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Engrave this Quote It does not really avail us much to get clear definitions. I am for clarity, by all means, but to think that you can reduce a concept to a relatively simple definition, and that you can somehow go somewhere that will be interesting and fruitful, just does not seem to me to be very plausible at the present time. And that is exactly what I used to strive for. I took old Socrates seriously; you search for the definition. You get the essence of the thing, and once you get the essence and the definition that somehow captures that essence, you are home free. That is how you do philosophy. When you read Hegel, you realize how incredibly flexible and supple concepts are, how they take you for a fool when you take them too literally and too tightly, how they are interconnected with one another, how they interplay in ways you really do not understand, how in other words, strangely enough, you really do not understand any part unless, or until, you understand the whole. That is what I learned from these folks. I really think that stress on context is terribly important and enriches one's philosophical approach significantly.
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/philosophy/faculty/lachs_interview.html
-John Lachs, Interview with Pat Shade
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