an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.



Zwichenzug media watch, international edition
Warmongers of Mass Deception (WMD)
DeLong keeps the data coming...
Noncompliant browsers
Zwichenzug media watch...
State of the Union
The Nation's (best?) Newspaper
Grocery strike update
Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with D
Interagency co-operation


error log

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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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Union Label

Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
Safety Neal
January Girl
mimi jingcha
Hop, Skip, Jump
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian


some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus


some philosoblogs

Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen


some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
The Volokh Conspiracy


some other links

Rule 33
This Week in Chess
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On


some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Sunday, January 25, 2004


Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor

The BBC reports that a minor official in a Finnish tax office died at his desk and went unnoticed for two days. According to the story, "co-workers had assumed the dead man - a tax auditor - was silently poring over returns." The head of personnel at the office allowed that, "procedures would have to be reviewed."

One of my colleagues here in the philosophy department believes -- with, he claims, Sartre -- that death is the fundamental problem of philosophy. What Sartre actually wrote, I think, was more like, 'suicide is the fundamental problem of philosophy.'

Sartre's worry was that we couldn't say with any confidence how life could have meaning, and so couldn't say with any assurance that suicide isn't a reasonable response to unhappiness. The project of philosophy, it then follows, is to provide us with an account of the meaningfulness of life and, thereby, give us reason to choose to live.

Whatever else Sartre is up to when he writes this sort of stuff, it's clear enough that he isn't really skeptical about the meaningfulness of life and doesn't really think that suicide threatens to be a rational choice. Instead, what Sartre seems to be talking about -- and I think this is what my colleague picks up on -- is the deep need we have to find a meaning for our lives, and the way in which this need is prompted by awareness of our own mortality. And the thought here is that any adequate account of the meaning of one's own life must include a thorough appreciation of the inevitability of death.

Deep waters, I suppose, but this is a line of thought which leads as easily to the bottle as to wisdom. Still, I won't be applying for a job with the IRS anytime soon.

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