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The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC

Yesterday I reported that, guilt stricken, I had contacted the mairie of the 5th arrondissement to arrange for the pickup of my deceased dishwasher.  This morning, at ten of six, as I set out on my morning walk, I saw that it had indeed been taken away.  "Well," I said to myself, "there you have it.  Do the right thing and the world cooperates.  Very nice."  Later on, as Susie and I set out for the market, we stopped in to tell the nice lady in the hotel next door about my success in arranging this bit of civic proper behavior.  She laughed and told us that yesterday in late afternoon a little man came by, eyeballed the dishwasher, went away, returned with a dolly, and carted the dishwasher away.

As I learned many years ago during my undergraduate days,  post hoc, ergo propter hoc is not a reliable rule of inference.

2 comments:

Jerry Fresia said...

But how would one characterize this distribution? Might you have been "caring for the commons?" Could it have been a simple example of anarchism, followed by a pang of social conscience? Plain old "trickle down?" And/or an act of risk taking, private enterprise on the part of the guy who hauled it away?

Magpie said...

I'm relieved to hear that the French collect stuff left on the sidewalk.

It makes me feel somewhat more "chic". :-)