Thursday, February 01, 2007


Following others, I thought I'd comment on the recent links to the photos of philosophers. My favorite quote is definitely Searle's: "If you can't say it clearly, you don't understand it yourself."
There is certainly some truth in that. I'd like to say that it connects up clearly with my previous posts on clarity, but I haven't made it clear enough to myself to say that.
My favorite pictures are probably Davidson, Lewis, and
McDowell. Davidson's is kind of spacy. Lewis's is kind of happy. McDowell's reminds me of a comic book cover, although I'm not sure which one. Just some possible one. That being said, he looks seriously philosophical.


N. N. said...

Searle's point could be restated thusly: 'If you can't say it so that a freshman can understand it, you don't understand it yourself.' I've often found that the classroom is the best test for my own understanding.

Shawn said...

There's definitely some truth in the idea. I'm not sure how much, but I am mostly in agreement with the idea. Part of the motivation for this blog is to attempt to work some things out by saying them clearly.