[lit-ideas] Re: Opinion needed

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, cblists@xxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 18:26:41 -0230

A few comments on having to mean what one says and saying what one means in
relation to post-metaphysical conceptions of cosmopolitan reason and

Quoting cblists@xxxxxxxx:

> On 12-Oct-08, at 8:28 PM, Julie Krueger reported on the McCain-'gray- 
> haired, red-shirted woman' exchange:
> > "Is he an Arab?"  "No, he's a decent man" ...

------------> I don't think that McC had intended to express himself via these
two disjuncts in public. Nor do I know whether he actually believes the
proposition to be inferred from his utterance. But I do believe it was an
ignorant comment to make. The kind of comment that makes people wonder whether
he is suitable for high office in a post-metaphysical world. 

In such a world, a growing cosmopolitan politico-economic world, one should be
very wary of relying too much on one's fellow countrymen and ethical confreres
to understand and explain to others one's intentions and meanings. If we can't
understand why some Muslims don't find our humor all that funny, we should
recognize that they perhaps don't understand what we mean when we say the
things that we do or why they should not believe others believe what they say. 

"Yes, he uttered a proposition in reply to the woman's question, but if you knew
John the way I know him, you won't apply the Square of Opposition to him." 

Whatever the notion of "public reason" is evolving into, surely logic should not
be ignored or excluded from its procedural character.  

And, yes, I find the things one says under pressure, are often quite revelatory
of one's deeper views and attitudes. I say and mean "often," not "always" or
"never." You should believe me on that. And, of course, speaking in the realm
of public reason, I am responsible for what I assert.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving greetings to one and all. (Yes, we are voting
tomorrow. Alas, the front-runner doesn't look anything like Sarah P.)

Walter O.
Deep in the heart of the Space of Reasons

> On a slightly related topic: I was talking this morning to my 16-year- 
> old niece (here for tutoring in chemistry and physics) about Arabic  
> contributions to European life in the Middle Ages, and checked the  
> Internet to make sure I was right about soap, etc.  I came across this:
> http://www.arabia-felix.com/printer_73.html
> It opens as follows:
> "Following the fall of the Roman Empire, a period known as the Middle  
> or Dark Ages descended over Europe. It is during this time that  
> scientific thought flourished in the Middle East."
> "Under the patronage of the great Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates to  
> name a few, Muslims distinguished themselves as scientific scholars  
> and contributed immense gains in virtually all fields of science. From  
> soap-making to surgical procedures, from the system of numbers we use  
> to that delicious warm brown substance we all know as coffee, the  
> ancient inventors from the Islamic world did more than their share in  
> paving the way towards the progress of civilization as we know it. Few  
> of us realize their contribution even as we benefit today from their  
> creativity and practicality. Checking accounts, clocks, fountain pens,  
> soft drinks are just some of the practical innovations we take for  
> granted. On a more scientific level, the strides in mathematics,  
> medicine, astronomy and chemistry, to name a few, established  
> foundations upon which modern medicine, chemistry and physics are  
> based on. ..."
> Chris Bruce,
> who is a little unsure as to whether soft drinks are an indication
> of progress, but who remains otherwise suitably impressed, in
> Kiel, Germany
> --
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