A friend wrote to ask if we’d ever thought of philosophers as fruit and vegetables. Well, no.
But then it occurred to me that a particular philosopher was an avocado; I think I was starting to fall asleep over a paper. Hume is clearly a potato, I thought as I struggled awake, while Alison Jagger is ginger, and Martha Nussbaum is salsify. Jerry Fodor is an apricot.
If would be lovely if it took a special neurological tangle to find philosophers so firmly associated with members of the vegetable kingdom, though that is surely unlikely. Perhaps we could regard it anyway as a new aesthesia. Combining “vegging out,” sofas and sophia, we could call it “sophaestheia” (cf synaesthesia).
Do you have quick and automatic associations of philosophers and fruits or veggies? Please let us know. I don’t want to be the only one on the net making such associations, especially when philosophy departments are getting shut down, philosophers put on suspension and so on.
And btw, John Searle is the avocado.
Salsify, sometimes called the oyster plant, has a wonderful and graceful taste. I just looked it up to make sure I was in fact spelling it correctly when I saw that it has been called quite non-elegant things. I had no idea; it’s thin elegance is rather behind the association.