Friday, April 19, 2013

Justice Kennedy's Rousseau-ism

You all recall Kennedy's flapdaddle in the Lawrence opinion, right?

" define one's own concept of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life...."

Umnnhh, yah, sure.

That's straight out of Rousseau.

...Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) turned Aristotle’s notion of Nature on its head. Aristotle said Nature defined not only what man is but what he should be. Rousseau countered that Nature is not an end—a telos—but a beginning: Man’s end is his beginning. He has no immutable nature. “We do not know what our nature permits us to be”, wrote Rousseau in his Emile. A 20th century version of this view was offered by John Dewey, who said: “human nature is not to have a nature”. There is nothing man “ought” to become, no moral imperative. There is no purpose in man or nature; existence is therefore bereft of any rational principle. This means there is no entelechy, no such thing as ‘having one’s end within,’ as Aristotle put it. In fact, reason itself is not natural to man, according to Rousseau – whereas Aristotle said it is man’s very essence. For Rousseau, the roots of reason are in the irrational. Reason is the servant of the passions, not of the truth....

It is also a path to anarchy.

It should come as no surprise that Dewey was a Rousseauian critter, too; one look at his public schooling of today will confirm that.

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