CASABLANCA AS PHILOSOPHY
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Now to the philosophy of Casablanca. Let us start from the plot, or at least a summary of the plot. What is required to do this right? First and foremost one tries, of course, to get it right; that is to say, to make true interpretative statements rather than false ones. Moreover, one also tries to present the plot in interesting rather than uninteresting statements; in simple rather than
complicated ones; in straightforward rather than pretentious ones. Further, one tries not to mislead one’s reader by psychological terminology. Writing ‘one tries’ does not imply some sort of effort of will, although I have no objection to that. Rather is that a shorthand way of saying we do better to operate inside social institutions designed to promote these ends, especially the social institutions of methodological rules. The individual or social effort to speak the truth does not ensure that one does so; our interpretations are always hypothetical or putative truths. We remind ourselves and our readers of that point if we explain how our interpretations were reached, how they solve problems, what difficulties they contain and hence how they can be criticized-we can even be self-critical and attempt to criticize them ourselves.