Monday, February 21, 2011

Koans of Analytical Philosophy

 (1)  Bovine biology and geometry

Russell, bringing to bear the entire artillery of modern logic and mathematics, succeeded in proving the nonexistence of carnivorous cows.  (Scott Soames, Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century (2003), vol. I, p. 96 fff.)
We, however, calmly assert  the existence of round ones.

(2)  A word on the Golden Mountain

My wife and I climbed this last year on spring break, so I speak with some authority.  The air above is fresh and cool, the skies serene, and it gives off a pleasant aureate glow.  However, actual existence does not figure among the predicates it enjoys.  On this, the philosophers were spot-on:  The Golden Mountain does not exist.

1 comment: