One looks up at the stars and we are told, of course, that the sparkling tapestry may contain those which are already vanished, and what we “see”are merely the residue of a dead or dying star. In a universe based upon a visual-centered arena, the reliance upon sight to establish facts and verify truth-statements cannot be avoided.
That was Berkeley’s problem, as well — and one which he deftly avoided by re-defining the definition of existence by tying it inextricably with “perception”, including visual, auditory and tactile means. Much later, and after a series of devastating criticisms launched at the entirety of empiricist tendencies that some would counter artificially manufactured unnecessary philosophical problems (but isn’t that the “fun” of philosophy — to always be left with more problems to solve than the day before?) which haunts us to this very day, Wittgenstein came along and waved aside such conundrums by relegating all such issues to mere problems of linguistic confusion.
Thus was reality divorced from the language we use to describe the phenomena that surrounds us, leaving science left standing as the Last Man and the primacy of philosophy relegated to the dusty shelves of Medieval Times. Distant lights dimming? No more a problem than the campfire dilemma — for, do we say that because we cannot precisely pinpoint the demarcation between light and darkness at the periphery of a glowing campfire, that therefore no campfire exists at all? Of course not!
It is thus not the result of the physical objectivity of the world around us that confuses, but the inadequacy of language that confounds. Yet, as Man must communicate by means of language and operate effectively within the objective world, so the development of various “language games” must by necessity evolve into greater heights of absurdity.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts upon the reality of the “objective” world — entrance and introduction into the binary universe of language games and the greater world at large must also, by necessity, come together in the form of preparing, formulating and filing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application.
You have the medical condition; the medical condition is impacting your ability and capacity to continue in your present position as a Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker. Such a medical condition may necessitate filing for Federal Disability Retirement — but understand that submitting a “paper presentation” to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether you as the Federal or Postal employee under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, requires an adequacy of language that must go beyond the reality of the medical condition itself.
And like the distant lights dimming, what actually “is” may be divorced from the language which must be carefully chosen and transcribed, lest such inadequacy fails to describe and delineate the reality of the medical condition from which you suffer.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire