not a philosopher

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Hitch wasn't a philosopher, writes Salon's Joe Winkler amidst criticisms of modern atheism in general:

Lamentably, those we've dubbed the New Atheists, while intelligent, rarely speak in clear terms and arguments. As public intellectuals, or scientists writing outside of their professional field, they rarely partake of the clarity and jargon of classical philosophical arguments. Generally, we look down upon jargon as extraneous, and dense for the sake of denseness, but jargon also gives us specific, clear terms with which to converse.

Winkler criticizes Hitchens in particular:

Hitchens' informal style, the sort of brilliant uncle talking at a party, causes trouble because it appears that he skipped generations of important philosophers and certain intellectual traditions. How do you talk about religion and truth and knowledge without bringing in explicit questions of epistemology, of what we actually say about truth? All of these questions make some of Hitchens' argument feel amateurish, like late-night dorm room philosophizing, which can be brilliant, but rarely precise.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on July 14, 2013 3:51 PM.

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