“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, November 29, 2010

Graham on Continental vs. Analytical

I'm not sure how I missed this but it's spot on. The way those guys at Oxford et al. used to say “nonsense” is still ringing in my ears. They have a nasty “I refute it thus sir” streak—if you don't know that's when Doctor Johnson “refuted” Hume by kicking a stone. In other words, a lot of their supposedly precise argumentation actually has to do with tone—a tone “up with which I will not put” as Churchill once said, and which makes them hypocrites for believing that they alone are right because they argue so well. This goes hand in hand with their freezing-cold-douche style, which they rigorously ignore. Like I want to read Jerry Fodor rather than Plato (as Graham memorably puts it.)


Mark said...

This old post makes some interesting comments about the "late 20th century nonsense police" tendency in philosophy, which seems to consist of a lot of declarations that certain areas of philosophy are "nonsense", but not a lot of explanation of why the accuser thinks so. It doesn't even require being Continental to fall afoul of said nonsense-police; the writer and commenters there are all analytic philosophers, but apparently from the wrong parts.

K.C. said...

It wasn't Hume, it was Berkeley.