Monday, January 02, 2012

Power by Acquaintance

Bertrand Russell distinguished between "knowledge by acquaintance" and "knowledge by description". Likewise, we might distinguish between "power by acquaintance" and "power by prescription". The first suggests "friendship". This gives us a clue to term I've been searching for, a pangrammatical supplement for friendship.

"According to Russell, knowledge by acquaintance is obtained through a direct causal (experience-based) interaction between a person and the object that person is perceiving. Sense-data from that object are the only things that people can ever become acquainted with; they can never truly KNOW the physical object itself," Wikipedia tells us.

Virginia Woolf talked about "the loneliness that is the truth of things" (though I can never remember where I heard this.) Perhaps that's our answer: loneliness is to knowledge as friendship is to power. Interestingly this also means that loneliness is to bigotry as friendship is to loyalty.

Knowledge by acquaintance suggest loneliness as power by acquaintance suggests friendship.

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