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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11 Dec '15 05:07:15 AM

'The artistic life is full of frustrations and failures as well as breakthroughs. You are alone. No-one can help you.'

5 Dec '15 03:48:48 AM

'That more confidence should be felt in there being physical objects than in there being classes, attributes, and the like is not to be wondered. For one thing, terms for physical objects belong to a more basic stage in our acquisition of language than abstract terms do. Concrete reference is felt as more secure than abstract reference because it is more deeply rooted in our formative past. For another thing, terms for intersubjectively observable physical things are at the focus of the most successful of unprepared communication, as between strangers in the marketplace. Surely such rapport tends to encourage confidence, however unconsciously, that one is making no mistake about his objects.'

Marketplace? Only a man who has never been grocery shopping would choose the 'marketplace' as his paradigmatic venue for the optimal usage of terms to refer to things.

28 Nov '15 08:17:33 PM

'The problem is not that, but this'

28 Nov '15 08:16:35 PM

Cavell, 'Knowing and Acknowledging', p. 262:

'I take the philosophical problem of privacy, therefore not to be one of finding (or denying) a "sense" of "same" in which two persons can (or cannot) have the same experience, but one of learning why it is that something which from one point of view looks like a common occurrence (that we frequently have the same experiences—say looking together at a view of mountains, or diving into the same cold lake, or hearing a car horn stuck; and that we frequently do not have the same experiences—say at a movie, or learning the results of an election, or hearing your child cry) from another point of view looks to be impossible, almost inexpressible (that I have your experiences, that I be you).'

Heidegger, Being and Time I.VI §43a, SZ 204:

'The "problem of reality" in the sense of the question of whether an external world is objectively present or demonstrable, turns out to be an impossible one, not because its consequences lead to inextricable impasses, but because the very being which serves as its theme repudiates such a line of questioning, so to speak. It is not a matter of proving that and how an "external world" is objectively present, but of demonstrating why Dasein as being-in-the-world has the tendency of "initially" burying the "external world" in nullity "epistemologically" in order to then resurrect it through proofs. The reason for this lies in the falling prey of Dasein and in the diversion motivated therein of the primary understanding of being to the being of objective presence. If the line of questioning in this ontological orientation is "critical," it finds something merely "inner" as what is objectively present and alone certain. After the primordial phenomenon of being-in-the-world has been shattered, the isolated subject is all that remains and it becomes the basis joined together with a "world."'

24 Nov '15 04:19:34 AM

'There was no email saying, "Come outside." That wasn’t it. It was just people coming outside.'

21 Nov '15 03:31:21 AM

'… a blog is a very serious place indeed…'

15 Nov '15 07:01:55 PM

'… there is nowhere else to go.'

14 Nov '15 06:30:19 AM

'… the point is to see if criticism can live up to how big the world truly is.'

12 Nov '15 11:29:29 PM

'Moral philosophers should be frankly and realistically high-minded in the sense of recognising the unique and profound presence and importance of a moral sense. They should be liberal-minded, not cynics, reductivists, relativists, but able to scan a wide vista of human life. Such thinking involves a sensitive empiricism and grasp of detail. For instance (some of Plato's dialogues are exemplars here) it is necessary to consider with the help of examples what egoism is, whether it is wrong, how it relates to truth, love, freedom. What is happiness, what is 'true happiness', why did Mill find that he could not do without the concept of higher pleasures? These are not just theoretical exercises in seminars, they indicate the nature of our everyday problems.'