Tuesday 21 July 2009

Philosopher urges us: Don’t just sit there, think! (Providence Journal, today)
“My philosophy on humor is it’s funny,” says Pessin, who is funny, animated and passionate about something most people aren’t: philosophy.
“People don’t demand philosophy because they don’t know of it.”
It isn’t taught in elementary, middle or high school, although the American Philosophical Association is working on that, according to Pessin. Only in college do people encounter formal philosophy, and only if they choose to. And to do that, they must choose to dismiss its reputation of being stodgy and dull, and without a remunerative return.
Now here's the good part. Having set up the idea of using humour to sell philosophy, we get this;
(His) books are written for a mass audience: in the same light and humorous style, with a sensitivity to today’s attention spans.“I had to cut chapters down to 350 words. A lot of the humor had to go. You need a certain amount of space to set up a joke. As it got whittled away, the set-up went and then the joke had to go...”
Which, you have to admit, is quite funny. However, since I had to juxtapose two remote paragraphs to make it come out that way, I must ask: if the professor meant it to be rib-tickling, was the journalist keeping up with him?

Nevertheless, he obviously studied under the great Professor Cuthbert Bean. As I admitted last time, the words are a quotation and i very badly did not say so at the time of the original cartoon. I have no hope now of ever rediscovering the source. The second in a series of five, I give you once again...

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Anonymous John C said...

My Google-fu tells me that the quote may be from Clifton "Kip" Fadiman, "an American intellectual, author, radio and television personality". From his 1941 book, Reading I've Liked: Presented with an Informal Prologue and Various Commentaries.

21 July 2009 at 08:19:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Thanks, John
Now I'm wondering how I would have come across something like that. I don't recall reading it. It must have been somebody else quoting him.

22 July 2009 at 05:40:00 GMT-5  

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