Last modified on 5 November 2009, at 12:31

Talk:dormitive principle

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Not a proper definitionEdit

This is not a proper definition. "Dormitive principle" is used as an example of a phenomemon that does not have a name I can think of in English. Experts hear a layperson's description of something and translate it into their jargon and offer the renaming as a diagnosis. It certainly has value in enabling a discussion of the phenomenon in the experts' realm of discourse without necessarily invoking all the baggage of the layman's term. But it also has the effect of mystifying the subject. It often disempowers the layperson and suggests that there must be expertise when there is little. Taxonomic naming is like this is the naming of maladies.

Is there a proper name for the phenomenon so that dormitive principle could be used as an illustration? DCDuring TALK 12:35, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

If you peruse earlier versions you will see some information that maybe should not have been removed. __meco 16:51, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't get at the problem. Though I strongly desire to retain the quotation and the idea behind this, I don't think that it is a proper entry. I think "dormitive principle" is an example of a yet-unnamed blend of "aureation" and "skotison" that make for the kind of obfuscated tautology that the quotation shows. One of the great tricks of many professions and academic disciplines is to take a layperson's description or something and essentially translate it into Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian, or occasionally another language, then Anglicize it. There is a legitimate function to this, of course: it enables the experts to consider the possibility that there is something akin to a Platonic ideal form behind the layperson's view of the phenomenon. Only after time has passed without a given abstraction having generated insight do we see the abstraction as vacuous. All too often, when purported experts use these terms, it is to enhance their legitimacy and authority. Thus, some of the common complaints about "jargon".
"Dormitive principle", like "phlogiston", is an excellent example of the rhetorical phenomenon. I just wish that I could find a single word that captured the whole thing, enabling us to present dormitive principal properly as an example. Maybe the TR can help. DCDuring TALK 12:31, 5 November 2009 (UTC)