Greg Gauthier

A Philosophical Journal

Why Do You Have a Right to Self Defense?

I doubt there’s anyone in the anglo-sphere this week, who isn’t aware of the case of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Probably, a good chunk of Europe was paying attention to that trial, as well. Why? Because of the fundamental question that the trial symbolized, at its core. The principle at the center of that case was the right of self-defense. As a matter of law, that meant demonstrating in the trial that the material facts of the event conformed to Wisconsin’s own statutory definition of an action that constitutes self-defense.

The Linux Alternative

Since 2005, I’ve been working almost exclusively on Apple products. My first was an iBook G4. My last is the Macbook Pro 2015 on which I am typing this post. This coming February, I’ll be taking delivery of my first new computer since 2015, and it will not be a Mac. I chose the Dell XPS 8940 for its excellent balance of price and performance. But the real reason, is because I know it will work with several of the more modern distributions of Linux, and it is engineered in a way that I can still do with it as I wish.

The Flag of Greg

I never used to think much of manifestos. Marx made them notorious, and subsequent generations of university students have rendered them more and more purile and self-serving, in my mind. But I’m beginning to change my mind on the topic. I think there is utility in commiting to a cause or a set of values that give shape an direction to one’s life. I just think that one ought to refrain from doing so, until one is fully prepared to explain oneself.

Peterson, Murphy, and Marxist Alienation

Recently, Jordan Peterson did an extended interview with Bob Murphy. Peterson begins the interview by pitching it as a “two hour lesson in Austrian Economics”, but mainly, it was an overview comparison of the principles of Austrian economics against Marxism. It was difficult to dispute much of it. I’m already a proponent of free market capitalism, and I’m also fairly partial to Friedrich Hayek’s work (at least, as it is represented in The Constitution of Liberty, and Law, Legislation, and Liberty).

Living Dangerously

"…Christians must dare to challenge this fearful, risk-averse society, with its stifling multiplication of ‘health and safety’ regulations and its fear of life. In the sixteenth century, missionaries from Catholic orders - Dominican, Franciscan, Jesuit, Carmelite, and many others - travelled in great numbers to Asia to preach the gospel. Half of them never arrived. They died of shipwreck and disease; they were captured by pirates, suffered martyrdom, and yet they dared to continue without any health or travel insurance.

The World In 1967

I was born in a tiny southwestern suburb of Chicago, in August of 1967. Lots of people were. There’s really nothing particularly special about that. There are loads of garbage celebrities and politicians born in 1967. Jimmy Kimmel (13 November), Joe Rogan (7 August), and Peter Thiel (11 October), for example. So, if you’re looking for someone interesting and exciting, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m just an average schmuck from the Chicagoland area, with nearly the same birthdate as Joe Rogan.

Religion and Rational Belief

This paper is an analysis of the following argument that denies the possibility of rationality in religious faith: Rational belief is belief that is proportioned to the evidence. Religious faith is belief that is unsupported by the evidence. C) Therefore, religious faith is never rational. To assess this argument properly, a number of key assumptions need to be examined and critiqued. First, premise 1 implies without explanation a nature of belief that allows for proportionality.

A Visit From Wormwood

I had an odd little dream last night. I was walking along a road at dusk. In an ex-urban area. Not wilderness, but not suburbs either. Along the shoulders of the road, cranes or storks were standing knee-deep in what looked like long rectangle rice patches. The storks were all trying desperately to swallow elongated fish that protruded out of their beaks, and clearly did not fit into their bellies.

Two Routes to the Same Good

Plato and Aristotle were very different thinkers. They came at the same fundamental philosophical problems from radically different directions. Rafael nicely characterized this in his famous “School of Athens” painting – Plato, ever the tutor, sternly pointing to the sky; Aristotle, the indignant pupil, gesturing reflexively toward the earth. But this image is somewhat deceiving. To anyone unfamiliar with the territory, you might walk away from the work thinking that Plato and Aristotle differed fundamentally, rather than merely instrumentally.

The Garden of Liberty

This is a fantastic video. Highly recommend, especially today. Just a few caveats: He over-emphasizes Milton, and under-emphasizes the influence of Locke and Rousseau. Milton actually precedes Locke by about 25 years, and Rousseau by about 100 years. Milton was a proto-Enlightenment figure, who’s literary work seeded the ground for Enlightenment political philosophy (much the same way that Dostoevsky seeded the ground for Nietzsche and Marx after him).