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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29 Apr '09 06:47:24 PM

'I'm pretty sure / she'll make ya kill someone'

29 Apr '09 02:34:00 AM

Resident Advisor interview with John 'Juan' Maclean

23 Apr '09 05:49:07 AM

Ross makes Aristotle entirely too dramatic with, at the end of a section:

'But enough of these topics.'

21 Apr '09 07:50:34 AM

Note for a study of Schopenhauer's poetics:

In particular, of the pragmatic aspects of his philosophizing. In the early sections of the first book, Schopenhauer is fond of constructions like this: 'He who has recognized the form of the principle of sufficient reason, which appears in pure time as such, and on which all counting and calculating are based, has thereby also recognized the whole essence of time'. That is, the form, 'he who has recognized… has also recognized…'; he uses it twice in the first paragraph of §4 alone.

Could this mark any attention on his part toward the practical uptake of his thought by his readers? The first three sentences of §1 announce something that looks like a practical distinction between those who understand him, and those who don't:

'"The world is my representation": this is a truth valid with reference to every living and knowing being, although man alone can bring it into reflective, abstract consciousness. If he really does so, philosophical discernment has dawned on him. It then becomes clear and certain to him that he does not know a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth'.

See also in §1: 'Thus in this first book we consider the world only from the above-mentioned angle, only in so far as it is representation. The inner reluctance with which everyone accepts the world as as his mere representation warns him that this consideration, quite apart from its truth, is nevertheless one-sided, and so is occasioned by some arbitrary abstraction. On the other hand, he can never withdraw from the acceptance. However, the one-sidedness of this consideration will be made good in the following book through a truth that is not so immediately certain as that from which we start here. Only deeper investigation, more difficult abstraction, the separation of what is different, and the combination of what is identical can lead us to this truth. This truth, which must be very serious and grave if not terrible to everyone, is that a man also can say and must say: "The world is my will."'

Schopenhauer's Cartesian, idealist heritage might have something to do with the first insinuation there, that everyone cannot but help but believe such-and-such. But his way of stating it recalls Fichte on the vicissitudes of acceptance of idealism or materialism in the introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre, which might make for a more practical reading. The second half is more strongly suggestive of pragmatics; investigations involving difficulty and terror require acts of will.

21 Apr '09 07:36:28 AM

Note for a study of Schopenhauer's poetics:

In §1, Schopenhauer calls the two aspects of the world (will and representation) 'sides'. The German word is 'Seite', which also means 'page'. Is there any chance he exploits the double meaning elsewhere (e.g. in the second book's references to the 'riddle of the world', or perhaps some semi-parodistic 'book of nature' metaphors)?

20 Apr '09 05:37:58 AM

'I even think of you when I'm with you.'

17 Apr '09 03:50:10 PM

Tom on 'Come on Eileen'

5 Apr '09 03:57:47 AM

'Philosophy is a problem discipline, and it's defined as such by program officers. Philosophers do not believe that nonphilosophers are qualified to evaluate their work. Perhaps that comes out of the dominance of analytic philosophy, with its stress on logic and rigor. Philosophers think their discipline is more demanding than other fields. Even its practitioners define the discipline as contentious. They don't see that as a problem; argument and dispute are the discipline's defining characteristics.

All that conflict makes it difficult to get consensus on the value of a philosophy proposal—or to convince people from other disciplines of its merits. The panels I studied are multidisciplinary. Nonphilosophers are often frustrated with the philosophers. They often discounted what philosophers had to say as misplaced intellectual superiority'

31 Mar '09 07:50:03 PM

I would be so happy if there were a section in bookstores called 'Drollery'.