Categories (From The Crumbling Mansions)

It’s become a common occurrence to categorize everything we encounter. This enables us to better understand the world. If we put everything into boxes, into categories, it’s easier to understand the unknown or the alien and uncertain. Formal logic works this way (albeit with different categorizations, such as how we put together arguments), but it’s not strictly limited to logic.

Perhaps Aristotle is to blame for this intensive categorizing in the West. Aristotle was famous for categorizing his thought, in order to make it clear. A famous example is his categorization of the active life versus the contemplative life as separate but good ways of living, when it would seem a synthesis of the two would lead to an ultimately better life.

Categories can be helpful, until they start to lead to stereotypes about people. When we start categorizing people, we have lost sight of our brotherhood (the brotherhood of…

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