We Are All Platonists Now

We are all Platonists about human behaviour, in the sense that we assume that reality cannot be what we see in front of our noses. Consider a person who behaves decently 90% of the time, and badly the remaining 10%; everyone says, pointing to one of the bad things, “Ah, that shows what he is really like.” A social mask? But now consider the case of someone who usually behaves obnoxiously; what we hear is then, “You see, she is really quite nice underneath it all”. The rule of thumb is therefore that whichever pattern is least frequent is the more “real”. “Reality” is per definition concealed beneath a “façade” – good reality underneath a bad façade – or, preferably, a bad reality beneath a good façade, because it is much more fun that way round.

Posted on March 24, 2009 at 22:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Introduction

2 Responses

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  1. Written by HeartPrayer
    on March 29, 2009 at 21:40

    Those are fascinating observations!
    Perhaps we might consider the possibility that, mask or none, we do not, by and large, have a stable “I”. No?

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on March 30, 2009 at 09:41

    That’s a large question, and a different one. I’m open to the idea that there is no single or coherent “I” — in the Buddhist or the David Hume mode — but the focus of the series will always be more on malicious social interaction than pure philosophy.

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