Backpedaling

In describing nature, whenever we use absolute language, and we do that a lot, we have to backpedal or face clear deficiencies in our descriptions and contradictory data.

Karl Jaspers said that one has not understood what Nietzsche wrote until one also finds the contradiction. Is this unique to Nietzsche? I doubt it.

In the popular picture of Hegel’s thought, thinking correctly moves from thesis to antithesis to (Hegelian) synthesis. Indeed, if one proposes an absolute thesis, one has to deal with contradiction. Hegel’s way was a type of syncretism.

How does one say something meaningful without having to backpedal? Answer: by eliminating all absolute words and terms and any words or terms that can be confused with such. We need a computer program that does this and suggests properly worded alternatives. The goal is no backpedaling. Clarity is truthful descriptiveness of nature and that implies no backpedaling.

Another useful program: one that extracts contradictions and puts contradictions and absolute statements on facing pages. I would love to write this program to highlight the backpedaling that so many people ignore – and to catch my own before I have to backpedal.

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