The Epistemological Implications of Smoking

 Posted by on 19 April 2004 at 9:36 pm  Uncategorized
Apr 192004

Don Watkins has posted a very long, thoughtful, and interesting analysis of the epistemology of quitting smoking. His comments are, of course, broadly applicable to the cessation of any activity which people pursue for its immediate pleasures, despite the obvious damge it causes in the long run.

I wonder if I could use a reverse procedure on exercise, which I generally experience as an unpleasant waste of time and energy in the short run, but which obviously benefits me in the long run.

Much to my surprise, I recently discovered that I am much happier exercising while listening to philosophy lectures. That way, I don’t mind taking time out of my schedule, since I’m also doing something that counts as productive. (That’s particularly true of my short hikes with the dogs.) Also, my mind is sufficiently engaged such that the ever-present discomfort of exercise receeds into the background. (That’s particularly true of running on the treadmill, which is insanely boring even while watching a movie.) My mother made good fun of me for this tactic recently, but that’s easy for her to do, as she actually enjoys exercise. I wish I were so lucky!

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