phrasing

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, conversation, verbalization, and phrasing

I struggle in every lecture and conversation and correspondence to grasp exactly the most acute and incisive way of phrasing issues, but it was precisely to discourage students and readers from making false idols of my ways of phrasing things that I have sought always to recast issues in alternative ways of interpreting or terming them.  Every attempt at wording issues has its idiomatic potential deformities, its wayward or stray implications and connotations.  There is never just one absolutely right way of phrasing anything.  Words are not perfectly equivalent to or univocal with principles or ideas or values.  The liveliness or freedom of our minds is expressed in our agility at varying not just perspectives but also verbal constructions:  we must always struggle to preserve distance between ourselves and our verbalizations as our intellectual and moral creatures. 

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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