Thursday, October 23, 2008

Governor Epimenides

It's a little jarring to hear John McCain and Sarah Palin complain about "elites." We are, after all, talking about two wealthy and powerful Republican politicians. And yet, complain they do.

In the second part of his interview with the members of the Republican ticket, NBC's Brian Williams inquired about exactly who the "elite" are.

"Oh, I guess just people who think that they're better than anyone else.... So anyone who thinks that they are -- I guess -- better than anyone else, that's -- that's my definition of elitism," Palin replied. [...]

Ms. Palin obviously disdains those who think they are "better than anyone else." Which is another way of saying she thinks they are inferior -- that she is therefore better than these elitists are. But then ... she fits the definition of an elitist... so then....

Reminds me of the infamous self-referential Epimenides paradox*:

Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: "All Cretans are liars."

Of course, if pre-Socratic Epimenides had been prescient enough to say "all Republicans are liars," the world of philosophy would have had to evolve with one less paradox to ponder.

*More accurately, the Liar Paradox.


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