Rawls as Archaeologist

by Harry on December 12, 2007

This link will work for a very short time, I presume, but it’s curious to note that Samuel Freeman’s book on Rawls is currently ranked #9 in Amazon’s bestsellers list for titles in Archaeology. Why?

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Felix Gilman - Official Website
12.13.07 at 7:14 pm
Crooked Timber » » Enid Blyton, Genuis
12.14.07 at 4:18 pm



Kieran Healy 12.12.07 at 8:15 pm

A Theory of Justice (1972). That shit is old, man.


Chris Bertram 12.12.07 at 8:40 pm

Perhaps for the same reasons as UK Amazon lists Enid Blyton as the author of Carl Hempel’s Aspects of Scientific Explanation:



Dan Kervick 12.12.07 at 8:45 pm

My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that there is an author named Samuel P. Freeman with this title listed on Amazon, and which appears to be in the field of Archaeology. Perhaps the authors have been cross-identified somehow, and their title consequently cross-listed in multiple fields.


harry b 12.12.07 at 8:46 pm

That’s brilliant. Priceless. You didn’t do it, did you?


Tim McG 12.12.07 at 8:53 pm

My guess, as a publishing professional, is that the Social Sciences > Archaelogy category was mis-selected at some point in Routledge’s records (which they upload to Amazon) for Social Sciences > Anthropology.


Greg 12.12.07 at 9:00 pm

Outpacing the others, Freeman’s book has risen to 8!


Matt 12.12.07 at 9:15 pm

Very often when amazon suggests a book for me based on my search history it comes up pictured not with the book cover but a pair of clogs. I don’t understand that, either, but it makes me nervious to order that book in fear that I might actually end up with a pair of clogs rather than the book.


John Kozak 12.12.07 at 9:17 pm

Try amazon.co.uk’s DVD listing for Stan Brakhage…


engels 12.12.07 at 9:28 pm

as UK Amazon lists Enid Blyton as the author of Carl Hempel’s Aspects of Scientific Explanation

Apparently she is also the author of Ernest Nagel’s The Structure of Science.


DB 12.12.07 at 9:34 pm

My recollection is that many libraries place books like Gordon Tullock or J Buchanan on rent-seeking behavior and such in the real estate section.


engels 12.12.07 at 9:43 pm

In fact, further research confirms what I should have always suspected, that Enid Blyton is the author of the Quixote.


Walt 12.12.07 at 10:08 pm

Engels has uncovered the elusive: proof of the existence of God, who apparently is a Borges fan.


Tim McG 12.12.07 at 10:52 pm

Re: Librarians– the librarian for classics here at the U of C occasionally would get into turf wars with the science library (in a different building) because Crerar (sciences) would order copies of things like books on Galen, and she couldn’t justify multiple copies in the system.

And why is it that no matter where a conversation about classification starts, it always ends up with Borges, by one route or another?


Sock Puppet of the Great Satan 12.12.07 at 11:00 pm

Maybe if you dig a big enough hole, it’s like being behind a Veil of Ignorance?

“Snakes! I hate snakes!”

‘Quick Indy, find the Veil of Rawls, and then we’ll have an objective method for assessing the justness of a society. But watch out for the spike pits of the Demon Nozick.’


thompsaj 12.13.07 at 1:20 am

how ’bout this one:
” His History became a best-seller, finally giving him the financial independence he had long sought. (Both the British Library and the Cambridge University Library still list him as “David Hume, the historian.”)”
from Stanford Encyclopedia


Thom Brooks 12.13.07 at 2:35 pm

Perhaps the reason is that Freeman performs beautifully at ‘digging up’ ideas…


Blake Emerson 12.13.07 at 4:48 pm

Maybe archaelogists are interested because Rawls’ political theory excavates normative artificats of political liberalism, cleanses them of dirt and grime accumulated over the centuries, and represents them in a hermetically sealed case of stale Kantian reason?

Just a thought.


Rich B. 12.13.07 at 4:52 pm

From behind the Veil of Ignorance, it is clear that this artifact belongs in a museum!


Martha Bridegam 12.14.07 at 7:05 pm

Or this could be by the other John Rawls, as in the other Cole Porter.

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