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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2 Aug '13 04:09:13 AM

'This specification covers the chemical requirements for wrought stainless steels used for the manufacture of surgical instruments. Classes of stainless steels covered here are Class 3 (austenitic stainless steel), Class 4 (martensitic stainless steel), Class 5 (precipitation hardening stainless steel), and Class 6 (ferritic stainless steel). The data contained in this specification, such as typical hardness values, common heat treating cycles, and examples of selected stainless steels that have been used for surgical instruments, are provided for reference only. Mechanical property, heat treatment, hardness, and all other requirements except for chemical composition, are governed by the appropriate material standards as specified or as agreed upon between purchaser and supplier.'

1 Aug '13 07:35:49 PM

'It was the only kind of violent rebellion he felt comfortable with, and that he thought appropriate to inspire in others.'

1 Aug '13 06:20:58 PM

Foucault the 'young conservative'.

1 Aug '13 09:17:33 AM

A Königsforst summer again, days like those from '08 or '09 or earlier (the whole time is indistinct to me, then a.b.d.). But the cool calm then was due to air-conditioned facilities; shoeless feet on my uncarpeted office floor. Now the weather is what cools, but uncharacteristically, as if it were not a passing but a permanent condition. Almost as if snow would be right to come tomorrow.

27 Jul '13 06:58:03 AM

'Philosophers who think of themselves as explaining where Wittgenstein has left us, on the other hand, tend to see the destruction of the Cartesian problematic not simply as the debunking of a few pseudo-problems, but as transforming philosophy, and perhaps thought and life itself. For these writers, the destruction of the frame of reference common to Descartes and Kant is much more than the occasion for dismissing a few textbooks conundrums. It is something to be thought through over generations, as deeply and fully as men thought out the destruction of the Christian frame of reference common to Augustine and Newman.'

27 Jul '13 04:15:04 AM

'Another technique, another procedure falling under these technologies of self, is the technique of withdrawal (retraite), for which there is a word, which as you know will have a prominent future in all of Western spirituality: anakhoresis (withdrawal or disengagement from the world). Withdrawal is understood in these archaic techniques of the self as a particular way of detaching yourself and absenting yourself from the world in which you happen to be, but doing so "on the spot": somehow breaking contact with the external world, no longer feeling sensations, no longer being disturbed by everything taking place around the self, acting as if you no longer see, and actually no longer seeing what is there before your eyes. It is, if you like, a technique of visible absence. You are always there, visible to the eyes of others. But you are absent, elsewhere'.

26 Jul '13 08:32:26 PM

'The book doesn't pretend to be by nobody. A lot of academic books do.'

26 Jul '13 03:39:30 AM

Philosophers spend more time imagining than they are ordinarily prepared to admit.

They call their imagining 'thinking'.

They learn how to think by learning how to imagine as other philosophers do.

They submit their imaginations to certain forms of discipline.

To some philosophers, you do philosophy better by finding ways to better discipline your imagination.

To others, you do philosophy better by proving that your imagination has not, so far, been completely disciplined.

26 Jul '13 02:27:53 AM

Jonathan Lear's read on Wittgenstein as Beckett: 'philosophy both must and cannot be conducted transcendentally'.

(Later: 'Philosophy provides a means of coping with empirical exhaustion.')