Belatedly reading Thomas Nagel’s review of Kwame Anthony Appiah’s book, As If: Idealization and Ideals, in The New York Review of Books (5 April 2018, vol LXV, no 6, pp 36-38) was a double take moment.
In that review I recognised some of my own philosophical thinking since the later 1990s. Until I have time to absorb both the work of Appiah and Hans Vaihinger, from whom Appiah draws some foundation for his concept of ‘idealization’, this is a preliminary comment.
SSince early December I have been reading my way through Jack Higgins’s novels. He had first used the character Martin Fallon in 1960 (Cry of the Hunter), reprising him in 1973 for the novel A Prayer for the Dying.
It’s a mournful story of an IRA soldier, haunted by the innocents he’s killed, trying to get out, but finding it hard to quarantine his particular skills from the bargains he must strike to escape.
Christmas excesses usually require some recuperation, and binge-watching back-to-back television episodes is a reliable pastime for the waking hours, while digesting too much food and sweating out too much booze in the heat of the season.
After weeks of reading about the Michelle Guthrie-Justin Milne battle for the soul of the ABC, I finally watched the 12 November Four Corners programme featuring interviews with both former senior ‘knobs’ at the public broadcaster.
A curious set of facts I came across as part of my recent studies makes it certain that any Australian looking for career advancement needs to be able to demonstrate a high degree of literacy.
Most people I know, even those with post-graduate degrees, tend to be dismissive of grammar and spelling as important, even in professional communication. But only some professionals get away with cavalier attitudes like that, and only if they are exceptionally brilliant in other areas. Most of us aren’t that fortunate.