Reply To: Harry Potter's Fictional Type

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  • Type: FeNi
  • Development: llll
  • Attitude: Directive

@Auburn @Animal

If the word messiah is too hard a pill to swallow, perhaps “The Chosen One” could do the job, noting of course that that is what messiah means.

On your point about terminology and definitions, I would say that your point is fair, as far as it goes, but caution must be used here. While one can always define one’s own word to mean specific things, this has its own set of limitations. For example, why not use a word that has no meaning to designate the myth, call it the “Myth of Bluythbqwerpoiut”. Few would say this is optimal. On the other end of the spectrum, why not use a word with meaning, but with a different one, which is understood to change here, as we have defined it to be different. Call the Fe Myth, then, the “Myth of Juicy Grilled Chicken Meats”. Again, not optimal. Then, the last option, zooming in on the space of possibilities, is to use a word with meaning, but whose meaning is somehow related to the precise meaning defined in our text – this is standard practice in mathematics, for instance, even if the relation is that of an evocation. This is where your usage of the word Hero falls in, and the criticism is that if we are going to use a word whose meaning is related to the precise meaning, then we can have better or worse words that evoke or suggest such a meaning. The criticism here is that the word hero is too general, and hence misleading. On one extreme of things, we could use a word with meaning, with a related meaning, that is too general, like calling it “The Myth of Being Human”, and then say that we are defining what we mean by being human in the text. On the other extreme, one can be too specific, “The Myth of Being a Jew Born in Nazareth”, again not optimal. A balance between concreteness and generality must be achieved, if we are already committed to using a word that is related to the meaning at hand.

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