously set out to upset governments and to oppose self-directed government in many sections of the world. It has given arms to country after country in order to bring about the desired elimination of civilian governments that may indeed be interested more in their peoples problems than in being a part of the U.S. hinterland.

In the question period, Chomsky said that there is evidence that the public are still very active in opposing the excesses of the U.S. The peace movement of the sixties which stopped the war in Vietnam has not died out but has spread out to include efforts in environmental and other areas. One is left with the idea that although there is much to do, at least doing something counts. – Bob Lane