The Meaning of Doing Anything

“the phrase ‘the meaning of a word’ is, in general, if not always, a dangerous, nonsense-phrase.”


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“For example, I ask Old Father William ‘What is the point of standing on one’s head?” He replies in the way we know. Then I follow this up with “What is the point of balancing an eel on the end of one’s nose?” And he explains. Now suppose I ask as my third question “What is the point of doing anything—not anything in particular, but just anything?” Old Father William would no doubt kick me downstairs without the option. But lesser men, raising this same question and finding no answer, would very likely commit suicide or join the Church.


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