Tag Archive: Whiting_Aristotle’s Function Argument: A Defense

“Objective Essences,” Function of a Man, and other Absurdities

Wednesday, August 2, 2017.
Plato knows that he can’t bring the real stuff into the cave. You can only try to lead the person to the outside of the cave. In an example, Socrates/Plato makes a distinction between the image-of-the-sun vs. the real and unnameable thing-itself which is outside of the cave. But since the thing-itself that’s outside of the cave can’t be named or spoken of (only experienced), it’s hard to help the people inside of the cave understand what you’ve seen — except by turning some of that experience into words. And this is how “cave-talk” (ie, ideas/images) are created. And in “cave-talk,” the thing-itself that the person has experienced outside of the cave is called “the sun,” and this word is itself an image of the thing-itself in the real world.

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Overcoming apparent differences

Tuesday, August 1, 2017.
I can see how an activity can be measured according to some standard or purpose, but I don’t see how a person is herself this activity. And if the person isn’t herself this activity but is rather someone who on occasion chooses to engage in certain activities, then I don’t see how the person can herself be measured according to a standard, even if the performance of her actions can be measured according to a standard (of course, a standard that depends on what she thinks that she’s doing). And so, I still don’t see how the person herself is the function, since she herself isn’t the activity which she engages in — is she? My conclusion is still that the person herself cannot be a function, though we might still say that a person has functions.