taxonomies for the angst ridden

A particularly good JOHO this month, especially for the category inclined. “Aristotle’s answer is that those aren’t separate […]

A particularly good JOHO this month, especially for the category inclined.

“Aristotle’s answer is that those aren’t separate questions. If you’re going to exist, you have to exist as something — a table, a human, a piping hot souvlaki. That turns philosophy back from a bad course that it had embarked on, and to which it would return as the influence of Aristotle wore off after the Middle Ages: Thinking that the meaning of things (the table as a table) is separable from their existence (the table as a thing). That path leads to the trivialization of meaning. But not for Aristotle. For him, if you want to know what makes Socrates real, you have to see how Socrates is a human…which means understanding him within a category (animals) with differentiated sub-categories (the rational animals as opposed to the non-rational ones). Thus, taxonomy and existence are fused: To be is to be in a taxonomy of meaning.”

Every once in a while it’s nice to know that one is not just making products easier to find, or adding business value, but perhaps even making the world saner and more palatable.

That’s not even the bulk of it; most of the JOHO is about the three orders of order. It’s a very IA issue.

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    Aristotle speaks of categories, whereas Plato speaks actually of classes, of prototypes (the ideas) things are cast after.

    For Aristotle, things fall within a category; for Plato things are issued (with)out of (say: generated by) categories.

    For Aristotle things are thus their mass, and with such mass they nearly inertially fall into their categories; for Plato things are the embodiements of their mathematical pattern that preexists all its instances, an outlasts them all, in a puerly ethereal (digital…) status.

    Aristotle thus implicitly admits you can adjust your categories – see: Wodtke, Christina: Information Architecture, Chapter six: “A bricklayer’s View Of Informational Architecture”.
    For Plato you can’t: they _already_ exist and to know something is to recognize it, not to categorize it: its TRUE category must be spot, nor arranged.

    Plato is Object Oriented Programming, Aristotle is procedural, he categorizes by steps.

    Thus, also when we are at programming, we’re still in Ancient Greece. I wonder whether we really ever moved from there.


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