moonflea (moonflea) wrote,

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or, why i did not pursue a Ph.D in philosophy [which was my major]...

"...all the questions that interested me were really pseudo-questions, mere phantoms of my mental night. i couldn't deny that i suffered from metaphysical tendencies, though i hadn't realized ... that they constituted an affliction. i would have said that Reality is the subject matter of philosophy, but the very word, i [have] now learned, was philosophically taboo for its suggestion of metaphysical tendencies.
"...the field had made the 'linguistic turn' and i...had not. the questions were now all of language. instead of wrestling with the large, messy questions that have occupied previous centuries of ethicists, for example, one should examine the rules that govern words like 'good' and 'ought.'
"...the philosophical mind has long craved a limited universe. the pre-socratic pythagoreans, in their table of opposites, listed 'limited' on the side occupied by 'order,' 'light,' 'good,' and 'male.' but only the last generation or two of philosophers have managed to show how very limited reality really is, extending no farther than our powers of expression. what a relief. what a blessed relief. no more bogeymen jumping out of dark corners shouting, 'it can't be known! you'll never understand it!' these epistemological horrors used to be waiting at every philosophical turn. now the nursery lamp of linguistic analysis has been turned on, dispelling all those scary shadows. there is the bright, cheery world of the nursery, small and familiar, with no sense of the unknown creeping in...."

the mind-body problem pp.13-14
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