An Edgy Essay by Z
Originally published 31 December 2015, Re-Edited December 2017
Members of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association,
I’m deeply, deeply humbled by this Presidential honor.
So deeply, deeply humbled am I.
I mean, I’m so deeply, deeply humbled that it’s really hard to get over it.
But I digress.
As I philosophically reflected on the question of life, the universe, and everything, and on the best-known answer to this question, in all its 42-ness, in preparation for composing my Presidential Address, it suddenly occurred to me that I could think of at least one other Address that I would very much like to emulate.
Very conveniently, it was also delivered by a President and it also has the word ‘Address’ in its title: namely, Abraham Lincoln’s justly famous and deeply inspiring Gettysburg Address.
That was Lincoln’s Address, over there on the wall.
Now for my Address, which is just like his, only a little bit different.
Five score and eighteen years years ago our white Ivy League fathers brought forth on this continent, a new Association, the American Philosophical Association, the APA, conceived in Capitalism, and dedicated to the proposition.
Just the proposition.
Now we are engaged in a long dialogue, testing whether the proposition that “P is true,” is true, the great business of professional academic philosophy.
We are met here in a not-so-very-great Eastern City, again, showing that such business can long endure.
We are here to dedicate a portion of this meeting, at least two entire days of it, to those who, having published and published, then perished, and so having given that last full measure of devotion, to our glorious cause, still have not shown that “P is true” is true, therefore have reasoned in vain.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a very real sense we cannot dedicate this hour, cannot ourselves even show that P, let alone that P is true, or that “P is true” is true.
The world will little note, nor long remember, the pursuit of the meaning and implications of “P is true,” but it can never forget that we follow Best Practices in our job-interviewing and everything else the APA can think of controlling, and that we no longer smoke at the Smoker.
It is for us, the philosophical living dead, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who have belonged to the APA have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us.
That from these honored philosophical dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.
That we here highly resolve that the pursuit of the meaning and implications of “P is true”, Best Practices, and no smoking at the Smoker, will be iterated forever.
That this Association, still under Capital but now under Big Science and the Military-Industrial-University Complex too, shall have a new birth of Best Practices and no drinking as well as no smoking at the Smoker.
Hence no new Socrates at the Smoker, or belonging to this Association, forever.
And a new birth of method, showing that P, by P, of P, and for P, shall not perish from the earth.
Thank you, V for Vendetta, for helping me write this address.
Thank you Abe, for being there to be emulated by me.
Thank you Socrates, for everything.
And thank you professional academic philosophers, and the American Philosophical Association, for pretty much less than zero.
AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY RETROSPECTIVE 55
Mr Nemo, W, X, Y, & Z, Monday 1 January 2018
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