The Logic of Justice Roberts

Roderick M. Chisholm (1916-1999) taught philosophy at Brown University for many years.  His methods turn out to be relevant to the recent Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare, clearing the air and leading to a productive response.  Chisholm's work dispels the popular notion that obscurity comes with the territory in philosophy.  If his books and articles are difficult, which they can be, it's not because one can't tell what's going on or why it matters.  Chisholm would spell everything out in great detail, which required patience and discipline to work through. In class he was the same.  He would write an argument on the blackboard in chalk, drawing each letter slowly and carefully and then stand aside to wait for comments, eraser at the ready.  His logic was impeccable so the only thing left if you didn't accept his conclusion was to question one or more premises.  One day a student evidently unaware of this rule raised his...(Read Full Article)

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