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Tag Archives: aristotle
First thought. The broad takeaway insight of postmodernism is the following: there is always more in a text than the author knows or intends. This goes rather nicely with Nietzsche’s claim that “there are no facts, only interpretations.” But before … Continue reading
. This past week, I read Peter Vardy and Julie Arliss’s The Thinker’s Guide to God (O Books 2003). The authors are Catholics, and it’s a really great read. Here, for example, is a wonderful distinction that they make with regard … Continue reading
Atheists typically assert that atheism is just disbelief in the existence of gods, and when they say this it is usually to insist that little, or even nothing, follows from this definition (or has ever followed from it). On this line … Continue reading
Critical Thinking Tip #7: Try Using Aristotle’s Method of Definition to Get a Handle on What You’re Pondering
Critical thinking gets turbo-charged wherever terms are clearly defined. And it was Aristotle who first noticed that, if a definition is to be any good, it should say something general and something specific. Aristotle designated these two components the genus and diaphora … Continue reading
If your definition of a word is to be any good, Aristotle was the first to notice that it should say something general and something specific. Aristotle designated these two components the genus and species of a definition. Thus you might … Continue reading
I like this definition of a book (which I found in a Times Literary Supplement essay): I. A. Richards called the book “a machine to think with” . . . Notice that the definition has the two elements that Aristotle … Continue reading
Of the notion of “the Total Library” (a library containing all possible combinations of letters, punctuation, and spacing), Jorge Luis Borges (in the first paragraph of his 1939 essay “The Total Library”) writes the following: It’s a wonder how long … Continue reading
When Aristotle looked at, say, a tree and asked what caused it, his answer began with matter and form: a tree is a product of the raw matter it is made of (water and wood fibers) channeled through a very particular form … Continue reading
A great Aristotle quote: It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use … Continue reading