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Quote for the month. December 2016

Words are sometimes used neither equivocally, nor metaphorically, nor in their proper sense; for example, the law is said to be the 'measure' or 'image' of things naturally just. Such phrases are worse than metaphors; for a metaphor in a way adds to our knowledge of what is indicated on account of the similarity. But the kind of phrase of which we are speaking does not add to our knowledge; for no similarity exists in virtue of which the law is a 'measure' or an 'image', nor is the law usually described by these words in their proper sense. So, if anyone says that the law is a 'measure' or an 'image' in the proper sense of this words, he is lying; for an image is something whose coming into being is due to imitation, and this does not apply to law. If, however, he is not using the word in its proper sense, obviously he has spoken obscurely, and with worse effect than any kind of metaphorical language.
Aristotle 384-322 BCE, Topics. English translation by E. S. Foster, 1960.


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