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Monday, August 07, 2006

R.I.P., Iris Marion Young, far too soon. She was probably the greatest living political philosopher, a position based in part on her critique of the previous holder of that position, John Rawls. The classroom classic is Justice and the Politics of Difference but Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays is probably the more accessible work. She was just ridiculously smart and, unlike a lot of other political philosophers, a fairly readable writer, and was brilliant at integrating feminist ideas into wider questions of justice--questions which tie directly into the global issues that dominate our political discourse today. I'm not writing this very well and not really doing justice to her ideas (the obit above does it far better), but suffice to say that it's really important to have read her if you want to talk about justice, I think. She was one of those people that I always figured I would meet one day and have a nice conversation with. I guess that's kind of a self-centered thing to say, but there it is. Philosophers shouldn't die at 57.