Thursday, June 05, 2008

How contemporary tertiary education works

More from the novel cited in the previous post, The Philosopher's Apprentice:

'May I buy you a beer?'

I gestured towards my pitcher of stout. 'I'm fixed for the evening. Here's a question for you, Dr Wilcox. Does this pitcher truly hold four beers, or merely hold four potential beers, each awaiting the reification that will occur upon being poured?'

Wilcox gave me a blank look. 'No wonder philosophers can't get funding.'

UPDATE: More academic doco-realism:

The one time I'd delivered a paper at a conference, 'The Geist in the Machine', a précis of my Master's thesis on Schelling, I didn't meet any minds of Edwina Sabacthani's calibre, but I was memorably seduced by a tenured Utilitarian from Princeton named Frédérique Wintrebert, who said she'd become aroused by my use of the word 'praxis'.


The Devil Drink said...

That's category confusion IMO. The beer exists as a potential effect on the drinker, not a substance to hold. This is the principle behind "standard drinks": one nip of spirits being the same as a middy of full strength beer, or a 150ml glass of wine, and so on. I mean who buys perfectly good stout just to pour it into a glass and look at it?
If you're reifying your beer through measurement and gaining enjoyment in quantification, you're DOING IT WRONG.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Agreed. It's like chocolate that claims to have '1 million kilojoules per serving' and then you find out that by 'a serving' they mean two tiny squares. Pffft.

Fyodor said...

"I mean who buys perfectly good stout just to pour it into a glass and look at it?"

Wash your fecking mouth out.

The Devil Drink said...

Why not? One Southwark stout, please, young person behind the bar.

ypbtb said...

Ooh, noyce choyce. That's my idea of a cup of tea.

The Devil Drink said...

Or if you don't have that, make it a Sheaf. Umami-stout.