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Comparing Apples And Oranges

October 27, 2013

An apple is like an orange. They are both fruit. They both grow on trees. They are both round.

An apple is not like an orange. Oranges are dimpled, apples are smooth. Oranges are orange, apples are red. Oranges are citrus, apples are not.

Take any two “things” in the Universe, and they will be both “like” and “unlike” each other.

This is why arguing over whether things are “alike” or “unlike” is silly. Everything is both “like” and “unlike” everything else (and neither like nor unlike it).

It is only meaningful, and potentially useful, to say that two things are “alike” or “unlike” in certain ways. Just be careful you don’t stretch your analogies too far, or they’ll break.


From → Philosophy

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