Stating the Obvious | Introduction

On the Value of Stating the Obvious


Back in 2003, philosopher Alain De Botton authored a book called The Art of Travel, which was subsequently adapted into a TV series of the same name. Reviewing the programme in his column Screen Burn, Charlie Brooker described De Botton as, “an absolute pair-of-aching-balls of a man - a slapheaded, ruby-lipped pop philosopher who's forged a lucrative career stating the bleeding obvious.”

This description will be our entry point into a brief examination of the concept of stating the obvious. We’ll be particularly interested in whether, contrary what the tone of Brooker’s quote may suggest, there can ever be value to stating the obvious, and if so, where and when this value arises.