11/12/2019 06:39

Epistemology and the Road to Health

Yesterday was not the epitome of perfect health.

From transient sneezing and dry eyes hinting at a viral infection through a chronic issue with my right leg down to remnant discomfort stemming from an ingrown toenail my body was decidedly off its peak.

The outside weather was not making life any better. Unseaonsably cold, excessively windy, treacherously icy; conditions had strayed from the picture of an idyllic November day. (I grant here that the number of November days rising to the level of idyllic is regularly small. It is the confluence of conditions and rather than their exceptional nature which I am intending to highlight.)

When, therefore, I found myself feeling modestly depressed, emotionally brittle, and under a delusion of social isolation I attributed this psychological malaise to the general physical and physiological situation within which I was then embedded. Vague symptoms from vague causes, I've always felt; equivocal treatment for ambiguous conditions the best that I've received.

But this was entirely wrong! My sense of depression had been brought on by a cramped muscle in the sole of my left foot.

In actual reality I can't establish a chain of causation. What I did observe was that addressing that small muscle brought relief of psychological symptoms without any perceptible time interval and approximately in proportion to the easing of the cramp. The evidence isn't definitive but it surely justifies putting considerable faith the in the hypothesis.

In the actual reality game it may be advantageous to find alternative avenues along which to proceed: new paths, neglected byways, or roads which lead to other destinations or carry other freight.