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“Academic Philosophy Is Ruining Our Marriage”, Non-Hegel Versions

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By now many readers will have seen the Reddit post written by a physicist seeking advice about what to do about her Hegel-obsessed philosopher-of-science husband. It was posted in the Heap of Links the other day, and all over social media—to the extent that “Hegel” was trending on Twitter. The post begins: My husband and I are both academics. We’ve been married for 3 years, and been together for 6. He is an academic philosopher and I am a physicist. He has recently expressed displeasure that I’ve never seriously engaged with his work. Now, I’ve read a bit… Unfortunately, everything he’s shown me has just seems completely insane. Here’s the problem: his work apparently involves claims about physics that are just wrong, and wrong in a very embarrassing way! She details some of those claims, points out various problems, and claims his pre-occupation with Hegel “has reached the point of creepiness,” noting that “he keeps a framed picture of Hegel on the nightstand in our bedroom.” The problem grows and culminates in a fight: Recently we got in a huge fight because he was trying to demonstrate an example of the Hegelian concept of the “unity of opposites” (whatever that means) by claiming that right and left hands are opposite but also identical. I told him this is just wrong and that right and left hands are not “identical” in any meaningful sense (chirality is a basic concept in geometry/group theory: left and right hands are not superimposable). He kept putting his hands together and tried to show how they were “identical” and kept failing (because they’re not) and then got angry and stormed out of the house. I haven’t seen him since (this was about a day ago) and texted him and haven’t heard back. There’s some speculation that the post is a hoax. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it. I was trying to imagine. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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