Saturday, February 19, 2011
You've been spared long enough. It's time to get with something that's actually interesting. After all, what kind of musings would they be if not for a little free lance philosophy? The sorry kind, that's what.
"You can't step into the same river twice", says Heraclitus. Right off the bat, this is true and untrue. The statement is ambiguous in a strict sense. There are two things going on here. A river is defined by it's banks, generally. So, as long as one were standing between the eastern and western banks of the Sacramento River, they would be standing in the Sacramento river. But, instant to instant, the river does change. And is therefore not the same.
The proper analysis would be that the Sacramento river, while changing, is still the Sacramento river. By definition. The philosophical question is skirted with this analysis, but not really dealt with. Everything changes, but we deal with things as though they are the same. Often with disappointing results.
When a person makes a promise, what they are saying is "in every circumstance that is identical to this one, or resembles this one closely enough, I will abide by the precepts I am now mandating." In effect, when in love with a new darling, we are saying, 'how could I ever feel otherwise? Of course I will love you forever.' Forever seems to be a relative term.
Temporal statements only have meaning at the time of their utterance. Bummer. Temporal assessments only have meaning at the time of the assessment. And we continue to promise and assess. Often with disappointing results.