Monday, December 12, 2011
Powerlessness is probably a psychological condition. Russell would ask me to define powerlessness. He would ask me to define psychological and he would ask me to tell him what I meant by the word 'condition'. Then he would completely dismiss me by suggesting that the word "probably" in my sentence has no use whatsoever. Which is probably why his greatest contribution to the thing that is me lies in his phrase "precision in language."
Nor was Russell big on the word "spirit," except on one occasion when he offered the suggestion that sometimes reason was advanced by mystical moments better grasped by defining such moments within the context of a logical process. Inevitably the empiricists see it all as a chess game. The correct moves reveal 'true things', or as Plato would have it 'good things', but correct moves never prevented sheer luck from winning the big prize. Which is probably why amongst our corporate representatives, 'calculated risk' for the rest of us is thought of so highly.