A Tiger Never Changes its Spots

Brian already covered this, but it’s so funny it’s worth covering twice. From yesterday’s NY Times?

[Harvard] can tenure Harvey Mansfield, the professor of government famous for his politically incorrect pronouncements, and Hilary Putnam, the philosophy professor who was handing out Progressive Labor pamphlets 35 years ago and seems not to have changed his mind on any issue since.

I always thought that a Putnam was a unit of time, measuring how long it took the good professor to change his views, but the Lexicon reveals my memory was playing tricks on me.

Thanks to Dmitri Tymoczko for the pointer.

4 Replies to “A Tiger Never Changes its Spots”

  1. That has to be a joke, right? Because, sure, the author included Putnam for his political views, but isn’t it possible that was just thrown in for people who know Putnam’s philosophical reputation? (I suppose it’s also possible the author doesn’t, but I can’t see any other reason for extending the statement to “any issue since”.)

  2. If it’s a joke, it’s a pretty bad one, seeing that only those in the philosophical community would get it, and surely we can’t presume NY Times journalists writing for the wicked?

  3. If I subscribed to the principle that one should not make jokes that 99% of one’s readers won’t get, most of my blog wouldn’t exist. I’m not saying that that’s a reason not to subscribe to that principle.

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