Friday, 5 August 2005

Fewtril #13

It may fairly be conjectured that, if we sat an infinite number of French philosophers at an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time, they would still produce nothing but gibberish.

5 comments:

dearieme said...

But more than one bon mot?

Akaky said...

This is very true, but it would sound wonderful, because it's in French and as such will help le philosopher score with scores of American female undergraduates during a lecture tour through the groves of modern academe, and if philosophy can't help you get chicks then what's the point of it all?

David Duff said...

If it was only French philosophers, there would be little harm in it, but their pernicious thinking (I use the term loosely) has spread over the channel. In an exchange with Andrew Bartlett, over at:
http://bartlettsbizarrebazaar.blogspot.com/2005/08/britishness-part-two.html
he wrote the following:
"How on earth do you read 'exactly' what someone has said? The whole point of reading [is] to derive the meaning of the utterance. The words alone are out of context and largely meaningless (the meaning of words is itself a social construct, so it should be no surpise that the meaning of an arrangement of words is not some kind of permament etching on iron) on the page or screen. Utterances only have meaning within the context of a particular historical and social position - this meaning is dependent on the position of the speaker/writer and the listener/reader - and in Howarth's case he was playing with the idea that some British people are actually alien."

To my untutored mind that means that anything I write or say can be interpreted by, er, well, Andrew Bartlett, according to criteria 'constructed' by him. What a wheeze!

dearieme said...

Boy, this Bartlett chappy would have trouble learning Thermodynamics or Euclidian Geometry. Mind you, the Justices of the US Supreme Court do seem to incline in his direction.

Deogolwulf said...

Now, if I understand Bartlett's meaning, then I don't understand what he means, if you understand what I mean.