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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19 May '06 08:52:26 AM

(Bencivenga's remark about 'philosophy of coercion' comes with a footnote which is unfortunately not immediately helpful for filling out in what way he means 'coercion'. 'Of course, the philosopher of necessity will often claim that the limits in question are not limits he sets, but limits the concepts themselves have. It would take me too far afield to argue here against such "conceptual realism." For a statement of its impracticability, at least in the specific area of the meanings of words and phrases, see my "A New Paradigm of Meaning"' - that paper also not being very directly helpful. (The footnote before this mentions Nozick, whose introduction to Philosphical Explantions also makes a distinction between coercive and non-coercive philosophy.) But that second paper does have an interesting footnote of its own on 'Frege's conviction that language is meaningful only insofar as something is communicated through it', that being the reason Frege chooses a communication metaphor for his semantics: 'Notice also that the origin of the communication metaphor is probably to be found in those ritual activities (analogous to the holy communion) through which a group of people reinforce their sense of themselves as constituting one community.')

19 May '06 07:35:42 AM

(Try not to forget how strange and surprising the Tractatus already is - stranger than you think. 'Logic', ha.)

19 May '06 06:15:13 AM

I sure miss this show sometimes.

14 May '06 07:06:39 AM

Science, dropped

9 May '06 09:05:30 AM

George Steiner on the second volume of Edward Timms' study of Karl Kraus.

7 May '06 07:46:23 AM

(Compare to the last line of William Slothrop's hymn, on the last page of Gravity's Rainbow.)

7 May '06 07:43:26 AM

'Please, God, make me a stone' - a simile here would be a mistake, would drain the prayer of its gravity.

26 Apr '06 08:29:19 AM

'plainly put, man as culture-consumer is, in an insidious way, dissatisfied with man as culture-producer'

26 Apr '06 08:21:28 AM

'To have a philosophical mind is to participate, by knowledge, in the life and being of many by not treating oneself as a fixed individual, one and unchanging.'

(probably misquoted)