The Magazine

In Shallow Waters

A mismatched academic responds to Aristotle.

Sep 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 02 • By MARK BLITZ
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It would distinguish among various types and levels of science. It would not ignore everyday facts and understanding when evaluating evidence. And it would try to differentiate between those of science’s results it is foolish to ignore (and why) and those it is sensible to doubt and dispute. In this way, the author could prudently assess the meaning of science’s discoveries for ethical, political, and economic matters, without overstatement.

Such a book would be a tall order, but anything less distorts understanding. If its author wished, he could, of course, also examine searchingly the phenomena that science takes for granted, and to which it intends its discoveries to refer. But this philosophical effort would need to be conducted more broadly than Answers for Aristotle, and with less attention to current authorities.

Mark Blitz, the Fletcher Jones professor of political philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, is the author, most recently, of Plato’s Political Philosophy.