23 jan. 2014

En listig semantisk undanflykt

Teckning: David Levine
Filosofer kan man skämta om. Har aldrig läst ett filosofiskt resonemang om att det skulle vara oetiskt att göra detta.

Nedan en text från Beyond the Fringe (1962), i vilken Jonathan Miller imiterar Bertrand Russell. I den lurar Russell sin kollega G.E. Moore in i en logisk osanning. Finns att lyssna på via YoutubeSpotify (ljudet är bättre) eller ladda ner mp3-fil.

Russell: One of the advantages of living in Great Court, Trinity I seem to recall, was the fact that one could pop across at any time of the day or night and trap the then young G. E. Moore into a logical falsehood by means of a cunning semantic subterfuge. I recall one occasion with particular vividness. I had popped across and had knocked upon his door. “Come in,” he said. I decided to wait awhile in order to test the validity of his proposition. “Come in,” he said once again. “Very well,” I replied, “if that is in fact truly what you wish.” 
I opened the door accordingly and went in, and there was Moore seated by the fire with a basket upon his knees. “Moore,” I said, “do you have any apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont. I decided to try a different logical tack. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have some apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have apples in that basket?” “Yes,” he replied. And from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.

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