Quine, probably the greatest logician since Bertrand Russell, notes that paradoxes often occur as a result of presumed beliefs otherwise left unstated, and once they are “fleshed out” through query and made explicit via closer scrutiny and analysis, the portion which befuddles often disappears. Confusion within a language game, of course, is often a large part of it, and certain unstated preconditions and assumed facts otherwise implicit and hidden will leave the stated portion incomplete such that others must come along and unravel the mystery.
In a similar vein, statements made as “necessarily” so also retain unstated presumptions. Thus, if we claim that “the sun will rise tomorrow”, we are asserting that it is “necessarily so”. If a child asks, “Why is that so”, we will often revert to nothing more than Hume’s response that because it has always risen in the past, and the revolution of planets and rotation of the earth around the sun has been a reliable compass upon which we can depend, it is the regularity of events in the past that determine the necessary expectation of repetition for the future.
It is, then, those unstated or “hidden” presumptions that made certain statements and claims unclear, and the job of an attorney is to clarify that which is left in a muddle.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where it becomes necessary to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the questions surrounding paradoxes and necessity can be important.
Medical conditions can certainly be paradoxes. Without explanation, they can debilitate, progressively deteriorate and impact a person’s ability and capacity to continue on as before. Even with a medical diagnosis, prescribed course of treatment and sometimes surgical intervention, they may remain a befuddlement because of a lack of knowledge or explanation.
Having such a medical condition may nevertheless require that the Federal or Postal employee file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits because the Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job. The filing itself becomes a “necessity”.
The gap between the paradox of the medical condition and the necessity of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes quite clear: Necessity does not equal entitlement, and the paradox must be proven. In doing so, implicit facts must be explained and explicated, and more than an argument of “because it has always been so” will have to be put forward to persuade OPM of the viability of one’s case.
To that extent, do not allow for concealed and presumed “facts” to defeat your Federal Disability Retirement application, and never allow your statement of facts to remain a paradox, lest it become “necessary” to engage further steps of appealing the Federal Disability Retirement process in pursuance of an approval from OPM.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire