Tuesday, November 16, 2004

On Abe

So I am starting a movement. A movement of language. Don't say logical say intuitive and don't say random say arbitrary. That's my two cents.
Abe (Stone) did point out something important however. He said that the Greek logos among its many meanings (such as "word" e.g. in the Gospel according to John) can mean logic or rationale. Plato often times (so Abe says) will ask his opposition to provide a logos. Plato is obviously not asking for formal logic, but rather a sensible* justification. Thus, it is not that people use words more broadly than they should, but rather that philosophy unduly constrains their definitions.
I guess if I don't have Abe backing me I can't really start a language crusade, I can only suggest it as a good idea. So there.

* Any word I would have chosen there would have fallen into the trap of using a philosophical term which I have no right to use (sense, reason, logic, etc). Hoisted by my own petard I guess.


Jose said...

shouldn't we say logical when we mean logical and intuitive when we mean intuitive? Ditto for arbitrary/random? I'm not one-hundred percent clear on what it is that you are trying to get changed, but I might be playing dumb.

Zev said...

i.e. random and logical also have technical definitions, so I would have liked that people stay away from using technical terms. But Abe proves me wrong.