By Thomas D. Kohn
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Extra resources for The Wishes of Theseus
Sight and touch, of the presence of the bee, whereas if the buzzing is 'subjective' these criteria will not be satisfied, nor will a buzzing in my head be picked up by a tape-recorder. But Invictus has insisted that his view is not that of Euethes; he certainly does not wish to say that we can verify that God is the source of the religious experience by seeing or touching him or investigating whether his voice can be picked up on a tape-recorder. If he wishes to discuss the issue using the 'subjective'-'objective' dichotomy, the onus is on him to give a meaning to these terms, since it is plain that 'objective' cannot bear its ordinary sense, confirmation by seeing, touching or using a tape-recorder having been ruled out.
Here one needs to look with special care at the situations where these words are used. Thus to discover the unconcious is in important ways unlike discovering a new continent (though some psychoanalytic writings perhaps blur the difference), and a magnetic field is in important ways unlike a field which grows crops. Another example of an interesting ontological question is that of placing the word 'God'. Much popular thinking assumes that one can ask whether there exists a God in addition to ordinary familiar objects.
For example, one can say what Socrates is, viz. a man: this is to apply the category of substance; one can say that he is of such-and-such a height: this is to apply the category of quantity; one can say that he is wise: this is to apply the category of quality, and so on. Aristotle lists ten different 'categories' in this sense; and if we call what is said of Socrates a 'predicate', then categories, for Aristotle, are different types of predicate. Now it has been widely held that the category of substance is distinctive in a special way.