Astude readers of Club Troppo will have noticed quotes running at the top of the page. Quotes that Ken, I and others occasionally have half hearted debates about whether they’re appropriate for Troppo. Well I found another one the other day and it’s below. Readers might like to tell us whether they agree, and/or propose some of their own faves for us.
This is from the extra-ordinary Englishman Frank Ramsey (after whom the main street in Neighbours is named).
Evidently, however, none of these arguments are really decisive, and the position is extremely unsatisfactory to any one with real curiosity about such a fundamental question. In such cases it is a heuristic maxim that the truth lies not in one of the two disputed views but in some third possibility which has not yet been thought of, which we can only discover by rejecting something assumed as obvious by both the disputants.
Of course on Troppo those quotes are up there for what is called in the advertising industry ‘cutthrough’ so we’ll chop it down to size and quote him out of context – we’ll start with ‘the truth lies’.
Still we could do worse. The article the quote is from comes from an essay on ‘Universals’ in which Ramsey goes on to say this:
Both the disputed theories make an important assumption which, to my mind, has only to be questioned to be doubted. They assume a fundamental antithesis between subject and predicate, that if a proposition consists of two terms copulated, these two terms must be functioning in different ways, one as a subject, the other as predicate.
Now I know Ramsey had to put up with walking in on all sorts of shocking things in the Rooms of Kings College, but subject and predicate ‘copulating’? Well that’s the sort of choice of language to take off to Dr Troppo.
But I digress. Comments are now open for responses to these late night thoughts.