Awkwardness: An Essay by Adam Kotsko

By Adam Kotsko

Argues that the awkwardness of our age is a key to figuring out human event.

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That which is considered in terms of their connection to each other. In the case of condition (diathesis) we must consider what is common to what is conditioned and that by which it is conditioned, which exists in terms of the relationship between them. ’ Again this much must be said, that if we are correct in speaking and thinking of these terms as [predicated] of something, then relationship is something; otherwise not. But if these have some determinate nature even when we are not speaking or thinking about them, then it is obviously absurd to measure them according to our own position.

In reply to such fine distinctions in the division of the one genus it must be said that the difference between what is relative and what is relatively disposed is not according to realities but only a matter of vocabulary. For both exist equally because of some inherent difference and because of the relationship to something other. But on some occasions the difference presents itself more strongly, and on others the relationship does; but this does not create a generic distinction. It is agreed by all that in the case of relatives the relationship comes into existence with the particular characteristic; Boethus gave 71 5 10 15 20 25 30 167,1 Translation 21 adequate proof that for things that are relatively disposed it is necessary that some character should be inherent in the subjects.

Knowledge, as virtue and vice are relative on the basis of reference to the state (hexis), which is a relative. ’ This is what Iamblichus says; it is worth asking – even if everything is subsumed under the items mentioned41 – what is necessary about the division presented either by him or by Aristotle. For this seems to be some sort of list, but not a division. So perhaps Aristotle made the division according to the categories, first according to Quantity, and first in this [part of the division] according to the indeterminate – for the greater is of this kind – and then according to the determinate, as the double is; and secondly according to Quality; for state and condition belong to Quality; state could belong to Possession too, just as condition to passivity; perception and knowledge, when considered in terms of actuality, [could belong] to Activity, and position to Posture; things seen in terms of privation could correspond to each of the categories.

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