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« Is philosophy about "PAINTS"? Why I disagree with Frances | Main | Why such strange publishing rules? »

06/20/2014

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Phil H

Wow, that's a lot of blogging over a few days.

I tried to post on this before, so sorry if there's duplication - problems with the Chinese censors.

I think there might be more of an argument for doing conceptual analysis to find out about boredom than there is about Pluto, because boredom is a cultural thing. There may be irreducibly non-cultural real-world elements to boredom, but I would submit that the experience of boredom which people have is more culture than world. (From what I understand, ennui isn't much like boredom; the equivalent words in Chinese are a bit different, too.)

Therefore there's an argument that boredom is a cultural artifact that is transmitted through many modes, one of which is the word itself. If you look at what the word means, that is one thing that parents teach their children; it is one way in which children learn to be bored.

Incidentally, on the Pluto thing: it's an odd example to use, because while you're right that philosophers aren't doing astronomy, doing astronomy is not what is required to determine whether or not Pluto is a planet! Nothing new was discovered about Pluto in the run up to its redesignation (though some other astronomical facts were discovered).

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