Peter Critchley

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This is truly brilliant, Aubrey. I'd strongly encourage people to spend just the ten minutes or so to listen and learn from this
Mike Hutchinson C&C Movie
. And be inspired by it. It points to the sacrifices people have made, and the reason why.
I'd strongly encourage people to listen to these words and follow the other links above. This is a really important thread.

There are important words here on how to convert the climate lottery back into “the stable, solid, timeless structure,” which is the language of music. “It is innately structured, it is innately proportioned, it is an interesting point that in the politics of this, Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is not fair, it is just. In music, correct tuning is called just tuning , because it is just right. It is not fair, it is just right: it's not too high, it's not too low, it's not too fast, it's not too slow. You have to work hard as a musician to achieve that."

It is just right. Right. Just. Tempered. It avoids vague language about fairness. What is fair?
That's a question designed to stump all those demanding justice. (As Marx knew, and hence avoided the language of fairness, but I digress slightly). It's all about eliminating error from the climate debate to achieve something that is equitable, viable, and deliverable.

You learn the violin, it doesn't learn you. There's a great question to be addressed here concerning imposure and disclosure.
Imposure is the modern idea that truth, goodness, and meaning are human projections upon an objectively valueless universe.
That seems liberatory, appealing to the notion of human beings as authors of their own futures, 'men as gods.'

But it is a delusion, leading to humans as masters of nowhere. Disclosure is ancient, more in keeping with Leibniz's notion of a preordained harmony. The world is objectively valuable and good, purposeful. And it is participatory, we are co-creators in the sense of acting within an endlessly creative universe. That's the notion I go with. (Although I try to put imposure and disclosure together, as in ancient Chinese thought (I need to add this to my ancient Greek sources). But the notion of a "stable, solid, timeless structure" takes us right back to the notion of an objectively valuable world, as against the modern disenchantment which stripped the universe of inherent worth.

The musical model over against the prevailing eco-suicidal economic model.

I can remember Nicholas Stern (A Blueprint for a Safer Planet 2006) saying that the ‘two great challenges of the twenty-first century’ are fighting poverty and combating climate change. Since the environmental crisis is global in its origins and its impacts, it requires a global deal concluded at the supra-national level. Stern sets out the terms of this deal. ‘That global deal must be effective, in that it cuts back emissions on the scale required; it must be efficient, in keeping costs down; and it must be equitable in relation to abilities and responsibilities, taking into account both the origins and impact of climate change’ (Stern 2010).

A Blueprint, a Plan, a man with a plan – we need a plan, and we need a mobilisation of men and women behind it.
Act, yes, but know what you are doing and where you are going and why.

There is a lot of information exchanged on FB. A lot of it is restating the problems we already know about (other than noting they are getting worse). I tend not to do much of that. There's a danger of endlessly writing our own obituaries on this – analyze the problem, identify the solution, seek agreement, establish the conditions of concerted action within a comprehensive framework, build a democratic will and legitimacy through the participation of a public which respects citizen agency, and we may get to where we ought to be.

(On that last point, I'd say this, in the prevailing economic model, citizen agency is totally undercut and overridden by the imposition of accumulative imperatives, with government reduced to having to facilitate that expansionary, and ecosuicidal, process. In challenging that, we can recover the notion of an active, informed citizenship, breathing new life into the old principal of self-assumed obligation, only with this crucial rider – this is not a self-legislating power, seeing the world as a human creation – imposure or the projection of truth and goodness on an objectively valueless world – it is co-agency in the ceaselessly creative, musical, world – disclosure. The great partnership – men and women with a plan.

(I really am going to have to try and finish my Dante this year, and build these arguments solidly into it.)

Plato, from a long time ago. But, of course, with respect to timeless structures, the date on the newspaper is irrelevant. Plato set out the terms of the solution long ago, linking the parts together to form a 'well-tempered harmony'. The word is 'just,' not 'fair.' It's important to understand this:

"The just man does not allow the several elements in his soul to usurp one another's functions; he is indeed one who sets his house in order, by self-mastery and discipline coming to be at peace with himself, and bringing into tune those three parts, like the terms in the proportion of a musical scale, the highest and lowest notes and the mean between them, with all the intermediate intervals. Only when he has linked these parts together in well-tempered harmony and has made himself one man instead of many, will he be ready to go about whatever he may have to do, whether it be making money and satisfying bodily wants, or business transactions, or the affairs of state. In all these fields when he speaks of just and honorable conduct, he will mean the behavior that helps to produce and preserve this habit of mind; and by wisdom he will mean the knowledge which presides over such conduct. Any action which tends to break down this habit will be for him unjust; and the notions governing it he will call ignorance and folly." (Plato, Republic 444d, Cornford , 141-2).

"Philosophy, I said, tempered with music, who comes and takes up her abode in a man, and is the only saviour of his virtue throughout life."
(Plato, The Republic).

Peter Critchley

Peter is an intellectual range rider, with a record of achievement in several subject areas. His research activity demonstrates an ambitious interdisciplinary approach, embracing a diversity of materials drawn from philosophy, history, political economy, urban studies and social and political ecology to develop notions of social, cognitive and ecological praxis. At the heart of Peter's work is a philosophical conception of ‘rational freedom’. This idea of 'rational freedom' holds that freedom is a condition of the appropriate arrangement of the cognitive, affective, interpersonal and intrapersonal dimensions of human life, incorporating essential human attributes from instinct to reason. The philosophers that Peter is most interested in within this rational tradition are Plato and Aristotle, Plotinus, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Hegel and Marx.

Defining politics in the ancient sense of creative self-realisation, Peter seeks to realise the emancipatory themes contained in the 'Greco-Germanic’ tradition of 'rational freedom'. Originating in the critical appropriation of Plato and Aristotle on the modern terrain by Rousseau, Kant, Fichte and Hegel, the concept of ‘rational freedom’ is developed to affirm a socio-relational and ethical conception of freedom in which individual liberty depends upon and is constituted by the quality of relations with other individuals. Peter therefore stresses the intertwining of ethics and politics within a conception of the good life. Reason is developed in terms of its ethical component alongside its technical component.

Peter is now applying these themes to current environmental problems, developing the idea of the Ecopolis in terms of a moral ecology.

Here is a comment from Peter . . .