Letters to the Editor April 2008
The “wisdom” of Silenus
To the Editors:
My attention has been drawn to your opinionated reference (Notes & Comments, January 2008) to my book, Better Never to Have Been. You praise those, into whose camp you seem to fall, who reject the book without even reading it. You describe this as the "high road." In justifying this conclusion you refer approvingly to Friedrich Nietzsche's dictum that one does not "refute a disease." It just so happens that your piece of rhetoric is itself an intellectual disease. I can and shall do you the courtesy of refuting it, because, contrary to Herr Nietzsche, refutation is the cure (for those who are not terminally afflicted).
Your argument takes the following form:
1. Take some view one dislikes (or, at least, one thinks one dislikes, for without reading what the view actually is one cannot be sure.) 2. Label that view a "disease." 3. Appeal (selectively) to an authority who pronounces that...
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