[lit-ideas] Re: Geary's Philosophical Humour

  • From: jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 14:22:29 -0400 (EDT)


"Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?"

McEvoy writes:

"You know, I don't think he does [want to see this as a self-contradiction]".

As my aunt would say, this is a tautology or it isn't.

The option is to see it as redundant.

If we count, "Is it solipsistic in here?" as "p?" (and somehow equivalent to 'does solipsism hold?") and "is it just me?" as, again, 'does solipsism hold?'), the logical form seems to amount to:

p v p?

alla: "Is it raining or is it raining?"

Rather than contradictory, it seems to flout one of Grice's conversational maxims -- 'be brief'.

And fail, of course. Because the gist is that a solipsist can very well ask herself this, and other, serious questions.

And that's where Geary's philosophical humour lies.

Or not.



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