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Gin Wit Tenets, Zwei

Somewhere in the last bit, due to insufficient time, I left out the thought that the novel moves into the area Wittgenstein renounces as beyond philosophy.  Novelists hardly notice they are banned from philosophy's realm as they continue to manufacture philosophically flawed sentences of great  beauty and personal meaning.  For some of us, these flawed philosophies become absorbed, become permanent parts of ourselves, and we feel we are enriched, even though we are obviously, by default, wrong about a novel's meanings(notes from the author, or from ten various readers will demonstrate this).  Still, there are some things that everybody seems to get in mostly the same way, that might sloppily be called "universal." 

Witness the interpretations, schisms, that have surfaced over meanings in a text taken "literally" (that itself an impossibility) like the Bible. 

Then imagine the heroic task of the historian trying to sort out and weigh the events and meanings of the past.  John Crowley notes there is "more than one history of the world."  In a world of  "non-transferable personal meanings" we live today with almost 7 billion histories of the world.

What's the fundamental lesson for mankind here?  We tend to try to make two different things (perhaps not so different) equivalent, or to be seen as the same thing, by an act of will, just by saying it is so.  At this point we have left philosophy, proper grammar, and truth behind, and entered the world of Rove-ian spin-doctoring(I am waiting for the book: How Obama won the Spin War of 2008.) In this same form of philosophic waffling we try to say that a single thing is also "this, that, or something else (Clinton's famous "that depends on the meaning of 'it'")."

What is it that possesses man to take such positions absolutely? Isn't it better to say things are different, and that's ok, but they do have some interesting similarities-- and just leave it at that?  Or is that beyond our ability due to some infantile need for complete acceptance, or our dark lust for blood? Diversity is good!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
Getting the most out of our sloppy universals, is-- and not reassuringly-- our only hope for the survival of man.
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Cydonia photo: ESA

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