[lit-ideas] Re: What is philosophy? Susan Langer writes....

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 14:00:05 +0900

Thank you, Professor Paul. A serious discussion of "seriousness" would
be a most delightful outcome of this exercise.

John

On 12/27/06, Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
Walter writes that the passage from Langer is ambiguous because
depending on how the phrase "[a] desire to deal with general ideas
from the outset" is understood one could make at least two different
responses to it. One response, apparently, is that 'no serious
philosopher' understands the business of philosophy to be as Langer
portrays it.

Phil Enns responds to John's complaint that the referent of the
expression 'serious philosopher' is nowhere described by retorting
that 'serious philosopher' is precise enough for government work and
that 'modern philosopher' is no more precise. (Take that!)

I'm surprised that Walter has called upon that mythical hero the
Serious Philosopher, whose counterpart, the True Scotsman, has already
been dismissed from lit-ideas. I wonder, in the spirit of the season,
whether the criterion for one's being a serious philosopher is just
that one who said, e.g., 'What Langer says about the enterprise of
philosophy is dead right,' could have no further claim to the title
'philosopher' or to the adjective 'serious.' If turns out that this is
the only criterion perhaps the True Scotsman needs to be taken out of
his case in the British Museum so that he can be seen to be stuffed
with straw. Let the light shine upon him. If however there are other
criteria, for philsophical seriousness, would it really hurt to list
one or two of them?

Cherni H'leb
Professor of Really Modern Philosophy
Mutton College



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--
John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
http://www.wordworks.jp/
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