Against Gay Marriage

by Harry on August 25, 2006

Can anyone point me to a really good article, by someone philosophically sophisticated, which argues against gay marriage? I’d like to teach the topic in a class, and have some good pro-gay marriage resources, but am a bit stumped for anti-gay marriage stuff. I want something that does not rest on religious foundations, or at least doesn’t explicitly do so. If you have a sense of my sensibilities try to recommend something you think I’ll actually like. Oh, and I do have a good paper by my colleague Claudia Card which opposes gay marriage from an anti-marriage perspective, so that side of things is covered.

No kidding. Says so in Achieving Our Country [amazon].

As a teen-ager, I believed every anti-Stalinist word that Sidney Hook and Lionel Trilling published in Partisan Review – partly, perhaps, because I had been bounced on their knees as a baby. My mother used to tell me, with great pride, that when I was seven I had had the honor of serving little sandwiches to the guests at a Halloween party attended both by John Dewey and by Carlo Tresca, the Italian anarachist leader who was assassinated a few years later. That same party, I have since discovered, was attended not only by the Hooks and the Trillings, but by Whittaker Chambers. Chambers had just broken with the Communist Party and was desperately afraid of being liquidated by Stalin’s hit men. Another guest was Suzanne La Follette, to whom Dewey had entrusted the files of the Commission of Inquiry into the Moscow Trials. These files disappeared when her apartment was burgled, presumably by Soviet agents. (p. 61)

So I guess I no longer find it strange, relatively speaking, that Hegel and Schelling and Hölderlin were roommates. (I’ve really got to read The Sociology of Philosophies, which people have been insistently recommending to me [amazon].)

Aus krummem Holze

by Ingrid Robeyns on August 25, 2006

If a book is translated in your mother tongue, but the original was in a language that you understand, would you read the book in translation or in the original language? I (almost) always choose the original, despite that this generally requires greater effort. The reason is simple: many translated works are not able to capture the exact meanings of the original text (especially in the case of non-fiction), or do not breathe the same atmosphere (especially in the case of fiction). Even for single quotes, the original is often better phrased than the translated. But there are exceptions. Take the quote at the top of your screen: as far as I know, it is “Isaiah Berlin’s translation”: of Immanuel Kant’s original. I’ve always wondered how the original sounds, and since I couldn’t figure out myself, I asked “Pauline Kleingeld”:, a Kant Scholar. Here it is:

Aus so krummem Holze, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist, kann nichts ganz Gerades gezimmert werden (Akademische Ausgabe, Band 8, page 23).

For once, the translation beats the original.