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Man with plaster cast on thumb, two men behind him.


Jupiter you are angry, therefore you are wrong.



We can imagine many possible reasons for this teacher’s anger: the stigma of leprosy; his handicap being noticed; a foreigner in his space; and, vitally, nameless devils to which we are not privy. In that sentence we see language burgeoning on. The Houses of Parliament across the Thames. The tendency of language to take centre stage, edging out emotion. But anger trumps reasons; and reason herself. Anger, we say, blinds us, as do love and fear. In our blindness we may or may not forward our cause. Sometimes this seems to surprise; certainly we must be troubled by reason’s ignominious folding, yet surprise seems unwarranted for reason only functions in the curtilage of language and logic. Language and thought do not coincide, Mist forming up the valley among the trees of Ae forest. On the gap between thought and language.

and, blatantly, neither do language and action. Both thought and action are largely governed by emotion, not reason. Rational thoughts can indeed veil the roots of emotions. More generally, the demands of logic Pagoda on pillar in pool. What is the place of logic in thought? provide neither the rules of thought, nor the rules of action.

Maybe you have met this proverb, as I did, being cited by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) in The Brothers Karamazov, Translated by Constance Garnett. Part Four, Book XII. A Judicial Error, Chapter 14: The Peasants Stand Firm. It is a familiar saying in Russia. The ‘internet’ offers it as a modern rendering of the Latin Iuppiter iratus ergo nefas which is attributed to a lost source in which the original was nearer “Jupiter, you seize on lightening instead of answering, therefore you are wrong”.

The photograph (with its five eyes) was taken in the Naini Leprosy Mission Hospital (TLM) in Uttar Pradesh. I felt I had asked his permission to photograph him and his fellows, but in such complex situations it is hard to know from where permission is being controlled; the photograph seems to indicate I was mistaken.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 13th May 2023

Murphy on duty to this site