One of my favorite Latin tags is sub specie aeternitatis, under the aspect of eternity. That, I learned three score years ago, is the way we philosophers are supposed to view things, reaching always for the eternal truths and shunning the intellectual fashions of the moment. When I began this blog ten years ago and more, I spent days, even weeks, writing long detailed analyses of books and problems, content to leave comments on the passing scene to those not blessed with a philosophic temperament. Well, to steal another Latin tag, this time from my favorite author, Karl Marx, quantum mutatus ab illo. [How changed is Hector from before.]
Now, I experience each twist and turn of the news cycle as a lifetime. A day becomes a century, a week an era, a month an epoch. I cannot type fast enough to write a comment on a tidbit of BREAKING NEWS before it is overtaken and consigned to the trash heap of history by a tidbit even newer.
My favorite tidbit this morning is John Yoo’s abrupt reversal of his characterization of Lt. Col. Vindman’s actions as espionage. Today Yoo says he was referring to the Ukrainians, that he honors Vindman’s service, and that what Trump did was indeed to offer a quid pro quo [we cannot seem to get away from the Latin.] I infer that Yoo’s colleagues let him know that unless he took it back he might as well not return to the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Meanwhile, I hang on very word of the MSNBC commentators, waiting to hear whether John Bolton will testify. Bolton, it is my impression, has a more than ordinarily inflated ego, so I think we all ought to say loudly and often how absolutely crucial his testimony would be and how admirable we think it would be for him to come forward.
Sigh, it is no fun being a mayfly. Would anyone be interested in a seventeen part post on Hume’s theory of our belief in the continued and independent existence of objects?