Thursday, January 19, 2023

For the Record: Young Rawls at War

And in questions we don't normally ask here at Rectification Central, do we need a John Rawls biopic?

Gil, a finite mode, a philosophical tweep whose tweets are protected from piracy, thinks not. It may be true that Gary Oldman looks a lot like Rawls, and it may be equally true that Rawls is a signally important and lovable philosopher, with his idea of "justice as fairness", seeming to be deep, technically proficient, and heartwarming all at the same time, but Gil knows what philosophers do all day, and it is not the stuff of which movies are made.
"watching a world class actor pretend to think really hard and come up with the idea of pretending you don't know stuff, for justice. maybe he did that so much he was a bad husband. or idk maybe he was good to his wife. I'm so bored either way"

(Gil doesn't admire that zero-based budgeting style of Hobbes/Locke/Rousseau that commences by imagining a bunch of people who don't have a community and tries to imagine a rigorous philosophical method by which they could invent one, and I get that; in fact I've possibly thought about it more than he has—people are apes, my friends, homonini, meaning they had rich and complex social organizations long before they invented talking, so they had to do it without talking about it at all, let alone laying out a system of postulates and axioms, and deliberate social organization can only begin with a group that is already extremely organized.). 

Some might feel we would be better served by a Lou Rawls biopic (he's the king of them all, y'all), and I'm sympathetic to that point of view too. But thanks to Wikipedia I'm no longer so sure:

Wait no the Bronze Star was Papua New Guinea, but other than that.

You know what I"m saying? From Harvard to the Occupation to the War to the Occupation to Harvard, young Rawls experiences everything he needs--the unequal distribution of justice, the recognition of fairness, the universal need for democracy, the distinction and overlap between "decent" and "liberal" societies, and so on—which will be incorporated into The Law of Peoples (1999) and Justice as Fairness (posthumous).

This is a fantastic movie! I wish somebody would make it.

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