Fishing for First-Rate Philosophy Footnotes

Sought: examples of footnotes or endnotes in philosophical works that should not be missed. Of course, every footnote in everything you’ve written falls into that category, I know, but what about the works of others? Let’s be as broad-minded as possible as to what makes a note noteworthy here. It could be that the note:

  • strangely makes a crucial point that quite clearly should have been in the main text
  • is extraordinarily interesting, perhaps more interesting than anything in the rest of the paper
  • spawned an important work or body of literature
  • is a reference to a very surprising work
  • tells a good story
  • reveals interesting biographical information
  • is just beautifully written
  • makes a good joke
  • …or is in some other way worth reading

If it’s not too much trouble, reproduce the note in the comments. If you want to, withhold the bibliographic information and see if others can guess which work the note is from. (Guessing is different from Googling, folks, but whatever.) If no one guesses after a while, don’t forget to come back and tell us where it’s from!


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