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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10 Dec '14 07:07:29 AM

'… the imperatives of conception might make it necessary to improvise at great length.'

9 Dec '14 10:38:27 PM

'Robots in human form'

8 Dec '14 08:56:32 PM

'What a park can become, or how a street behaves, are always open questions rarely asked outside or extreme circumstances.'

4 Dec '14 02:54:24 AM

'By contrast, a woman’s decision to detach herself from conventional society always requires justification.'

3 Dec '14 08:04:41 PM

'The absolute need to read with a pen in one's hand'

30 Nov '14 03:10:16 AM

Kant begins the B version of the first Critique by using someone else's words to ask that his own words be considered 'not an opinion, but a work', quoting Francis Bacon to say de nobis ipsis silemus—about myself I am silent.

Is there a better expression of philosophy's wish for purity?

27 Nov '14 04:46:07 PM

'It is perhaps a mark of the seriousness of philosophizing to be forced to come to some understanding with philosophy’s impure craving for purity. Philosophy is not just one intellectual pursuit among others. I once asked Rogers—trading on our young but clear friendship and, I believed, not underestimating what it would cost him—to read the first, recently published, response to the first pair of papers I had put in print and hoped to take into the future (the opening pair of Must We Mean What We Say?), an unmitigatedly vicious attack, including the summary evaluation that the work my writing represented was, I believe I still remember the phrase exactly, “deleterious to the future of philosophy.” I was unable on my own to put aside the pain of this attack. Rogers took the documents away with him, my papers and the response they had elicited, and, returning with them the following midnight bearing one of his by then familiar frowns of exasperation, but modified with a direct displeasure unfamiliar to my experience of him, he threw the documents on a chair and said with a vehemence I think I will never again see the equal of in him: “Well of course the response doesn’t touch you. But it is you I do not understand. How could you possibly have left yourself vulnerable to such ill will?” The gratifying liberation of his challenge produced a certain corresponding challenge in return from me. “I see no alternative. And you of all people cannot expect any assertion to make itself invulnerable. So in my state of perfect gratitude to you I have to warn you of something. If I can find a way to write philosophy that I can believe in day after day I am going to go on doing it. The alternative I can see is to cultivate a private sense of the public world’s intellectual vulgarity. However essential that may be it is not enough for me.”'

27 Nov '14 04:40:00 PM

'This kind of thinking, which is not professionalized, is a form of vulnerability.'

26 Nov '14 03:35:31 PM

'The ordinary life is undisclosed…'