1 thought on “Philosophy and Current Events: The Epistemology of Drone Strikes

  1. I’m so very glad to see a philosopher commenting publicly on epistemic (and ethical) dimensions of a current reality. I’m afraid that there are a very large number of contemporary events that have resulted from actions initiated on the basis of BELIEFS that fall far short of the traditional notion of knowledge, let alone certainty, and many of these actions could not by any reasonable standard be considered ethical.
    It is sad, however, that so few philosophers have been willing to engage with these issues, and I would like to see an additional discussion coalesce around the question as to why this has been the case. Professor Brice draws attention to Wittgenstein’s point that “Someone whose errors are so abnormal that they threaten the very core of our commonsense judgments is not mistaken, but suffering from a kind of ‘mental disturbance’ (1972, §71).” It seems that daring to raise questions about the direction in which this government has been moving, and the justifications that have been given for it over the past decade and a half, has been taken as sufficiently threatening to a “core” of collectively held beliefs as to produce a kind of social ostracism (or the fear of it) regarding those who question as if they suffer from some kind of “mental disturbance.” I hope we’re starting to get over this tendency now.

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