Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Similarity: conformity of one or more - but not all - properties of two or more objects.
 
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Foucault, Michel
 
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Similarity I 17
Order/similarity/Borges, "The analytical language of John Wilkins" quotes "a certain Chinese encyclopedia": the animals are grouped as follows:
(A) animals belonging to the Emperor
(B) embalmed animals
(C) tamed
(D) milk pigs
(E) sirens
(F) mythical creatures
(G) ownerless dogs
(H) belonging to this grouping
(I) which behave like mad
(K) which are drawn with a very fine brush of camel hair
(L) and so on
(M) which have broken the water jug
(N) which look like flies from afar.
Borges/Foucault: not the mythical creatures are impossible, but the small distance.
The monstrosity is that Borges destroys the common space of the meeting.
What is impossible is not the neighborhood of things, but the place itself where they could stand side by side.
The camel hair animals and the mad ones could never meet, except in the placelessness of language.
The "and" of listing is ruined.
If the language dries out, we already deny the possibility of a grammar in the root.
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I 21
Similarity/Borges/Foucault: reflected classification: For example, dog and cat resemble each other less than two windhounds, even if both are embalmed, or tamed, or have just broken a jug.
Even for the most naive experience, there is no similarity that does not result from previously existing criteria.
Four similarities
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I 46f
Convenientia: rather neighborhood of places than similarity. Places adjoin each other, get entangled, double similarity: the place where nature has placed two things, and similarity of the peculiarities.
(A) Soul and body touch twice.
(B) Different beings converge into each other in the syntax of the world: plant and animal communicate, earth and sea, man and environment.
Convenientia: conjunction and adaptation, is more closely related to the things themselves than to the world in which they are.
Puts the world into a chain with itself at every touch point begins and ends a ring from circle to circle, the resemblance continues, it keeps the extremes at a distance.
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I 48 f
2. aemulatio: a kind of convenience, but free from the law of the place. Has its play immobile in the distance, as if the chain is broken, rings contactless in distance, but reproduce the resemblance. Reflex and mirror.
E.g. from the distant the face is emulation of heaven, the intellect is imperfectly reflecting the wisdom of God, the eyes imperfectly the great light of the sun, the mouth is Venus, for through it kisses and love words are exchanged. Across the universe without concatenation, direct imitation.
Imitating a kind of natural twinseness of things. It arises from a folding of being ( > metaphors)...
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I 49
...leaves the two reflected forms not inactive, one can be weaker, and can intake influence of the other.
E.g. without exertion, the brightness of the grass reflects the pure form of the sky.
Similar can also be the combat of one form against the other:
E.g. at Paracelsus: man is like the firmament "a constellation of stars" but it is not connected with him, like "the thief with the galleys, the fish with the fisherman, the game with the hunter."
The distance is not canceled in the aemulatio by its subtle metaphor. It remains visible.
The rings of the aemulatio do not form a chain, but rather concentric, reflexive, rival circles.
3. Analogy (see there)
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I 53 f
4. Sympathy: in the play of sympathies, no way has been established before.
No distance is assumed, no chaining is prescribed. Their power is so great that they are not satisfied with breaking out on a unified touch, and passing through the spaces; it evokes the movement of things in the world, and brings about the approach of the remotest things. It is the origin of the mobility: pulls the heavy to the gravity of the soil, the light weight to the weightless ether.
It drifts the roots into the water and causes the sun's rays to follow from the sunflower.
It has the dangerous force to assimilate, to make things identical, to mix them, to make them disappear in their individuality, to make them alien to what they were.
Therefore the sympathy is compensated by its twin form, the antipathy.
This keeps things in isolation upright and prevents assimilation.
E.g. the Indian rat is dangerous for the Egyptian crocodile, in whose open mouth it jumps in and eats itself from the inside out again. Nature has given it as an enemy. On the other hand, the rat is watched by its enemies, because it lives in discord with the spider and often dies in the fight with the snake.
E.g. the hot, dry fire has an antipathy to the water that is cold and humid.
All concatenations of analogy, all echoes of aemulatio are doubled by the space of sympathy and antipathy. Through this game, the world remains the same.

Fouc I
M. Foucault
The Order of Things: An Archaeology of Human Sciences 1994

Fouc II
Michel Foucault
Archäologie des Wissens Frankfurt/M. 1981


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-03-30