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The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey

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Friday, 23 November 2007

A Short Course in Philosophy

Two well known philosophical limericks
A toper, who spies in the distance
Striped tigers, will get some assistance
From reading Descartes,
Who holds that it's part
Of his duty to doubt their existence.
But if he's a student of Berkeley,
One thing will emerge rather starkly:
That he ought to believe,
What his senses perceive,
No matter how dimly or darkly.
Some additions to complete the course courtesy of yours truly...
A Kantian might run away,
Or he might take a chance, and then stay
To see if it's real,
Or just an ideal,
And a noumenal blot on his day.
But if he heard Heidegger calling
And warning the toper was falling,
He'd know that his fear
Depends on how near,
He is to an authentic mauling.
A Taoist however, might say,
That if he partakes of the te,
What matters is knowing,
Just where he is going,
...the tiger is just in the Way.
And since his awareness is heightened
A Master of Zen isn't frightened -
Though he might give a kick,
If he hasn't a stick,
In the hope that the tiger's enlightened.
Though a Lockean might be more worried,
And beat a retreat rather hurried,
Having heard the effect,
To be had on his neck,
By something thus fanged and thus furried.
A Humean caught in this way,
Exploits naturalistic delay
While the Tiger's still caught
'Twixt the Is and the Ought,
His lunch can be getting away.
The poor toper besotted with meaning,
Unaware of the beast's natural leanings
Might be left by his friend
'Cos he can't comprehend
What he meant when he said he was leaving.
For the limerick writer, it's worse
If he's struggling with unfinished verse.
Should he stand wasting time,
While attempting to rhyme
The word "tiger", he'll leave in a hearse.
In general, the question is Being,
(The toper's, and that which he's seeing),
But I'm for eschewing,
The Being for Doing,
And eager to Be, so I'm fleeing.

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