Butterflies & Wheels helps us advance our arguments with its “The Woolly-Thinker’s Guide to Rhetoric.” One useful ploy is Pave With Good Intentions: “Make it clear that you mean very well, that all the benevolence and right feeling and compassion and tolerance are on your side, and all [suspect motivations] on your opponent’s.” Bad Moves also is useful; for instance, Julian Baggin sums up Percipi est esse:
Some important truths are so simple that rock songs can not only express them, but do so with greater [clarity] than more sophisticated prose. Radiohead’s song ‘There There’, contains the line, ‘Just ‘cause you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s there.’ Since I can’t improve on this summary of the fallacy I want to describe, I’ve fallen back on an old trick: if you want to make your idea look cleverer than it is, use Latin. But, of course, just because if looks cleverer, it doesn’t mean it is.
(B&W can be interesting but the blog’s writing skills could be stronger.)
1 thought on “Wooly Thinking”
Re: “some important truths are so simple that rock songs can not only express them, but do so with greater [clarity] than more sophisticated prose”
I don’t know about that. Most of the time when I’m exposed to rock, rap, etc it’s blaring from the speakers of a vehicle 2 cars away. In any case, I find the lyrics (especially with Rap,) impossible to understand.
I do have one favorite thoughtful lyric from the Beatles . . . “We all live in a yellow submarine” ah the poignancy takes my breath away even today.
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