Friday, 5 May 2017

Aristotle trumps Rumsfeld

By comparison with the false truths, half-truths (and nothing like the truth) that is currently being pumped out by the White House, the pronouncements on February 12th, 2002 by Donald Rumsfeld about 'known knowns', 'unknown unknowns' (and any permutation thereof) sound decidedly philosophical. And perhaps, so they should. There is a sense in which Aristotle got there first.

In Part (Book) 24 of his Poetics, Aristotle talks of prefering "probable impossibilities to improbable possibilities". I'm not sure exactly what he means - nor, at this point, does it matter. It is certainly much more thought-provoking than the current White House drivel which could learn much from the erstwhile Donald.