CECILY55's CalorieKing blog

Tuesday, Sep 17 2013 - So far and yet so near.

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I was talking to one of my professors today about the philosophical concept of "property." (Ah, to what depths I've sunk!) As I was trying to capture this goofy first section of lectures, I said it seemed to me that property was a social construct developed to further a market economy, provide security, and "keep society as a whole from sinking into chaos." He replied that it sounded like the Hobbes philosophy and I said I remembered Hobbes. He said I didn't--of course, he was referring to Thomas Hobbes the first; I was referring to Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes. But actually, I wasn't so far off.

To quote Wikipedia, "Calvin and Hobbes is a daily comic strip that was written and illustrated by American cartoonist Bill Watterson, and syndicated from November 18, 1985, to December 31, 1995. It follows the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger. The pair are named after John Calvin, a 16th-century French Reformation theologian, and Thomas Hobbes, a 17th-century English political philosopher."

This is a perfect example of two things: (1) strange quirks of random memory lurk in our hippocampuses (hippocampi?) and (2) how easy it is to get lost on a parallel track of thought when talking with other people. We may think we're all talking about the same thing, we're using the same words, but the underlying ideas are worlds apart.

This professor is relatively young -- certainly not more than 40 -- and his wife also teaches at the College. Though they probably would be offended by this, I suspect that they are very like Bill and Hillary Clinton when they were teaching at the University of Arkansas College of Law intellectual. The thing I like most about him is he seems to hate Wisconsin--his comments about the "arctic blasts" and a one-room bar/gun-shop were hysterical.

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