Bellow’s Taxonomy

Like this Saul Bellow quote from Seb Fiedler. Don’t think it has to be head shrinks, but any professional advice about a problem always feels good if the problem gets an official name, more so than if it gets any meaningful solution.

The name of the rose. The bible of taxonomists everywhere ?

5 thoughts on “Bellow’s Taxonomy”

  1. On the other hand, labels can misdirect you in problem-solving, especially if your map doesn’t match that of the labeler for the particular label. I’ve learned to be very wary of naming and to focus on particulars. Labels come and go out of fashion, but the problems remain. I’m no longer depressed, I just have a negative mind set!

  2. Absolutely Georganna. I think the issue I was recording here is that somehow we “feel” better once something is given a name, even if the real meat is in the semantics of retaionships and other “particulars”.

    Taxonomy is where I came into this space.

  3. “And I’m convinced that knowing the names of things braces people up.”

    It also gives us common ground. It’s nice for me to know that there are others who feel compelled to do three things at once (one of those things being talking on the phone) I am now a “multi-tasker” instead of a neurotic who can’t focus.

    Had that label not come into being, I never would have felt a part of that club or known there was one… all of those people with terrible cramps in their necks…

  4. tell me how you “feel” better if you’re mislabeled and condemned to spend time and money pursuing a fallacious “cure” for a nonexistent “problem”! You might feel suspicious when people start slinging labels and slapping them on you, if you know what’s good for you.

  5. I agree with you Georganna, the feel-good effect is skin deep, and easily crumbles when you think about it (as people like you or Alice or I would) …

    But there’s no denying the basic effect, even for thoughtful people, seems fairly basic human ? It’s something to do with a problem shared is a problem halved, but as you say, not cured or even remotely addressed.

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