What am I?

Here is a test: this a definiton of X. What is X?

Definition: The fulfillment of what exists potentialy insofar as it exists potentialy is X: namely, what is alterable qua alterable , alteration: of what can be increased and its opposite what can be decreased, increase and decrease: of what can come to be and can pass away, coming to he and passing away : of what can be carried along. Examples will elucidate this definition of X. When the buildable , in so far as it is just that, is fully real, it is being built, and this is building. Similarly, learning, doctoring, rolling, leaping, ripening, ageing.

No cheating with google. I tried to disguise it a bit but google is too clever for me; or people make too many common spelling errors.

[Update: no-one has managed to guess, or perhaps no-one has felt inclined to try very hard. I think I have too many level-headed scientist types reading my blog, I was hoping a few philosopher types would turn up and defend their hero. I will reveal the truth tomorrow -W]

[Update: so the answer is “motion”. I hope you don’t feel too disappointed. The author is of course Aristotle. Vast amounts of effort appear to have been expended trying to make sense of this gobbledegook; see Aristotle (384-322 BCE): Motion and its Place in Nature for example: In order to adequately understand Aristotle’s definition of motion it is necessary to understand what he means by actuality and potentiality. Aristotle uses the words energeia and entelechia interchangeably to describe a kind of action. A linguistic analysis shows that, by actuality, Aristotle means both energeia, which means being-at-work, and entelechia, which means being-at-an-end. These two words, although they have different meanings, function as synonyms in Aristotle’s scheme…. and so on -W]

Comments

  1. #1 Boris
    2008/02/02

    Cheese?

  2. #2 Gareth
    2008/02/02

    Don’t be daft.

    Ontology.

    Or doughnuts.

    Or the ontological transformation of doughnuts into buildings?

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    2008/02/02

    With him that fears X, it shall go well in the bitter end and the day of his logging off shall be blessed.

  4. #4 guthrie
    2008/02/02

    That reminds me of the Alchemical stuff I’ve been reading. Pointless bilge, the lot of it.

    But it sounds like change, doing, becoming.

    [Close -W]

    Remember, don’t read too much philosophy, it rots your brain.

  5. #5 P. Lewis
    2008/02/02

    Sounds all Greek to me.

  6. #6 James Annan
    2008/02/02

    You got bored with science but read this sort of drivel for fun?

    [I don’t have to take it seriously, unlike generations of philosophers -W]

  7. #7 Munin
    2008/02/03

    Is it ing-ing?

  8. #8 pxcampbell
    2008/02/03

    It’s unintelligible, jargon-ridden bullshit.

    A paragraph written with such obscurity of language as to make the writer feel elevated when all he is doing is making himself appear an idiot.

    That’s what X is.

  9. #9 kdub
    2008/02/03

    evolution?

  10. #10 Brian Schmidt
    2008/02/03

    It’s almost as unreadable as Kant, but not quite. So I don’t know.

  11. #11 ICE
    2008/02/03

    waouw. could you translate it in french please ?

  12. #12 P. Lewis
    2008/02/04

    As I said, it’s all Greek to me. They were good at deductive reasoning (and that is shown in the form presented in the definition), because it was all they had IIRC. It’s going to be something by Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Archimedes, …. As to what …?

    “… of what can be carried along” suggests it might be with regard to motion of some kind, but as to motion of what … well, I’m flummoxed, especially on account of “Similarly, learning, doctoring, …”, which seems to have little relevance to the foregoing.

    I’m glad I’m not a historian interested in Ancient Grecian texts. But I suppose if I were such, then it wouldn’t be all Greek to me.

    I await enlightenment, I think.

  13. #13 outeast
    2008/02/04

    It’s got to se something Deep. Being, or Reality, or Acting or something… Something with a Capital Initial, anyway. As to making sense, surely it’s got to be Foucault, or Derrida, or Baudrillard (or BabelFish?)… It’s not supposed to be intelligible.

  14. #14 Adam
    2008/02/04

    The first part reads to me as a definition of creation, or (based on the examples) existence. The examples themselves remind me of an old running joke to define words (especially verbs) in terms of other forms of the same word, so as to be pointless.

  15. #15 P. Lewis
    2008/02/05

    It’s a little bit less gobbledegook now, though it’s still quite a lot of gobbledegreek.

    Those linguistic analysts of Ancient Greek texts certainly earn their ouzo. I wonder how much they do urn? … hat … coat…

    I did try to steer; I’d come across this about 2 or 3 years ago in another context on a science MB, but it had become a little more than half forgotten.

    Long may your diversions continue.

  16. #16 Michael Tobis
    2008/02/12

    I’ve been sitting on this observation for decades; finally a chance to unload it, thanks Brian…

    I have tried diligently to read “Critique of Pure Reason” but I Kant.

    [Aaaarghhh -W]

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