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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24 Jul '12 08:31:18 PM

Philosophy inspires little conviction. It is what philosophers do that convinces. And what they do, now, primarily, is write. So I study how they write. The forms that writing takes are emblems of the varieties of conviction: the book, the poem, the sentence, the essay. 'A paper' seems like a form to which conviction is alien. It is a prop in a venerable pantomime, a kind of professional accessory, like a bureaucrat's reports or a detective's case files or a scientist's lab book. Nobody loves a paper.

24 Jul '12 05:06:46 AM

'Few philosophers will still defend this view' is not a philosophical reason.

23 Jul '12 06:50:24 PM

It's not that I dislike 'Sweet Home Alabama', I just don't like it when people like it.

20 Jul '12 06:25:38 PM

Cavell's writing is deeply humane; but unsociable.

He does what he can to be inviting to the reader, but - probably unintentionally - does little to help the reader become a writer, a talker. (I mean: a vector for Cavell's thoughts, carrying them into new conversations, venues, adapting them to new occasions.)

This is one affinity his writing has to literature, which also sometimes hopes to, or does not see anything wrong with, leaving the reader quiet, with nothing (yet) to say to others.

But philosophy is so often sociable.

19 Jul '12 08:30:09 PM

You get the impression that Wizard Rifle think that Lightning Bolt are awesome, maybe sort of annoying, definitely not heavy enough, and decided to do something about it.

19 Jul '12 06:17:43 PM

'... a shift in what we are asked to let interest us...'

18 Jul '12 06:24:27 PM

Maura's best phrase on Idler Wheel is unobtrusive: 'how those emotions came to be'.

18 Jul '12 03:18:52 PM

Socratic resentment is like the Socratic question, only directed at teachers, books:

'Why won't you tell me how to live??'

18 Jul '12 03:04:48 PM

I imagine that painters just think of their paintings as 'this one', 'that one', 'the one of...', 'the one from...'.