The Philosopher’s Paradox and the Layman’s Grotesque


My friend, Muriel, who’s a rebel in her own right and an artist whose work I love so much, hinted me that TAZing all day long is pretty depressing. I agree. I think that philosophical praxis (regardless of how one defines this praxis) is highly challenging and naturally sometimes very depressing, unless, of course, one enjoys passing his/her life head-banging against the wall. So I thought that at least this time “Les structures” should “descendent dans la rue” and so I unplugged myself from my 4-wheels shield, walking to work by foot and leaving my Apple’s memes-injector at home. Once in the street I opened my eyes, my ears, my nose. I inhaled deeply.


Next thing I saw was this image of Gargantua, emerging from Gargamelle’s uterus crying his instinctive, primordial cry “À boire! À boire!”. Then I saw that never ending line of roasted animals and rolling wine barrels, doing their way into Gargantua’s mouth. Fabulous Empiricism.


The Grotesque is so much the opposite of traditional Philosophy, so much the opposite that they must have something in common. At least, I think, that Paradoxes are close to the Grotesque, because the philosophers treat Paradoxes in much the same way we treat monsters or any possible hideous creature.

The Layman’s Grotesque is the Philosopher’s Paradox.


Hmm, yes, I noticed that too: once again, I didn’t look at the real world…

5 Responses to “The Philosopher’s Paradox and the Layman’s Grotesque”

  1. murieldemezieres Says:

    “Mais tu ne meurs pas de ce que tu es malade ; tu meurs de ce que tu es vivant”.

    “Nos contradictions sont les témoignages et les effets de l’activité de notre pensée”. Paul Valéry

    “Il nous faut devenir comme des enfants par de longues années d’entraînement à l’art de l’oubli de soi. ”
    Extrait du Zen dans l’art chevaleresque du tir à l’arc

    Dear Muli, could you explain me what is “traditional philosophy” ?

    It was a pleasure to imagine you “opened” to the “outside”.

    When I saw the two drawings in your text, I remembered a very strange book that I have read a few years ago. Do you know “Titus Groan” de Mervin Peake” ?

  2. Muli Koppel Says:

    By traditional Philosophy I refer to the western philosophical credo, which is based, this way or another, on Logic, of which the most famous law is that of the contradiction. Paradoxes are sort of “Logical contradictions”, hence – hideous creatures. In non-traditional philosophy, the law of contradiction is no longer that which filters out hypotheses. That gives place to the coexistence of body&soul, of God, of things science would normally reject.

  3. murieldemezieres Says:

    Thank you for answering. I am not sure to have understood. Do you mean that there is a single way of thinking in “occidental” philosophy. Why paradoxes would be hideous creatures ? Anyway, I like the feeling of suspension that gives me paradoxal idea.

  4. Muli Koppel Says:

    There are endless ways of Western thinking. Still, most of them (not all of them) include somewhere the language of Logic. This implies certain way of reasoning. For instance P cannot be !P, nothing can be the matter and the anti-matter simultaneously, contradictions are not inclusive but exclusive.
    Until they meet the paradox which looks like a logical problem and yet it eludes any logical solution. Paradoxes contain P and !P. they are impossible and yet the exist.

  5. murieldemezieres Says:

    ” La déraison est l’œuvre de la raison”. Don’t you think that this sentence attributed to Heraclite is an exemple of paradoxe ?
    I often have the impression that “Western” is much more opened to “plurality of minds” than any other cultures. Perhaps because of distented links with religious dogmes ? Inividualisation of thougts ?
    Morever, we can notice a lot of extra-western influences, in arts for example. Our actual appetite with regard to Asian or Afriquan or Oriental cultures is not so reciproque. Don’t you think that autocritique is virtuous but not “mésamour” de soi ?
    Contente d’échanger avec toi. Pourrais-tu développer your idea of “procréer dans l’ideal” ?

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