Bon mots

Sun 02 Jun 2013 11:19 AM

Via Leiter, I was led to Gerald Dworkin's recent Kindle e-book Philosophy: A Commonplace Book. It's an amalgamation of witticisms, some of which are intended to make sincere points in a funny way, some of which are meant to be funny without actually endorsing the claim superficially made by them, and some of which lack enough context to be determinately in either of those first two groups.

I was a fan of books like this when I was younger. The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes was a favourite. So I was interested enough to click the preview and (as the button says) Look Inside!

To my surprise, one of the quotations is from me! More specifically, it's from the introductory philosophy quiz that Ryan Hickerson and I wrote fifteen years ago. We posted the original on the wall of out grad student office, where it stayed for years, and I also put it on my website.

Short Answer Philosophy Test

Define reality. Give two examples.

Escape the hermeneutic circle with only a fishing line and a Swiss Army knife.

Assume solipsism is true. Why aren't more people solipsists?

Evaluate the following argument: "If conventionalism is true it must be true by convention. We do not believe in conventionalism. Therefore, we should change our beliefs because conventionalism is self-evident."

Demonstrate the validity of the fallacy of composition.

Magnus and Hickerson

Two thoughts:

First, Dworkin's attributions are not uniform. But I think that being cited as "Magnus and Hickerson" sans first names makes us sound like a comedy act, like "Abbot and Costello" or "Fry and Laurie".

Second, I wondered for a brief moment how I could list this on my CV.

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