Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Some Extra Domains

Sorry for the silence. I've been messing about with my other websites, and now MelbournePhilosophy.com and tennessee.id.au both point to this blog. I've come to a number of realisations -- mostly to do with my own modest limitations. I'm not doing anything good with the other websites, so I'm going to point everything to the most dynamic site that I manage, namely this one.

I had an idea which I wanted to post. It was to do with analogy, which I am coming to believe is the central method of both learning and conversation. Every analogy is an analogy with the self. The stronger the analogy to the self, the better our understanding of the object.

While we obviously come to understand some things in themselves, we usually approach new things through metaphor. The hardest thing to understand is that which is alien to us. Some people react with curiosity, some with fear. Some will make a false inference, linking new ideas in ways which are simply not correct.

I was thinking about this originally in the context of interpersonal relationships -- smart/stupid, rich/poor, educated/uneducated etc etc. I think that in extreme cases, there is a very wide disconnect between ourselves and the people we are trying to relate to, and the breakdown is due to the problem of analogy. We cannot see things from their perspective.

It then occurred to me that some people might be entirely unaware of this process of analogy. The "Us and them" mentality of so much cruelty to me speaks also of a breakdown in analogy. People are able to disconnect from other groups despite their humanity because they aren't the same kind of person. Without any bridge between them, there can be no real relationship.

Ach, I don't know. Just an idle musing.

Cheers,
-MP

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