Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Treasure Troves Or Rabbit Holes?

People sometimes mistake information for wisdom and will spend a lot of time trying to get it.

A good example is academia.

An academic tries to translate reality into words and symbols.

And he often does so without considering what that translation leads up to, because it’s generally thought that the definition of all things is a goal worth pursuing.

But some things are not worth defining.

Do you need to be explained what a human is?

I don’t think so.

And neither did Plato when he defined man as a featherless biped.

Plato’s definition is clearly incomplete.

But because a longer definition is not going to improve comprehension—nobody mistakes the word human for something else—he spent his time describing things people did not understand.

Incomplete definitions, however, tend to irritate fussy academics.

Academics like Diogenes.

Irritation led Diogenes to pluck the feathers from a chicken, bring it to Plato’s school and sarcastically say: “here is Plato’s man.”

Plato humoured him and added ‘with broad flat nails’ to the definition.

And continued working on things that mattered.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach