It’s buried so deep we’ll have to use a heidegger

August 22, 2008

The 2008 edition of the Philosophical Lexicon has some wonderful new entries. Probably only funny to students of philosophy, but a delight never the less. I share my favorite ones below.

The blog may be intermittent for the next week. I am on holiday in Italy starting in Sorrento for the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii before moving on to Ostuni for Lecce and Otranto by way of Matera. Assuming I survive the drive through Naples I plan a daily travel blog as per last year, but internet access may be occasional at best so they may get posted in batches. Anyone seeking me on email may have to await my return.

A. Priori, n. A species of undeniable truth first discovered in New Zealand.

churchland, n., (1) Two-ring traveling circus, a cross between a chautauqua and Disneyland, at which philosophers are given entertaining religious instruction in Science and nothing to eat but “phase space sandwiches”. Hence churchlandish, adj. Doubly outlandish. (2) n. A theocracy whose official religion is eliminative materialism.

deleuzion, n. A false, persistent philosophical belief, unsubstantiated by evidence or argument. “He suffered from the deleuzion that Spinoza could be used to clarify Lacanian psychoanalysis.”

derrida. A sequence of signs that fails to signify anything beyond itself. From a old French nonsense refrain: “Hey nonny derrida, nonny nonny derrida falala.”

heidegger, n. A ponderous device for boring through thick layers of substance. “It’s buried so deep we’ll have to use a heidegger.” Also useful for burying one’s own past.

rand, n. An angry tirade occasioned by mistaking philosophical disagreement for a personal attack and/or evidence of unspeakable moral corruption. “When I questioned his second premise, he flew into a rand.” Also, to attack or stigmatise through a rand. “When I defended socialised medicine, I was randed as a communist.”

wittgenstone (from Old High Anglo-Austrian, witty and Stein) (1) v. To deny resolutely the existence or importance of something real or significant, on the ground that the grammatical pre-conditions for such a denial do not obtain. “Some think qualia should be quined or fostered – but I think they should be wittgenstoned.” (2) n. Clever but utterly unrelated metaphor used as an argumentative move to silence the opponent. “He argued that on my view I don’t know that I’m in pain; but since he’s not a good kripkographer, I managed to outsmart him with a wittgenstone.”

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