Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Distinguishing Definition?


Defining Distinction?

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

October 15, 2002

In a discussion group I participate in, a great question was asked:

"What is the difference between 'distinction' and 'definition?'".

Great question.

And in case anyone asks: "What does it matter? You are just playing with semantics", remember, it's all  just semantics ...

Definitions are in dictionaries and reference materials, so they have an "already decision" about them. And even when we create new ones, once we have them, that's it - now they are written in stone, and into the past.

Distinctions are in our language and in our experience, so they have a "coming newly into experience" about them.

Definitions are in knowledge: you can define balance but notice it won't help you ride a bicycle. Distinctions are in experience: if you do not distinguish balance, you will not be able to ride a bicycle.

A definition goeswith  decisions (as Alan Watts may have said). A distinction goeswith choices.

Definitions are understood, distinctions are gotten.

Do you get it?

You do not have to understand it.

And it's not just words either.

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