The Questions of Plain Persons

* [In his recent book] Alasdair MacIntyre argues that "neither the university nor philosophy is any longer seen as engaging the questions" of "plain persons." These questions include: "What is our place in the order of things? Of what powers in the natural and social world do we need to take account? How should we respond to the facts of suffering and death? What is our relationship to the dead? What is it to live a human life well? What is it to live it badly?"

* ... in his first exposure to analytic philosophy, Cavell found the study of symbolic logic "exhilarating." His subsequent realization that the reduction of philosophical problems to symbolic logic would require him "to leave" not just "natural language quite behind," but also the questions he found most pressing, forced him to face a "permanent choice, in blind ignorance, between what I wanted to understand and what was truly understandable."

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