Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prospects in Proctoscopic Philosophy

We did our best to trounce a certain excrementitious version of ultra-reductionism, that of those known as "eliminativists" (nomen omen), here:
            Eliminative Materialism

By way of afternote, or pousse-café, these tidbits:

Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), p. 373:

The wholehearted behaviorism, naturalism, and physicalism I have been commending in earlier chapters  help us avoid the self-deception of thinking that we possess a deep, hidden, metaphysically significant nature  which makes us ‘irreducibly’ different from inkwells or atoms.

To which we can only reply (after mature reflection):  Bite Me.


I wield this term proctoscopists as a handy epithet of hearty abuse, wherewith to belabor the shoulders of those who deserve it:  but it some cases it turns out to be eerily accurate.  For the ineffable Norman “O.” Brown, “all thinking comes from anal erotism”, reports Frederick Crews in a painstaking essay, reprinted  in Out of My System (1975), p. 29.   (This previously best-selling author and cult figure is seldom referred to simply as "Norman Brown", but invariably with that unexplained “O” in the middle.   What it stands for is never made clear;  presumably it represents a sphincter.)

[That same volume reprints an excellent essay distinguishing the (good) reductive from the (bad) reductionistic, in literary criticism, “Reductionism and its Discontents”.]

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