Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Victory Roll and Folding Body Press

Philosophers are a troublesome lot who are very keen on principles that are to be followed through in a very thoroughgoing way. It does tend to turn difficult ethical issues into a form of algebra. For them, once a principle has been established then not following through on it is simply incoherent. Not for them the havering and dithering of the 'profanum vulgus' which they keep at a distance. The ignuus fatuus that they forever chase across the quaking empirical bog or indeed blog is the knockdown argument, the 'folding body press and victory roll' of freestyle intellectual wrestling. It is beloved of the young male of the species and if you wonder why more women aren't involved in academic philosophy this might be the reason. I see it as the equivalent of the 'good manly tackle' in Gaelic football that induces temporary concussion.

In a recent discussion on abortion that I participated in before I was silenced and following my sequestration in moderation a woman professional philosopher remarked that there was no room in this debate for someone who thought the fetus was central to the issue. Do you see the principle?

2 comments:

skholiast said...

I don't exactly call it a knock-down argument to exclude an entire premise from the discussion; I call it something else, say, cheating. But perhaps we are operating with Humpty Dumpty's Rules of Order. There's glory for you!

ombhurbhuva said...

Skholiast:
The ironic thing is that a recommendation for me from her was the close study of 'Thompson' violinist' to further my education. This was not in the spirit of Dean Swift's modest proposal but genuine. Saeva indignatio falls back bemused.