Friday, February 5, 2010

Angkor Wat exists

Two notes:

1) I will have a post up on Citizens United v. FEC; aiming for next week.

2) I can't resist saying this somewhere, and while perhaps it more properly belongs on the comment thread attached to this recent Duck of Minerva post, I'm going to put it here instead. ProfPTJ, in the course of explaining his philosophy-of-science position of "ontological monism," distinguishes it from a rejection of "common-sense realism" and writes: "One need not make profound ontological investments in order to assent to the proposition that Angkor Wat exists, even if one is very unlikely to ever go there and see it in person."
Well (how can I say this without sounding smug and insufferable?) I have actually been to Angkor Wat, albeit a very long time ago as a young child (seven-ish I'd say, maybe six) with my parents and brother. (We were living in E. Pakistan, as it then was, at the time, and we were either going on home leave or coming back from it.) This was obviously before the U.S. pulled Cambodia into the Indochina conflict and Angkor Wat became a dangerous place. I think I have no direct first-hand recollections, but there are photos somewhere, and for present purposes I admit them into evidence as equivalent to first-hand recollection. One of our fellow tourists was an Oxford don, no longer alive, whose books I read years later in college. Anyway, I don't have to make any ontological investment, profound or otherwise, to assent to the proposition that Angkor Wat exists.
And on that insufferable note, I wish you a nice weekend.

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