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InTheName

Naming something doesn't mean understanding it. But refusing to name something doesn't necessarily make it higher, deeper, holier, or better. And it's hard to think productively about an entity without using words for it and its aspects. The ineffable is just that, nothing more. All ineffables are alike. Named entities, on the other hand, can be different (and similar) in specifiable ways, to varying degrees.

Mere transcendence doesn't make something worthy of worship. Transcendental items come in a hierarchy of types, like mathematical infinities beyond infinities, wheels encompassing wheels, levels of reality not only more, but different and qualitatively new. The attempt to capture and then leap beyond named objects is a tricky one. Simply saying "the thing bigger than anything you can name" often leads to paradoxes or meaningless word games. If we want to escape the known, the name-able, we had best move cautiously, mapping our path into the wilderness step by step. Jumping into a void doesn't make it easy to find home again.

Thursday, August 19, 1999 at 21:00:15 (EDT) = Datetag19990819

TopicPhilosophy


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