[lit-ideas] Gopnik the thinker who can be relied on

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2014 18:29:58 +0100

Those who have referenced Gopnik's New Yorker piece on Popper as reliable and 
worthy of serious examination might also want to commend to the list his latest 
effort, which they may wish to insist is not scherzo either but instead a 
reliable account of evolutionary effects that is also worthy of serious 

"By this I mean our readiness to think that anything that has the 
short stature and plump cheeks and rounded body of a human baby must 
actually be like a human baby. If we did not think babies were 
hopelessly cute, after all, we would kill them for being so exhausting. 
And so panda bears and chipmunks, and short men too, have 
smuggled their way into our affections through the same cognitive door 
that was meant to open only for the infants. A typical penguin is as 
full of rage, violence and dignity as a tiger but they resemble our 
young, and so are pinned as adorable. They are classified as cute, as 
short men are, too."

Why short men make better husbands

Why short men make better husbands
Short men make better husbands, and make up in wisdom what they lack in 
stature, says self-confessed small man, Adam Gopnik.  
View on www.bbc.co.uk Preview by Yahoo  

For the record, Gopnik is a self-confessed "short man". He means "short" in 
height rather than in analytical skills. But the confusion is understandable. 
There is something quite engaging about a punchy prose style that smuggles its 
way into our affections through the same cognitive door 
that was meant to open only for the infants. 


On Sunday, 5 October 2014, 15:18, palma <palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I am not intaking oxygen waiting for the gricean chemical approach

On Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 8:32 AM, cblists@xxxxxxxx <cblists@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

>On 03 Oct 2014, at 23:57, Eric <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> I'm with Nagel. Materialist physical reductionism is almost certainly
>> wrong: wrong as science; wrong as philosophy. It is our current error, a
>> hidden religion inside science, especially as it is presented to
>> laypeople.
>I'm in your and Nagel's camp - perhaps at the fanatical forefront. (Is that a 
>mixture of metaphors?)  'Fanatical'- in that I would leave out the 'almost'.
>Physical reductionism is wrong.  By that I mean (i.e., would argue), when we 
>restrict ourselves to accounts of the world in which 'materialist physical 
>reductionism' is 'the only language game in town' (now that's MORE than just a 
>mixture of metaphors), we impose an unacceptable (at least in my fanatical 
>opinion) restriction on our 'form of life'.
>(My - no doubt heretically twisted - Wittgensteinian roots are showing, I 
>In my opinion, the error arises because people forget that 'science' is and 
>will ever remain 'natural philosophy'; when that is forgotten that your 
>'hidden religion' arises.
>Chris Bruce,
>still celebrating
>Enlightenment's birthday,
>in Kiel, Germany
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palma,   etheKwini, KZN


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