Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Postcards from the Occupation II

Please pray for the parties involved in this war.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Logician's Liberation League Manifesto

Logicians Liberation League Manifesto
whereas logic is the essence of philosophy,
and logic is the organon of philosophy,
and logic is the form of philosophy and
coaches, assistant coaches, managers, trainers and fans
of the IU philosophy team have
made frequent and insinuating remarks about the number of
logicians recruited for this year's philosophy team,
have discouraged the recruitment of outstanding out-of-state
prospects solely on the ground that they are logicians,
have refused to recognize the right of logicians to their
own unique cultural heritage, acquiescing in particular in
the denial to them of such treasured items as blackboards,
erasers, chalk, and old napkins,
performed acts degrading to logicians as human beings,
performed acts degrading to logicians as individuals,
performed acts degrading to logicians as men,
performed acts degrading to logicians as manifestations of God, collections of atoms, free spirits,
misery, suffering, pain, affliction, and one severe case of philosopher's foot,
We the members of
do hereby announce our intention, if attention to our fair
grievances is not forthcoming,
to boycott Friday practice sessions,
to howl and jeer when the name of an ethicist, metaphysician,
epistemologist, aesthetician, or any other kind of
Establishment jerk is proposed for addition to the team, to root for the political science department in competition for the coveted Ewing Bowl,
to reveal that other members of the team are mere symbol
pushers and hawkers of uninterpretable calculi,
to prove the existence of God, the relativity of moral judgments,
the identity thesis, and the truth of neo-Pythagorean skeptical hedonism,
thus leaving other members of the team with nothing to talk about.
Do not be deceived, Establishment pigs (this means you too, Establishment dogs).
The subservience of past generations of logicians does not mean that we shall bear forever our treatment as animals (you barnyard fowl).
We are human beings (you swine). You are living in a day when logicians
will not any longer endure your taunts, your slurs, your
insults (you filthy vermin). In the name of A. N. Whitehead
and B. Russell we gather; in the spirit of R. Carnap
and A. Tarski, we march; by the word of W. V. O. Quine, we shall prevail.
Beware you snakes of the Philosophical Power
Structure, which you have created and which you maintain to
put down the logician; you have caged the eagle of reason,
the dove of wisdom, and the lark of a definite, precisely
formulated formal system, with exact formation rules,
a recursive set of axioms, and clear and cogent rules of inference,
and you have made them your pigeons. Oh, you filterable viruses,
we will shake you off and fly once more.

All my love, Robert K. Meyer Maximum Leader Logicians Liberation League
Presented at the close of a Philosophy seminar given by Professor Paul Eisenberg, to the Department of Philosophy, Indiana University, in the (northern) autumn of 1969. The Maximum Leader was attacked during the presentation of this manifesto, with a banana cream pie, by Mrs. Marianne Tienson.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blessed John Duns Scotus

As Gerard Manley Hopkins said of him:

Of realty the rarest-veined unraveller; a not

Rivalled insight, be rival Italy or Greece;

Who fired France for Mary without spot.

Also, the only truly great medieval philosopher/theologian who wasn't Italian!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our Lord and Master speaks

There's full video of Saul Kripke's recent talk, (and some video of post-talk comments and questions) on the first person here.

True believers in the causal theory of reference, unite! You have nothing to lose but your senses...