If you don’t know what this refers to, good. I’m not about to enlighten you, because life is too short to bother with such trivia and such madness. If you do know, and if you know me, and realize that I am not a complete nincompoop, you won’t need to read this either. But if you have read anything on the internet which suggests I am making unfounded claims about a particular philosopher, involving belief in time travel, read on. I won’t take too much of your time, since the claims made about me are so idiotic that it’s a wonder anyone could believe in them, let alone anyone with the remotest acquaintance with the rules of logic and the arts of good argumentation.
Firstly. If a newspaper covers an event, and another newspaper covers the same event, one of these papers may give a more accurate account than the other. By ‘more accurate’ might be meant various things – degrees of accuracy applied to something as complex as a description of, say, (for the sake of argument) the evidence presented in a legal procedure, is pretty loose. A ‘more accurate’ newspaper article might be fuller than a less accurate account, covering more of the evidence presented, perhaps, so as to provide a more balanced view. Or it might use more measured language. The more accurate account might even contain falsehoods, mightn’t it, if the other account contains more falsehoods, or if the other account changes vocabulary in ways that distort or move away too far from the vocabulary of the original speakers. A ‘more accurate’ account, or the ‘most accurate’ account, could well contain some things which are false, just so long as some other accounts exist which contain even more falsehoods. Disagree, and you’ll fail ‘Reason and Argument 101′. Agreed?
Secondly, even if a newspaper’s account of what somebody else said is accurate, as an account of what they said, this still leaves open the question of whether or not what that somebody said is true. Agreed? Again, disagree only if you wish to be thrown out of the community of reasonable people.
And another thing: the evening follows the morning. The autumn follows the summer. I followed my sister into the world. My brother followed me. The cat followed me to school. (I don’t know what her intentions were in doing that, by the way.) Mary’s little lamb followed her as well. The hat went on ahead, and the pants followed behind. Etc. I am too weary to explain more.
I have never made any claims at all about the behaviour of a philosopher whom I have never met, and about whom I am totally indifferent. So please go away, and please read that letter I wrote you, asking you to remove your unfair and illogical claims.