Renford Bambrough on
Distinctions & Connections in Philosophy

Philosophy consists in drawing the kinds of distinctions between concepts that Aristotle draws in this passage, and in marking the kinds of connections between concepts that Aristotle marks in this passage. Good philosophy consists in exhibiting connections and distinctions which have hitherto lain hidden; in drawing distinctions without obscuring connections, and marking connections without obscuring distinctions; in exhibiting distinctions and marking connections between important and central (and therefore usually, but by no means always, very general) rather than between trivial and peripheral (and therefore usually, but not always, very specific) concepts.


SOURCE: Bambrough, Renford. “Aristotle on Justice: A Paradigm of Philosophy,” in New Essays on Plato and Aristotle, edited by Renford Bambrough (New York: Humanities Press, 1965), pp. 159-174. This quote: pp. 162-3.

Following the introductory positing of the problem of Aristotle’s two senses of justice, we have sections:

I. Philosophy and Ordinary Language
II. Philosophy as Verbal Recommendation or Decision
III. Philosophy as the Search for an Ideal Language
IV. Philosophy as the Search for Defnitions

See also:

Bambrough, Renford. “Literature and Philosophy,” in Wisdom: Twelve Essays [in honour of John Wisdom], edited by Renford Bambrough (Oxford: Blackwell; Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1974), pp. 274-292.

Scheuer, Jeffrey. “The Roots of Reason” [on the philosophical legacy of J. Renford Bambrough], Philosophy Now, no. 77, February/March 2010.

Antonio Gramsci on the essence of dialectical method

Karl Marx on commonsense, unity, & distinction


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