In a few minutes, I’m off to my little photo studio at the museum, for another afternoon of shooting 19th century doodads.  Before I leave, for no reason in particular, I thought I’d throw this out there into the ether.

The other evening at dinner, I asked two of our friends who have advanced degrees (which I have not) to remind me of the titles of their dissertations.  I don’t recall what prompted this query.

Thesis titles can, and very frequently do, sound über-pompous.  Our friends’ titles?  Only moderately pompous.  If I had an advanced degree, you know how pompous that title would be.

Anyway, here is a transcription of a favorite piece from ‘Beyond the Fringe’ from the very early 1960’s.  Actually, most of the bits from ‘B the F’ are my favorites.

–      –      –      –      –      –

We have in the studio Bertrand Russell, who talks to us in the series “Sense Perception and Nonsense: Number 7, Is this a dagger I see before me?”.  Bertrand Russell.

Russell: One of the advantages of living in Great Court, Trinity I seem to recall, was the fact that one could pop across at any time of the day or night and trap the then young G. E. Moore into a logical falsehood by means of a cunning semantic subterfuge. I recall one occasion with particular vividness. I had popped across and had knocked upon his door. “Come in,” he said. I decided to wait awhile in order to test the validity of his proposition. “Come in,” he said once again. “Very well,” I replied, “if that is in fact truly what you wish.”

I opened the door accordingly and went in, and there was Moore seated by the fire with a basket upon his knees. “Moore,” I said, “do you have any apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont. I decided to try a different logical tack. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have some apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have apples in that basket?” “Yes,” he replied. And from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.

Advertisements