Friday, January 18, 2008

A Bonus! Philosophy Fridays At The Howler!

I have been a daily reader of Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler for close on to two years now. Today, he offered up what he hopes will be the first in a series he is calling Philosophy Fridays. How wonderful! Check out today's entry, and you will get a glimpse in to something near and dear to my heart - taking apart the pomposity of philosophy by recognizing the deeply flawed nature of much of what passes for "thought" and "argument" in philosophy - and not just philosophy, I would add.

The best part is the explanation of Wittgenstein's takedown of much philosophical writing - in which what is essentially a bait-and-switch occurs. We accept something as either profound or provocative, because it makes some kind of surface, grammatical sense. Yet, a moment's thought reveals such sentences - "It is three o'clock on Mars" - to be meaningless gibberish masquerading as profound thought.

I also think Bob is a bit kind in his review of the gentleman in question. The paragraph in question begs more questions than could be answered in any single philosophical monograph. Perhaps that isn't "It's three o'clock on Mars" thinking and writing, but it is awfully close.

Virtual Tin Cup

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