And they’re back! Here is Simon & Finn in the April 2013 issue.
I think Simon got a little too nerdy in this one, however I love the idea of meta-mimosas…
Next week we’ll be back to Simon & Finn’s regular, coffee-fueled antics.
Thanks for reading!
Last week, Simon & Finn were published in the UK journal Philosophy Now! That issue dealt with the idea of philosophy and literature. As well as I could understand it, there are some that believe philosophy is best expressed in a clear and almost mathematical manner, and others who feel a more literary or even poetic approach has just as much to offer.
I thought I’d show you guys some of the other cartoons that were submitted for the issue. This one was actually my favourite but the editor thought it might be too obscure. I think he was right, hence why he’s the editor of course!
Anyway, I’ll have one more reject to show you next week, and then we’ll resume normal programming.
Thanks for reading!!
This week’s Simon & Finn brought to you courtesy of Philosophy Now!
The latest issue looks at the intersection of philosophy and literature. The next issue will explore communicating philosophy, so if you have ideas for cartoons, I’m taking suggestions!
Next week: The Philosophy Now Reject Pile!
“On What There Is“, a brain-twisting piece by philosopher Willard Quine (1948), opines that when we say something doesn’t exist – for example Pegasus – this is not necessarily true. This is because Pegasus must exist in some manner for us to even be able to take sides on its existential dilemma, poor thing. That is, the material, breathing, hoof & wing Pegasus is not akin to the idea-Pegasus in our minds – and it this latter which offers us a common ground, an agreed semantic framework for discourse whose existence cannot be denied (that’s right, Pegasus will not be denied! Neigh!).
Quine happily explores the particulars of this ontological – or perhaps more appropriately semantic – puzzle by assuming various approaches to correctly expressing Pegasus’s material quandary. For example, instead of saying Pegasus doesn’t exist, we could instead say: “Pegasus does not have the specialized attribute of actuality”. Or, more succinctly, “Pegasus is an unactualized possible”. And by so doing, we multiply the number of potential Pegasi available to us all in the name of philosophical precision. This “slum of the possibles” as Quine so puts it, is quite the breeding ground for disorderly elements, as it means a litany of existence-caveats would litter every avenue of discourse.
Going even further along his merry way, Quine indicates yet another approach may involve treating the noun Pegasus as a derivative, and instead have this be identified as “the thing that is-Pegasus” or even “the thing that pegasizes”. Even Pegasus had to snort somewhat at the latter with its french conjugation overtones, as it’s a matter of time before nous pegasons is understood to mean collective flights of philosophical fancy.
P.S. This ontological ride has some origins in the Sophist, where Plato introduces the idea that what “is not” – in some sense – still “is”. To wit, Quine nicknames this ontological puzzle Plato’s Beard, seeing as it’s been dulling Occam’s razor for centuries.
There once was a rotund chap named Ernie.
Ernie was a happy sort. He liked to wander through his domain…
Laughing and chatting with his friends along the way..
Yep, Ernie was a happy chap.
One day though, Ernie noticed something strange..
Ernie did not know it, but he had stumbled across a monster!
Now Ernie – in addition to being a happy chap – was also a bit naive..So Ernie decided to be friends, and associate himself with the monster.Ernie took the monster under his wing (or paw), frequenting all his favourite haunts..Over time though, Ernie started to notice something peculiar..Ernie wasn’t sure.. but it seemed like his friends were disappearing!Little did Ernie know that – when he wasn’t looking – the monster had cut a swathe of destruction through his kingdom!
Ernie started to grow suspicious of the monster…With that the monster started crying, which made Ernie feel bad.And this is when Ernie made a big mistake.With that pronouncement, Ernie thought of a plan. He would somehow help make the monster become less – well – less ‘monster-ish’.He took the monster jogging….…to the library……and even out for sushi…But monster remained a monster.Over time, Ernie’s spirit grew tired of battling the monster’s nature……became despondent…… and eventually, weak.Several years passed, and Ernie forgot who he was – and the difference between him and the monster.Ernie had thought he could change the monster, but the monster – true to its nature – had changed him.After a long time of monster-like living, Ernie had a strange dream.He dreamt he was walking through his domain…When all of a sudden he fell into an abyss!The abyss seemed to go on forever..His fall abruptly ended when Ernie emerged from a huge hole..…which turned out to be the eye of a gigantic being!
Ernie stared, transfixed, at the apparition.All at once, it spoke!And with that, Ernie woke in a fright!Ernie thought carefully. He thought back to his kingdom…the appearance of the monster.. the disappearance of his friends… and the gradual darkening of his life…
And Ernie then realized:And with that realization, his monster-shell fell away and Ernie regained his true spirit.With his renewal, Ernie decided to deal with the monster for once and all.And the monster left.Slowly, peace and joy returned to the kingdom.Things were almost as before.But sometimes, a cloud would pass over the sun and Ernie would remember his strange dream….Years later, when Ernie would notice someone befriending a monster, he would shake his head and enigmatically pronounce:“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Once upon a time, there lived a small rotund creature named Ernie.
Ernie decided to explore further, completely ignoring all childhood tales of woe associated with dark woods.
As he sauntered on, Ernie didn’t really notice that the light was getting dimmer and that he was slowly forgetting his way back home.
All of a sudden, Ernie stumbled upon something he found highly unusual – a person with a crown!
Ernie watched, fascinated! He had never seen a crown before – and, oh – how it gleamed..Ernie found himself possessed by a strange yearning – never had he seen anything so enchanting..
Ernie grew obsessed by the idea of the golden crown! He had to have it!
What Ernie didn’t know that he had inadvertently stumbled into the Forest of Envy, which blinded the souls of all who entered, filling them with insatiable longing for the fortunes of others.
All he could think about was the crown – the precious crown.
Ernie wanted to yell – what are you so unhappy about, you at least have a crown!
All of a sudden Ernie was struck by a realization.
With those single words, the clear rays of light came shining through the Forest of Envy.
And with that, Ernie decided it was time to go home and strolled away, leaving the changed forest behind.
Years later, when asked about his time in the Forest of Envy, Ernie was fond of expounding the wisdom of Bertrand Russell, and would simply say:“To find the right road out of this despair civilized man must enlarge his heart as he has enlarged his mind. He must learn to transcend self, and in so doing to acquire the freedom of the Universe.” - Bertrand Russell
A long time ago in a galaxy sort of near, lived a small rotund creature named Ernie.
Anyway, Ernie finally plucked up the courage to go inside the cave…
“Everyone has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolours the light of nature…” - Sir Francis Bacon
Once upon a time there lived a small rotund creature named Ernie.
Ernie felt a rush of pride! Nobody had ever asked him to be ‘a somebody’ before.
Ernie took to curling his tuft of hair into little ringlets…
…and Ernie started to find himself wearying of all the demands on him.
Later, when asked about his time in the Senate, Ernie was fond of quoting Seneca, and would say with a small smile: “Sir, when you see a man repeatedly wearing the robe of office, or one whose name is often spoken in the Forum, do not envy him: these things are won at the cost of life. In order that one year may be dated from their names they will waste all their own years.”
A long time ago in a galaxy very very near, there lived a small rotund creature named Ernie.
As you can see, Ernie was a saccharine mix of innocent, playful, and roundly cute. Ernie loved to frolic in the woods with all the birds and the bees (not in that way) and in general his days were full of joy and slightly annoying laughter.
Ernie was at a bit of a loss at this odd treatment but chose to interpret it as one would the darker passages of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (which on his planet was known as the Rinse Cycle). Being a creature of perpetual sweetness and light, Ernie decided to overlook this omen and engage Bernie in friendship.
He offered strolls…
One memorable day though, Ernie had a lot of coffee and wine at the same time and experienced an epiphany!
At this very moment, Ernie realized that he had let Bernie become the authoritative downer on how his time should be experienced. With that realization, Ernie’s joie de vivre instantly expanded to its former rotund proportions – he was free of the tyranny!
“The person who says he has many dislikes and is disinterested in so many things has given themselves less opportunity to enjoy life. Conversely, those with many interests have given themselves just that many more opportunities for joy”.
And he lived happily ever after.