Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good Advice

We all know the liar paradox that the Cretan Epimenides created when he told us that "all Cretans are liars". But I am confused in the same way by Anselm Feuerbach's good advice which goes like this: "If someone gives you so-called good advice, do the opposite; you can be sure it will be the right thing nine out of ten times." Help!


  1. Listen to your inner voice. That is always right.

  2. Epimenides and Feuerbach both were ironically playing on semplification, generalization and common sense in front of what could be called the very economy, the existential economy.

    The surprising fact is, that - exactly as we do well, if daily we drink water, instead of excellent wine - we do well in listening to bad advices! Because this trains our mirror neurons and clears up our position in the orientation process.

    Common sense - exactly as good taste - cannot be scientifically proved or objectively defined. Yet it exists and generates effects. But any logician who tries to solve the riddle by using logic, remaining imprisoned into the world of logic (instead of taking logic seriously in order to trascend it's world, getting into the world of existential phenomenology), would better declare his capitulation immediately, when staying still at the starting point. Any logic formula, which affirms to have solved the riddle with the only use of logic, is only pseudologic.

    Good advices, as almost every good thing, are rare. Only one, out of ten advices, is a really good advice, and good intention cannot assure quality. Normal in the universe is death, and life is - exactly as good advices are - part of the primordial, paradox exception.

    It is not so important that someone finds a really satisfying solution for your question, but it is a pleasure, if at least someone might understands it. And the point is, that even everyone does understand it.

    The best wine stays always in a little number of bottles. But it is sick, if someone prefers to drink every day the best wine. To prefer good water to bad wine is reasonable, and to prefer for one's daily drinking habit water to the best of wines, is even more reasonable. But these facts do not really belong to logic, since they belong to the existential condition we use to call life.

  3. What is, when this advice distributor already knows that you are someone who would do the opposite?
    A banana problem? No, replace the adviser by a dog´s owner and the opposite-actor by a dog.

  4. "What is, when this advice distributor already knows that you are someone who would do the opposite?"

    Great question. Which leads to the question of why we do advise. Advising and obedience are both ambivalent behaviours. Yet both are of timeless importance in education and both have their own ethics.