If I were rational, however, I would not be sacrificing the health of my arms for aesthetics. In the event that my arms have to be amputated, will my desk still bring me pleasure as I contemplate its wooden loveliness? Possibly, although the pleasure might be a little diminished (like my arms).
The desk, incidentally, cost $10. Plus the $180 it cost to ship it here. Again, reason would suggest I should have acted otherwise, but aesthetics demanded that I shove my reason into a cupboard and lock the door. And so I did. And so I have my desk. And it’s beautiful. And my arms are sore.
Taking myself as the exemplar of all humanity, I can then make the universal observation that we are a thoroughly irrational species, supremely adept at the sport of rationalisation, and wonderfully equipped for the past-time of self-delusion. We follow our heart’s desire and then rationalise the idiocy of our actions so that we can delude ourselves into thinking that we are rational. And because this column is supposed to be vaguely philosophical, if you think my generalising from myself to all of humanity a little hubristic, then I suggest you read the most wonderful philosopher of the 18th century, David Hume, and see if you can find it in your heart to deny his reasons.
Naturally enough – and here comes the punch-line – I have to stop writing now because my arms are aching….