Leif Wenar’s Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World is an important book. It is extraordinarily well written, advancing a fascinating moral and political theory, and using it to offer clear guidance about how to change the world for the better. That guidance is sorely needed. In this commentary, rather than reflecting on the arguments laid out in Blood Oil, I want to focus on what I take to be its deeper aim. My interpretive hypothesis is that Blood Oil offers us a different model of political philosophy itself, in the sense that it should be developed for the public, and its aim should be to contribute to moral progress by affecting politics in the real world. Thus, a political philosopher’s most important addressees are fellow citizens; and the main task of political philosophy is not simply to search for truth but rather to attempt to contribute to the practical advancement of the moral ideals that constitute the core of one’s philosophical vision. If such an interpretive hypothesis is correct, one of the main questions raised by Blood Oil concerns the standing of what I shall call engaged intellectual work.

On Blood, Oil and Engaged Political Philosophy

PIETRO MAFFETTONE
2017

Abstract

Leif Wenar’s Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World is an important book. It is extraordinarily well written, advancing a fascinating moral and political theory, and using it to offer clear guidance about how to change the world for the better. That guidance is sorely needed. In this commentary, rather than reflecting on the arguments laid out in Blood Oil, I want to focus on what I take to be its deeper aim. My interpretive hypothesis is that Blood Oil offers us a different model of political philosophy itself, in the sense that it should be developed for the public, and its aim should be to contribute to moral progress by affecting politics in the real world. Thus, a political philosopher’s most important addressees are fellow citizens; and the main task of political philosophy is not simply to search for truth but rather to attempt to contribute to the practical advancement of the moral ideals that constitute the core of one’s philosophical vision. If such an interpretive hypothesis is correct, one of the main questions raised by Blood Oil concerns the standing of what I shall call engaged intellectual work.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/744295
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