Tuesday, September 29, 2009


From Pastorius at the Astutest of all Bloggers:

Interminable Nuance.

This really ought to become a class of Logical Fallacy. Maybe other readers can help me out on this. Here are my thoughts.

1) Gradations exist.

2) On an scale of gradients, it is hard to distinguish where one class ends and the next begins. (For instance, where does blue actually become purple on the gradient color line?)

3) Therefore, because it is difficult to scientifically establish the precise place where distinction occurs, on the line of gradients, there are no distinctions at all in the world, and knowledge is impossible.

This is the line of argument that the Postmodern Left Deconstructionists use in most of their "moral" arguments. It is a logical fallacy of some sort.

Please help me to classify it.


Anonymous said...


If I cut the sides of a wooden box down a centimeter at a time, then the box would get shallower and shallower. At some point the box would cease to exist and the tray would begin to exist. Or maybe the essence of `boxiness' would miraculously disappear and `trayfulness' would jump in.

The distinction between box and tray is not 'inherent' in essential nature of a box/tray. It is imputed by the minds of the box/tray users.

The observation that there is no essential difference between a box and a tray, but the difference resides in the mind of the beholder is an ultimate truth.

The observation that we need to make these working distinctions if we are to navigate our way around the world is known as a conventional truth.

The fact that both truths are valid in approprate circumstancea is known as the two truths doctrine http://nyaya.darsana.org/post192.html

M. Simon said...

Minimum significant difference?