This just in, via Josh:
The kind of difficulty both cases exemplify arises when something we encounter defeats our ordinary capacity to get our minds around reality, that is, our capacity to capture reality in language. That dislodges us from comfortably inhabiting our nature as speaking animals, animals who can make sense of things in the way the capacity to speak enables us to. The special kind of animal life we lead comes into question. It is as if a beaver found dam building beyond its powers.
That’s from John McDowell, “Comment on Stanley Cavell’s ‘Companionable Thinking’” in Wittgenstein and the Moral Life: Essays in Honor of Cora Diamond, p. 302.
There’s also a new Mel Gibson film called The Beaver coming soon. “A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating”, apparently. The trailer is here. My brother Michael wrote to me to draw my attention to it, commenting that, “This looks as though it could conceivably be one of the worst films ever made.”
And, as a tribute to the late, lamented Leslie Nielsen, here‘s a link to the beaver joke from one of the Naked Gun films.
The Scottish beavers seem to be doing well. The latest news is here, and this story from a couple of weeks ago will also be of interest.
I think that’s about all for now. As you were.