Sunday, April 27, 2014

What’s Sauce for the Goose, is Sauce for the Chimpanzee

[Note:  The following observation is merely illative, and should be skipped by the general reader.]

Awhile back I posted an Aristotelian exercise,  whose effectiveness  if any, depended upon the reader’s holding, or at least being able to entertain  for the sake of the argument, two views:

(1)  that a certain Singerian illation, of the familiar form “if A then B” (for the instantiation, vide infra), has some claim to being valid -- at all events, that it suffers from no internal vice of logical form, and might be entertained (or not) by a reasonable person, such as that Princeton philosopher;
(2) that many reasonable people (sociologically, probably most) would not, however, embrace the apodosis.

From this, something would follow -- at least for the logician;  though for extra-logical reasons, it must remain sine nomine. 

Yet this morning we find (like an ominous portent, at the bottom of our driveway) “B”  emblazoned and celebrated, in full color, taking up the whole of the front cover of the large-format New York Times Magazine.   From thence stares out at us, uniformly hirsute, but suitably suited and necktied, such a one as addressed the learnèd gentlemen in the Bericht für eine Akademie, purportedly from the witness-stand.   A sotie?  No;  an actual case, currently sub judice.   Whereby said simian brings an action at law  against parties named (or rather, it has been brought in his/its behalf, the plaintiff himitself  having not the wit to do it -- wherein lies the greatest potential for legal mischief).   And so cowed is The Times by the potential imprecations of the hyperzoöphiles, that it immediately reassures its readership, that no beasts of field or forest were harmed “or even used” in trumping-up that photograph.   They did not even dare photo-shop in an authentic hominoideal face, but dressed up a human (consent-forms duly signed, no doubt) in a costume.

Such antics are barely worth comment, as a society sues itself into insensibility.  And satire is beggared -- the very next development on the ground  will render any raillery O.B.E. 


Well;  I hope that has been sufficiently obscure (caviary to the Boeotians), for I am fond of my own skin.   For (comparatively translucent) comments on a work far more obscure, cf. our newly-updated essay on Finnegan’s Wake.

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