PÄR SEGERDAHL Associate Professor of Philosophy and editor of The Ethics BlogOne cannot say, “I’m the humblest person in the world,” without displaying arrogance. One cannot protest, “How dare you call me arrogant? My whole life I’ve served individuals who don’t even deserve to tie my shoelaces!” without once again displaying arrogance.

Or listen to this: “Nothing is certain; here is the proof.”

Anti- and post-movements – anti-metaphysics, post-humanism etc. – display similar difficulties of avoiding comical self-contradiction. It is difficult to reject the grandiose ambitions of metaphysics to describe the world order, without trying to describe a world order that evades description.

That is to say: it is difficult to resist the temptation.

Rhetorically brilliant anti-metaphysicians compete contriving the most awe-inspiring neologisms to unveil the world’s essential evasiveness… a nomadic world of quasi-objects, hybridization and crossings of borders.

“How dare you call me a pretentious metaphysician? I know everything about the world’s inexplicability!”

Pär Segerdahl

The temptation of rhetoric - the ethics blog