Online conversation from today, discussing potentially problematic questions on an exam she’d given:
autographedcat: Bonus question #2: “What do they mean, ‘if a woodchuck could chuck wood’. Is there any point in calling it a woodchuck if it can’t? Defend your answer, quote Sartre if necessary.”
autographedcat: (i have no idea what class you’re teaching right now. I’m just feeling exceptionally silly)
autographedcat: Well, there you go, then. The Woodchuck question is completely applicable.
catalana: Sartre believes that existence precedes essence, i.e., that we can create ourselves into whatever we wish to be. Hence he would be perfectly fine with a woodchuck existing even if it couldn’t chuck wood.
catalana: Aren’t you glad you asked? 🙂
That’s one brilliant conversation 🙂
Is there any point in calling it a woodchuck if it can’t?
Certainly. The name “would chuck” clearly speaks to M. monax‘s intent, not its actual capability.
A “can chuck” plays hockey for Vancouver.
Other great philosophers weigh in:
Decartes: I chuck, therefore I would.
Yoda: Chuck or chuck not, there is no would.
Jesus: Turn the other chuck.
Hahahah 🙂 This is why I adore you *both* :))
I’m glad you asked. 😀