Monday, February 14, 2005

Philosophy and Philately

See here for philosophers who have been honored with postage stamps. Interestingly, no American philosopher makes this list or has ever been so honored as far as I know. But I could be wrong about this. John Dewey perhaps?

I enjoy low-brow American culture in moderation, especially when "motorvatin'"* along an open road, Chuck Berry style, but when Elvis and Marilyn made it onto postage stamps, I asked myself whether we were on a slippery slope issuing in the likes of Charles Manson being philatelically honored. For Elvis and Marilyn to be handed the palm when such philosophers as Royce, Peirce, and James, not to mention chess great Paul Morphy, go unhonored, says something about cultural priorities in the good old USA.

I may be making some factual mistakes here. That's for me not to know, and for you to find out.


*As I was motorvatin' over the hill
I saw Maybelline in a Coupe de Ville

UPDATE: I blundered again. There is a John Dewey stamp, and it is viewable via the link I provided above. Thanks to Tony Flood for the quick correction. Glad to have you as a reader, Tony. Who says there is no quality control in the blogosphere?