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.



Abortion and coercion
Hey look, metablogging!
Low hanging Google fruit
Scary stuff, continued
All the right moves
This just in
Practical intersubjectivity for the sophisticated ...
Patriotism and the flag


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
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This Modern World
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Rule 33
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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
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And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
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What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
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Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
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Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
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more Deliberation Day
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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

Tuesday, July 20, 2004



First, a note about the suffix -oid. It connotates 'less than', so a factoid is something that's less than a fact. I used to think that this meant that the producers at CNN were dumb, but now I realize that, philosophically speaking, they were quite sophisticated.

Anyhow, I just came across the following passage while rereading the introduction to John Dewey's Reconstruction in Philosophy:
As for philosophy, its profession of operating on the basis of the eternal and the immutable is what commits it to a function and a subjectmatter which, more than anything else, are the source of the growing popular disesteem and distrust of its pretensions; for it operates under cover of what is now repudiated in science, and with effective support only from old institutitions whose prestige, influence and emoluments of power depend upon the preservation of the old order; and thi at the very time when human conditions are so disturbed and unsettled as to call more urgently than at any previous time for the kinds of comprehensive and "objective" survey in which historic philosophies have engaged. To the vested interests, maintenance of belief in the transcendence of space and time, and hence the derogation of what is "merely" human, is an indispensible prerequisite of their retention of an authority which in practice is translated into power to regulate human affairs throughout—from top to bottom.
It would take a lot of unpacking to make clear precisely what Dewey is saying here and why I think that he's basically right. But the general idea is that those in power typically oppose social change by alleging that certain facts are fixed.

So, for example, it has been claimed that the traditional nuclear family is, somehow, stamped by nature as the ideal building block of human society, and this contention has been used in the defense of all sorts of retrograde social policies. But whether or not the nuclear family is a good thing isn't a timeless natural fact. Rather, it has to do with whether the nuclear family serves the particular interests that we have right now.

Dewey's criticism of philosophy here is that its mistaken assertion that there is some set of timeless natural facts invariably gives ammunition to those whose entrenched power gives them an interest in saying that the status quo is justified in virtue of the commonsense view of what those natural facts are.

(Yes, yes, I know that social progressives often deploy arguments that substitute one set of natural facts for another. The point is that this yields an advantage to conservatives, since their preferred set of facts is the set that everybody grew up with)

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