About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Couldn't have said it better myself
The two were talking about Roth's latest book, Everyman, which follows the life of an average individual through his medical record, i.e., through the slow but steady decay of his body. Inevitably, the book touches on issues of sexuality (what happens when you are seventy and still have a strong libido?), meaning of life (or lack thereof), and, of course, death.
Gross at one point couldn't help herself from asking Roth – who said earlier that he is not religious -- whether he ever wishes that he were a believer. “I have no desire for the irrational,” was Roth's matter of fact (and absolutely not hostile) response. Gross, undaunted, commented that a lot of people would say that rationality goes only so far in this world, a typical nonsensical comeback that is in fact commonly perceived as a “deep” insight and a clear trump card against the poor rationalist fool. But Roth simply replied: “if only it went further in this world,” and, a few seconds later, again referring to religion and beliefs in gods and the afterlife, “I have no taste for delusion.”
Wow, that was a nice dose of fresh air indeed. Thanks Philip.