August 29, 2007

The Truth Can't Set You Free

Reification is the fallacy committed by ascribing physical or human characteristics to abstract entities. "Love is gonna getcha" is one example. Love, being just a concept, can't "get" anything and especially not me as I am rather fast and love is rather slow. "The world is going crazy" would be another example.

Now, before you run about wielding reification like a cudgel to rhetorically bludgeon your peers pointing and screaming FALLACY at every poet you meet, let me tell you about my whole problem with it. In order for reification to work as a fallacy, you need to accept that there are uniquely physical or human characteristics which abstract entities are incapable of having. But how would you prove that gravity isn't a harsh mistress? Even some people can't prove that they're capable of love and other human characteristics. You know the ones I mean (said in the voice of hedonism bot). The two ways to make the fallacy valid are: hand waving and insisting on the strictest of definitions.

In the end, it isn't much more than a way of promoting concrete thinking over more metaphorical modes of thought.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzzz...

the unbeatable kid said...

thanks for finding the time and brainpower to type a single letter.

Diggs said...

Perhaps if you shrunk the post to the video of the hedonism bot. Love that guy.

Lisa said...

and also, it's not love that's gonna getcha, but the rhythm.

the unbeatable kid said...

it already got me. now, i'm a slave to the rhythm.