Re: Epistemology, beware all ye who enter here - was RE: new to list

From: David G. McDivitt (
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 23:44:50 MDT

I forgot to mention a point why I do not feel this analysis is valid.
The example you gave has very limited context. It was your example so
you control that context. Seldom do we ever come upon explicit
unmitigated context. Many different things could stand out and be
significant, but only a limited number are addressed, and in line of
course with the purpose of the person doing the observation. If only
everything was so easily seen as in your example.

What you say is perfectly valid for all people who give a damn about

>From: "Jerry Mitchell" <>
>Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 23:44:22 -0400


>Am I to understand about this Anti-essentialist view that "there are no
>essential properties independently of our definitions and ways of
>classifying things". This goes to the heart of Rand's theory of concept
>formation. Heres an example of how one forms a concept. Imagine if you have
>3 balls. One is light blue, one is dark blue, and one is red. You notice an
>attribute that is similar between 2 of the balls that the 3rd doesnt
>possess, even though this attribute differs in magnitude. You mentally
>isolate this attribute and tag a lable on it, in english this label is
>"Blue". The attribute does in fact exist in reality, it does in fact exist
>for all people with the proper machinery to detect this fact (those
>colorblind may not detect it, but a lack of information isnt a
>contridiction). Man disnt make this up, this attribute is in fact an
>"essential" attribute of blue. It IS blue. In the example they use above, if
>you remove the attribute "H2O" from "water", you dont have water anymore. If
>I'm off base on this, please explain. I really am interested in this branch
>of philosophy. Thanks!


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