Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Notes for "The Truth Shall Make You Laugh" by Ricardo Nirenberg, Offcourse Issue #38.


1) Russell’s dismissal of Hegel is well-known: “Hegel’s entire system rests upon a few elementary logical blunders” (Our Knowledge of the External World, 1914).  Still, as Russell himself acknowledged (My Philosophical Development, 1959), he was a full fledged Hegelian in his youth.


2)The argument was picked up by the Stoics.  Kierkegaard, in one of his papers of 1842-43, calls it “really extraordinary,” and attributes it to Chrysippus (perhaps he read it in Cicero?)  Indeed, here we have a “logical proof” of Heimarméne or Fate!  Today an easy but wrong way out would be to invoke Gödel and undecidable propositions.

3)Kierkegaard, especially in Philosophical Fragments, vol. VII of Kierkegaard’s Writings (H.V. and E.H. Hong), Princeton U. Press, 1985, and especially on pp. 72-88.


4)Tertullian, De carne Christi, 5: “It is to be believed, because it is absurd.”




Return to "The Truth Shall Make You Laugh."

Back to Offcourse home page