Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Truth about HARDNESS

THE TRUTH ABOUT HARDNESS (& other accusations)

“If I say this table is hard, I am going beyond what my
experience would testify. What I know is that the 
interaction or relationship between table and some sense
organ or instrument has a special character of differential
hardness for which I have no ordinary vocabulary, alas, but
which I distort by referring the special character of the
relationship to one of the components in it.

In so doing, I distort what I COULD know about
the RELATIONSHIP into a statement about a “thing” 
which I cannot know. It is always relationship between 
things that is the referent of all valid propositions. It is a
man-made notion that “hardness” is immanent in one end 
of a binary relationship."(Bateson, Angels Fear, 157)

I call the chair hard—but it’s the relationship between
butt and chair that’s hard. I say this book sucks, this movie
is wonderful, this cat’s a sneezemaker, this person is stupid,
Republicans are retarded, Democrats air-heads —whatever
I say about anything says as much or more about me.
Always: it's about the relationship between me and the "thing"
and not the "thing" that is being characterized. (It's not 
easy being epistemological)

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