Tuesday, 12 December 2006

A Satirical Delight

“I always get a satirical delight in seeing a philosopher suffering from a tooth-ache”. [1]
[1] Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living (London and Toronto: William Heinemann, 1938), p.29.
[2] William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Leonato in Act V, Scene 1.


Cirdan said...

For there was never yet philosopher/
That could endure the toothache patiently,

Not even the Stoic sage who was crippled by his master?

Not even Wittgenstein? [Tomassi, Paul. 1999. 'From toothache to embarrassment: Wittgenstein on emotion.' Philosophical Papers, 28(3): 187-206]

Deogolwulf said...

I presume Shakespeare had in mind (for Leonato) those philosophers who cultivate for themselves an unworldly unwisdom. I think we can forgive him a little rhetorical overplay. On the subject of such wayward philosophers, I take Simon Blackburn’s injunction very seriously: “We have to drag them back to the everyday.” [1] As Lin Yutang appreciates, tooth-ache is a mundane reminder of the everyday. I am, by the way, much impressed by the Stoical resolve to endure. We could do with a little more of it these days.

[1] Simon Blackburn, “Portrait: Richard Rorty”, Prospect, issue 85, April 2003.

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Sky Captain said...

Back in my ragged philosopher days I once had a terrible toothache.

I tore out what was left of my tooth.

By the way, thanks awfully for linking me up.
Naturally I've repaid the compliment.