35 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2013
    1. Just as it is certain that one leaf is never totally the same as another, so it is certain that the concept "leaf" is formed by arbitrarily discarding these individual differences and by forgetting the distinguishing aspects.

      A 'snowflake' sort of ideal applied to other words... but a valid point. Our language is imperfect, inaccurate, and vague- every time I read through Nietzche I come around to his thought process a little more.

    2. In the same way that the sound appears as a sand figure, so the mysterious X of the thing in itself first appears as a nerve stimulus, then as an image, and finally as a sound. Thus the genesis of language does not proceed logically in any case, and all the material within and with which the man of truth, the scientist, and the philosopher later work and build, if not derived from never-never land, is a least not derived from the essence of things.

      It's fascinating to consider how if our language had been constructed differently... based on, somehow, a logical reasoning of stimuli... mankind would think entirely differently.

    3. This creator only designates the relations of things to men, and for expressing these relations he lays hold of the boldest metaphors

      It would be hard to imagine human language without a humanocentric bent, but a completely fair point nonetheless.

    4. How far this oversteps the canons of certainty!

      This might be one of my favorite lines in this entire work. A great Nietzchan assertion of hyperbole.

    5. If he will not be satisfied with truth in the form of tautology, that is to say, if he will not be content with empty husks, then he will always exchange truths for illusions.

      Perhaps my greatest criticism of Nietzche is not his style, which I adore, or his subject matter, but his apparent attempt to write a philosophical bit as if he were nearly speaking from a pseudoscientific standpoint.

    6. Is language the adequate expression of all realities?

      The ultimate rhetoric question?

    7. Thus, even at this stage, what they hate is basically not deception itself, but rather the unpleasant, hated consequences of certain sorts of deception.

      Man doesn't hate the liar- he hates the liar whose lies have outwardly hurt them! What I find more interesting is Nietzche essentially stating how society all too eagerly puts up with lies, and liars, in the first place.

    8. As a means for the preserving of the individual, the intellect unfolds its principle powers in dissimulation, which is the means by which weaker, less robust individuals preserve themselves-since they have been denied the chance to wage the battle for existence with horns or with the sharp teeth of beasts of pre

      "Dissimulation" as a sort of weapon is interesting. Deceit makes for a valuable tool.

    9. pride

      How does Nietzche define his version of "pride"?

    10. And just as every porter wants to have an admirer, so even the proudest of men, the philosopher, supposes that he sees on all sides the eyes of the universe telescopically focused upon his action and thought.

      Nietzche has a tendency for elegant prose as much as he does unwarranted cynicism, and this sentence is an excellent example of it.

    1. ? I assert indeed that such a definition of an orator seems to me to be useless and stupid: Why? Because a definition of any artist which covers more than is included in the rules of his art is superfluous and defective.

      Takes the moral component ascribed so often by his peers out of the equation, and I can definitely appreciate that.

    2. In this disputation, however, I shall, as far as I may

      I've already found his style to be exceedingly winding, overly wordy, and frivolous. But perhaps I am simply being overly critical

    3. ordered, organized

      A wee bit of alliteration to start things off.

    4. But we delay too long on the threshold: let us take up the rhetorical controversies.

      I can't wait, Ramus, you condescending old bastard.

    5. And they did not arrange it in a sufficiently fitting order

      Syntax and style seem to be his main criticisms over substance, but that might just be my opinion.

    6. In conse-quence there is such a great difference that Cicero seems to have spoken in an age of gold, Quin-tilian in an age of iron

      An elegant insult, if I ever saw one.

    7. for I address you and those like you, pure-minded judges unclouded by prejudice

      An appeal to the possible reader's ego, sly.

    8. This is one of the most condescending assertions I've ever heard. He really puts himself on a pedestal.

  2. Sep 2013
    1. I find this quote to fascinating. Isocrates isn't necessarily a cynic, but he certainly is not the happiest of philosophers.

    2. A solid defense- that the supposed victims of Isocrates, according to him, are on his side of this trial.

    3. An appeal to the emotions of the judges, then? A passionate display of pathos to enrage Isocrates' jury?

    4. The two-faced nature of Athenian justice?

    1. Law teachers without discourse?

    2. Isocrates is of an opinion, I feel, that much of the skill with discourse comes naturally.

    3. At least he provides a solid criticism and then a counterargument, rather than just ranting about his problems with his friends. Did Isocrates have friends?

    4. The "science of art" is a popular concept even today, but I understand his reasons to romanticize rhetoric

    5. So rhetoric and philosophy are nothing special, and those who say it is should stop.

    6. Isocrates has a real problem with braggarts and liars in his line of work, apparently

    7. Was Isocrates a popular guy in his time? One possible perception of this piece is with him as the envious scholar ill-distinguished amongst scholars with greater swarms of students, rather than the critical paragon.

    8. What I really get from this piece is the use of rhetorical manipulation to condemn the use of rhetorical manipulation.

    9. There's a certain sort of hubris with the Sophists, and rhetoricians in general which I find so fascinating- evidenced in our earlier readings, and this one as well.

    1. GORGIAS: That good, Socrates, which is truly the greatest, being that which gives to men freedom in their own persons, and to individuals the power of ruling over others in their several states.

      Essentially defining political discourse.

    2. SOCRATES: Then rhetoric does not treat of all kinds of discourse? GORGIAS: Certainly not.

      An interesting distinction in the scope of rhetoric, and something that would be up to debate by some nowadays.

    3. I am glad to hear it; answer me in like manner about rhetoric: with what is rhetoric concerned?

      Pushing him towards the point by keeping him on the same train of though, I suppose- Socrates is good at that.

    4. O Chaerephon, there are many arts among mankind which are experimental, and have their origin in experience, for experience makes the days of men to proceed according to art, and inexperience according to chance, and different persons in different ways are proficient in different arts, and the best persons in the best arts. And our friend Gorgias is one of the best, and the art in which he is a proficient is the noblest

      The best in an ambiguous art, apparently