Saturday, May 18, 2013

[PL 211] Is Hawking guilty of practical inconsistency?

Following up on my post about Stephen Hawking and his backing of the academic boycott of Israel, here is an interesting question from AskPhilosophers:

Assuming that "If you're going to boycott Israel, please remove the Intel chip that allows you to speak" is meant to be an argument, one interpretation of it is the following:
  1. If one is to boycott X, then practical consistency demands a full (as opposed to selective) boycott.
  2. Hawking wants to boycott Israel.
  3. Therefore, Hawking must boycott everything Israeli (i.e., full boycott as opposed to a selective boycott).
Presumably, those who put forth this kind of argument assume that Hawking will not boycott certain Israeli things, such as the alleged Intel chip that allows him to talk, and thus he is guilty of practical inconsistency. What do you think about this argument? Is it fallacious?

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