Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Coming Soon to an Academic Institution Near you?

This is a transcript of a recent email exchange between an ex student of mine. Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent. 

Good day, Flaxen, how are things with you?

I trust all is well and your practice in science and thoughts in philosophy has dissuaded you not. I must admit I have not kept up with current events, but as far as I have been told, I hope that Tipton is no more in turmoil.

I wanted to elaborate on the topic of science a little more today, although please do bear with me if I have already mentioned it.. my memory is fading. As you may or may not know, I will be moving back to Tipton University this July to continue post graduate study in science - first doing a bridging course to graduate as BSc in difficult sums, and hopefully if my marks pull through I wish to endeavour into Masters in difficult sums. Ultimately, I want to get into research in the field of difficult sums. My current position in science has served me well, perhaps too well, that doing the practical work has stimulated my academic interest further that has fed my passion to learn more about the field. Notwithstanding, I foresee potential vicissitudes in this journey and will not drop being a scientist. But should it be successful, it would be like a dream. The completion of this course is estimated to take 3 years due to some time table clashes and what not.

It will be an interesting, challenging, and a fresh start again. And it is an exciting opportunity to study in a field closer to yours. May our path cross again.

Kind regards,


Hi Student, 

Forgive my late reply but I've been off work for a few days. Good to see you are returning to civilisation to continue your studies. In the meantime I've mutated into a solipist. I, and like minded individuals, meet up every second Wednesday in the month and debate whether any of us exist. So far I've established that I probably do exist, although one can never be totally reassured with this sort of thing. I' m concerned that you may be just a projection of my fevered and disordered imagination. If that is the case, please ignore this email. At one stage I thought I might be god, but after much introspection, this notion seemed blatantly ridiculous as the concept of god is absurd and contradictory. 

Anyway, keep well. We may meet up one day, but only if we both fulfill the criteria of existence. 


Dear Flaxen,

In the chasms of my memory, I had a dignified image of this wise *******cist, heeding the warning that thou shalt not delve to modern philosophy, where all roots of senselessness exist. What has devoured you into this senseless solipsism? Why has your practice of pragmatism fallen short?

That was my initial reaction. Then I realised solipsism is rooted as far back as Descartes. I have some respect for Descartes for discovering cogito ergo sum but I'm not too sure if his later achievements were as good. Now upon further analysis, I noticed solipsism was further reinforced by George Berkeley. A Brit. Why am I not surprised? It also comes in direct contrast to your other favourite British (or Scottish more specifically) philosopher David Hume who suggested the bundle theory. There is no self in the bundle theory. Therefore neither you nor I will exist. And all the way through this I had to revisit why my favourite philosopher was David Hume, and I love him not for the bundle theory but I resonated with the problem of induction. Anyway, I do miss these ponder of thoughts when I'm not around you. Thank you for rekindling my interest. I might pick up philosophy while I'm back at varsity.

In summation, I wish you well and all the very best for the stupendous team in Tipton. Please send my regards.

Kind regards

To be continued……

No comments:

Post a Comment