Know Thyself

Last time I signed off by saying, ‘make mine an espresso.’ While I do occasionally enjoy an espresso, I usually drink long blacks. I also said how fitting it was that my opening post was ‘being composed in a cafe.’ Although I did mostly work on it in my usual cafe, sipping a long black, I also worked on it at home at my desk, at the kitchen table, even on the couch. In fact I first sketched out its main points travelling on a train. Unlike my observations of party-goers which I made clearly generic and rhetorical, the statements about myself imply that they were actual events. I was saying something true.

Instead, I admit, I also employed them rhetorically. I went with the ubiquitous espresso over my more obscure preference of long black, because I thought it enhanced the prose, drawing a familiar picture of someone hunched over her laptop taking minuscule sips from those tiny cups simply to justify her continued occupation of a cafe seat. Similarly, by implying that my philosophy blog was being written entirely in a cafe I aimed to signify a continuity between my project and philosophy’s coffee house tradition. Above all else, though, I hoped generally my rhetoric would convey a genuine sense of opening a conversation; like one between friends meeting for a coffee — sincere, thoughtful, cheeky, stimulating, human.

Nevertheless, I am a philosopher. My admission of rhetorical liberties may be forgivable for a ‘writer,’ but a philosopher? Continue reading

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