Monday, August 22, 2005

Hume Reconsidered

A statue of David Hume participates in that peculiar Scottish art form,
the repositioning of traffic cone.

A joke making the rounds of the Scottish Worldcon last week:

Three philosophers on a train journey in the lowlands of Scotland notice a cow through the train window.
The first, a famous Chinese philosopher, says, "Note that the cow is black. This allows us to observe that all cows in Scotland are part of the eternal dichotomy between black and white, good and evil and that all cows partake equally from this balance."
The second, a renowned German philosopher, replies, "Nonsense. All that we may say is that at this particular time on this particular train looking out this particular window at this particular cow is that it is particularly black."
The third man, a most important Scottish philosopher, responds, " I am sorry, but ye both are wrong. All that we may say with any certainty from this observation is that the cow is black on this side."

Truly the essence of the Scottish philosophical tradition.

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