23 March 2005

Statistically Improbable Phrases

A new feature (at least for me) of book searches in Amazon is that you can get a list of 'Satistically Improbable Phrases' found in a book, to help you see what is distinctive about it. (A new approach to the idion, to be sure.)

For instance, a search for Martha Nussbaum's anthology on De Anima yields the following juicy list:

literal coloration, deliberative phantasia, destruction simpliciter, passible intellect, functional flesh, receiving form without matter, homoiomerous parts, homonymy principle, non paradigmatic sensory experience, functionally defined parts, single mover, logos enhulos, weak commensurability, incidental sensibles, noetic domain, material intellect, internal mover, first potentiality, compositional plasticity, distinguishing generation, practical nous, first actuality, receiving matter, compositional matter, second actuality
New party game: compose sentences using only members of this list, one-syllable verbs, and prepositions, avoiding Russell's strictures against nonsense in Mysticism and Logic.

And how can ancient philosophy not be a science, with so extensive a technical vocabulary!


East of Dulwich said...

This is highly disappointing. I only googled "non paradigmatic sensory experience" in the hope that it was not statistically improbable. Since I'm trying to understand the term as used in Schofield's paper in Nussbaum's anthology with the sole purpose of working out what it means. If no one else uses it and Schofield doesn't explain it, what hope do I have?

Call yourself scientists!?

Anonymous said...

Well, a sensory experience that isn't paradigmatic of sensory experience. One might expect things like, say, synaesthesia (cases of which include experiencing tastes associated with certain colors or sounds) or trails included in the list. One doesn't get a definition because it isn't supposed to be a technical term, I'd imagine.