On Categories and Their function

In my last two posts I created two categories of thinkers. Maybe a better word would be modes of thought; but they both seem to do the job so I’ll use them interchangeably.

 

The thing with categories is that they are fictions created by us in order to make sense of what we currently find insensible.

 

Imagine you’d never seen a forest before. You have no concepts (categories) such as: tree, leaf, green, ground and mud. The forest would appear an insensible mess to you.

 

But once you create the categories then the forest becomes accessible (intelligible) to you. Once you know what a leaf is and that one of its properties is that it is pickable you can reach out and pick it. Before you had the categories all you perceived was an unusable mess.

 

I’m not really concerned with the issue of whether or not our categories have any ontic reality. Rather what I am trying to get at is the malleability of reality in contrast to the rigidity of our categories.

 

No man is always an apologetic or innocent thinker. Rather he oscillates between the two. When a subject is being discussed that he has attached his identity to strongly then he’ll be in an apologetic mode of thought. But when the subject is one to which he hasn’t strongly attached his identity to he’ll be in a more innocent mode of thought.

 

Really we should think of categories as higher-order words. Like Leaf is a category the lower-order expression of which would be “a thing that is green and is attached to a tree and so on and so forth”. Aren’t words categories anyway?

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