Talk:opposites and contraries

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The distinction between opposites (da de dukti), traceable to William Blake (if not earlier), can be discerned in Lojban in a shadowy way. Simply put, opposites undo each other ("hot"-to-"cold") while contraries form two parts of a whole ("left" or "right"). The metaphors of binary thinking tend not to take cognizance of this distinction, which is essential to clear reasoning. But which of these two classes the pair fits into depends on perspective; someone could just as rightly claim that "left" and "right" cancel each other out, as directions, and "hot" and "cold" are the two ends of the heat spectrum, making them parts of a whole. Thus the distinction is arbitrary, not absolute. It's akin to the physical phenomenon of energy sometimes being thought of as a particle and other times as a wave; neither type is actually distinguishable in nature, they are only different ways to envision the same concept.

Contraries (da de te vlina) are about propositions.

  • Which are these meant to be - opposites or contraries? Most fit neither description above: neither cancelling out (to lukewarm?) nor being parts of some discernable whole.