Log in

No account? Create an account

Sat, Mar. 10th, 2007, 06:32 pm
О новом в эпистемологии

Jonathan Sacks:

"I just love the story of the philosophy professor who was invited to give a lecture on epistemology to the University of Beijing. He did so and not being about to speak Mandarin was provided with a Chinese interpreter. He began his lecture and after a sentence paused to let the interpreter translate into Chinese but the interpreter said: No, carry on - I'll tell you when to stop. After 15 minutes and the interpreter said 'stop' and delivered five words to the audience in Chinese - I will not even attempt to say what they were - and said 'carry on'. The same thing happened after 30 minutes - five more words, 45 minutes - another five words and at the end of the lecture - an hour - four words and the audience duly stood up and filed out. The English philosophy professor went to the interpreter and said: I'm absolutely astounded. I have given an extremely complicated lecture about epistemology. How were you able to summarise it in so few words? And the interpreter said: Easy - after 15 minutes I said 'so far he hasn't said anything new'; after half an hour 'I said he still hasn't said anything new'; after 45 minutes I said 'I don't think he's going to say anything new' and after an hour I said 'I was right - he didn't'. "


Dr Jonathan Sacks is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

(via Stephen Clark)

Sat, Mar. 10th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)

как говорится, "зачот" ) как на секции "Эпистемология" прошлого философского когресса.

Sun, Mar. 11th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)

I would trust the testimony of Jonathan Sacks a lot more if he were able and willing to spell Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama.

On the other hand, I relish the implication that philosopher, as a genus to which the species epistemologist belongs, is undergoing a transvaluation equal and opposite to the Foucauldian reverse discourse that encouraged “homosexuality [to] beg[i]n to speak in its own behalf, to demand that its legitimacy or ‘naturality’ be acknowledged, often in the same vocabulary, using the same categories by which it was medically disqualified.”[1] Thus Richard Cartwright:[2]
Except for beginners who want to learn and who try to say what they really think, I do not like talking philosophy with nonphilosophers and avoid it whenever I can. In response to inquiries from fellow travelers on airplanes, I say I’m a mathematician. So far I’ve gotten away with it, for it appears that people who travel on airplanes never were any good at mathematics. I ease my conscience with the thought that, anyhow, non-philosophers would expect a philosopher to be something I’m not.
Once upon a time,[3] Augustine of Hippo referred to yonder vir gravis et philosophaster Tullius. His usage inspired numerous XXth century philologists to argue that the passage in question could be squared with its author’s high esteem for Cicero only by amending to vir gravis et philosopher Tullius. Now that we have established that every kind of philosopher has an ass in it, no such emendation is necessary.

Or, as a more consequential man might put it,[4] “When you call me that, smile!


[1] Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, translated from the French by Robert Hurley, Part Four, The Deployment of Sexuality, Chapter 2, Method, Vintage, 1990, p. 101.

[2] Introduction to Philosophical Essays, The MIT Press, pp. xxi-xxii.

[3] De Civitate Dei ii.27.

[4] Owen Wister, The Virginian, Chapter 2, Signet, 2002, pp. 21, 22.

Sun, Mar. 11th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)

Great research in a note! Indeed, philosophers are mistreated not only for being supposed to be Foucauldian faggots. But mostly still for that reason, I guess.

Mon, Mar. 12th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)

Methinks the mistreatment of philosophers mainly comes in the non-exclusive alternative to being Foucauldian faggots.
    Whilst putting profanity in context, Edmund Leach cites Edward Sagarin noting of cocksucker that “a man addicted to the use of this word may find it handy thirty or forty times during an evening of conversation’; it is applicable to members of either sex, to ‘any reprobate, any contemptible person, anyone who is to be insulted or defamed, anyone crossing one’s path”. Leach admits that “many English people do find this term peculiarly offensive though just why this should be is far from clear; it is not self-evident that it is any ‘worse’ than its inverse, the adjective henpecked!”[5]
    When someone asked Socrates whether he should marry, or not, the husband of Xantippe replied, “Whichever you do you will repent it.” (ἐρωτηθεὶς πότερον γήμαι ἶ μή, ἔφη, “ὃ ἂν αὐτῶν ποιήσῃς, μεταγνώσῃ.”)[6]No cocksucker he, howsoever henpecked.


[5] Edmund Leach, “Profanity in Context”, in The Essential Edmund Leach, Yale University Press, 2001, p. 366, citing Edward Sagarin, The Anatomy of Dirty Words, New York, 1962.

[6] Diogenes Laertius, Vitae Philosophorum, 2.33, records these words echoing Bias of Priene and inspiring Antisthenes the Cynic, Ibid., 1.82 and 2.4, and provoking Favorinus into a definitive response recorded by Aulus Gellius in Noctes Atticae, 5.11.