josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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5 Feb '16 09:24:44 AM

'… and connect / The landscape with the quiet of the sky.'

3 Feb '16 11:09:12 PM

I never did like oranges. Juice, yes, oranges, no; too sticky, too hard to do. A hassle, to be given an orange. But the little ones, mandarins or clementines, are somehow suddenly attractive. No shortage of work to get the fruit free of the peel and the strands of pith, not much less sticky, but doable, simple. Something meditative about eating two or three, accumulating the remains in a pile.

I had a student who couldn't stand the smell of oranges in the classroom. They handed them out in jail, he said. To eat the fruit, then to use the peels to freshen the air in the cells.

2 Feb '16 06:36:34 PM

'… because he lays claim to anything and everything, there is the great risk that the sophist will scramble the selection and pervert the judgment.'

2 Feb '16 06:26:00 PM

'… keeps me writing…': a writer's existence, worried and worrying, worried and worrier, condensed into a drop of grammar.

2 Feb '16 12:18:51 AM

'Disputes do not break out (among mathematicians, say) over the question of whether or not a rule has been followed. People don't come to blows over it, for example.'

1 Feb '16 09:15:20 PM

Mulhall reads each of his authors—Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Kierkegaard—in Inheritance and Originality in multiple works, permitting in each case some recognition of a moment of continuation or renewal, subtending a view of thinking 'as at once both new and renewed', or of 'the necessary situatedness of any philosophical originality'. But this recognition's dependence, in each case, on the existence of multiple, separate works (sometimes not even finished ones, as in Wittgenstein's case)—on books—suggests that 'thought's renewal' is itself a philosophical narrative or myth laid over a more material, practical fact: that it is in, around, with, through, reading in its relation to everyday life that philosophy is fundamentally being situated. 'Go on', 'next', 'new', 'renew', 'continue', are categories to be understood relative to books and their individuation.

29 Jan '16 08:17:31 AM

'Wie weiß er aber…' (§1): the two points the interlocutor focuses on in Wittgenstein's example, about which Wittgenstein says that he just assumes the shopkeeper acts as described, also seem to lend themselves to construal in terms of an idea of rules (cf. the use of a table as a rule in §86, and the effort to establish rules for actions or names' meanings in §§82–3).

27 Jan '16 02:30:19 AM

—As if readers became skeptics through reading too much.

26 Jan '16 07:41:43 PM

If Descartes' Meditations were a longer book, it wouldn't be believable.