11 April 2008
It seemed odd that somebody distressed and contemplating suicide should come to Yahoo! Answers with this. Yet it also seems hard to believe that anyone looking at the issue of suicide, and wanting to engage a discussion in a calm philosophic way (which would make sense of the choice of forum) would do so quite so earnestly and typo-idiosyncratically as that.
Acting on the possibility that this was a genuine case of distress, I gave the best answer I could come up with. And I found to my surprise that it didn't sound like a Jamesian answer. More like a Schopenhauerian answer.
Maybe James' discussion of the point was a bit too meta-philosophical, and the note I struck here was more first-order.
Anyway, I'll see later today whether the fellow responds. I already clicked through the screen name and no e-mails or i-ms via the Y!A system are allowed. So I guess we can just hope for the best.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.