Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

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Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Hedgehog
1
10%
Fox
4
40%
Both
4
40%
Neither
1
10%
 
Total votes : 10

Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby anon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:31 pm

Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Wikipedia wrote:"The Hedgehog and the Fox" is an essay by philosopher Isaiah Berlin...

The title is a reference to a fragment attributed to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus: πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ' ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα ("the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing")...

Berlin expands upon this idea to divide writers and thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea (examples given include Plato, Lucretius, Dante, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, and Proust) and foxes who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea (examples given include Herodotus, Aristotle, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce, Anderson).


You can also say what other people are, since neither is an insult.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Only_Humean » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:48 pm

anon wrote:Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Wikipedia wrote:"The Hedgehog and the Fox" is an essay by philosopher Isaiah Berlin...

The title is a reference to a fragment attributed to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus: πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ' ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα ("the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing")...

Berlin expands upon this idea to divide writers and thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea (examples given include Plato, Lucretius, Dante, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, and Proust) and foxes who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea (examples given include Herodotus, Aristotle, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce, Anderson).


You can also say what other people are, since neither is an insult.


I've read the piece before: definitely a fox. How about you?
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby anon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:57 pm

Only_Humean wrote:I've read the piece before: definitely a fox. How about you?

I just read about half of it myself, though I kind of lost interest. I've moved on to reading a Francine Prose novel.

I'm a fox, too.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby statiktech » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:54 pm

Fox. But I find hedgehogs fascinating.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Silhouette » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:18 pm

In an increasingly multi-cultural world, it's impolite to be anything but a fox.
It's either ignorant and decadent, or daring and stronger to be a hedgehog.

I prefer being more of a hedgehog than a fox because it allows for a more rare insight, but I'm not really either.
I would say philosophy is about being a fox first, and a hedgehog second, since wisdom is not simplistic but it is refined, clear and to the point.

Your quote from your wikilink soon follows with the parallel fable The Fox and the Cat, which is summarised thusly:

"In the basic story a cat and a fox discuss how many tricks and dodges they have. The fox boasts that he has many; the cat confesses to having only one. When hunters arrive with their dogs, the cat quickly climbs a tree, but the fox is caught by the hounds."

Plus I'm a cat person.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby volchok » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:02 pm

Silhouette wrote:In an increasingly multi-cultural world, it's impolite to be anything but a fox.
It's either ignorant and decadent, or daring and stronger to be a hedgehog.


Very well said.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Stuart » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:08 pm

Actually, if you're a hedgehog your single defining idea can be that there is no idea worth holding to, and you can take the paradoxical nature of that statement as well. Ok, that's a little bit of an overstatement, I do have a couple of other defining ideas, maybe one of my great great grand hedgehogs, was actually a fox. But, the OP said neither is an insult, since both a hedgehog and a fox are furry little animals we might as well take the OP's addition to Wikipedia's definition. I imagine volchok's great great grand fox was actually a hedge hog named science; his fox ideas are wide spread, but limited somewhat by his great great grand hedgehog, science.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby anon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:29 pm

Yeah, Stuart, I’m not so sure about the way the last couple posters have understood the distinction. I mean, it’s not necessarily such a great thing to be a fox. A fox might have all kinds of disconnected ideas about things that he can’t relate well to each other – a fox might lack the ability to work with unified themes that organize one’s approach. I think I’m more a fox, but others might easily see me as a hedgehog, if they know my approach to things well enough.

As you already pointed out, some principles are about decentralization, for lack of a better word. I’m thinking of Faust, for instance, who I believe has said “I am a particularist”. It could be said that this makes him a fox, not a hedgehog. Likewise, I might say “everything is empty” (in the Buddhist sense). Again, this would make me a fox. Mystics and monists, I believe, are probably hedgehogs.

But you know, this is just a game of course. It all falls apart when you look too closely.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Silhouette » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:33 pm

Stuartp523 wrote:if you're a hedgehog your single defining idea can be that there is no idea worth holding to

Haha yes. One can perhaps be so foxlike that one becomes a hedgehog, and vice versa.

Images such as that of a hedgehog eating the tail of a fox eating the tail of that same hedgehog in a circle come to mind.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Stuart » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:48 pm

I would have thought believing in emptiness would be hedgehog-like. It isn’t a game; the hedgehog is running around a tree for his dear life chased by a wicked fox. Ok, maybe it is just a game. I like the analogy of them eating each other’s tails. I can imagine a fox with a hedgehogs head and front legs instead of it’s rear half. It couldn’t possibly hunt, so only the hedgehog half gets to eat. With that said there’s only one place that the hog can sh!!t from. In other words in a transition phase the fox half has a lot of sh!!!t coming out of it’s mouth. I’ve been there, maybe I’m still there.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Silhouette » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:20 pm

Stuartp523 wrote:I like the analogy of them eating each other’s tails.

I call it.... the fedgehox: a universal symbol of ying and yang.

This of course makes the belief in emptiness both (and neither) hedgehoglike and foxlike.

And that brings me to foxes talking shit - I think hedgehogs contribute their fair share too ^QED.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Maia » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:23 pm

Which one, out of a fox and hedgehog, sounds like they're in excruciating pain whilst shagging?
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby anon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:49 pm

I would have thought believing in emptiness would be hedgehog-like.

I guess if you think emptiness is real… that would be very hedgehog-like.

Maia… you’re right. I think Mr. Berlin chose animals that would reinforce his preference. Maybe sex is the real reason why so many people would prefer to be a fox.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby statiktech » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:56 pm

I know I only chose fox for all of the pomp and frill.
Last edited by statiktech on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Maia » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:00 pm

anon wrote:
I would have thought believing in emptiness would be hedgehog-like.

I guess if you think emptiness is real… that would be very hedgehog-like.

Maia… you’re right. I think Mr. Berlin chose animals that would reinforce his preference. Maybe sex is the real reason why so many people would prefer to be a fox.


The one that sounds like it's having its insides ripped out while having sex is the fox. I've no idea what a hedgehog sounds like, lol.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby anon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:13 pm

Ouch! I didn't realize that. Maybe I'll change my vote to hedgehog.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Silhouette » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:24 pm

Maia wrote:The one that sounds like it's having its insides ripped out while having sex is the fox. I've no idea what a hedgehog sounds like, lol.

I'd have thought mounting a ball of sharp spikes as opposed to fur would cause the most excruciating pain. But that's no reflection on the sounds that are made, and there's probably some kind of spike flattening-out for hedgies when it comes down to it.

So are we to conclude that all of Herodotus, Aristotle, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce and Anderson were noisy shaggers?
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby anon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:25 pm

Pushkin, definitely.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Silhouette » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:29 pm

Presumably Shakespeare shagged in iambic pentameter.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Silhouette » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:32 pm

and "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"...
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Twilight of the Idols » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:44 pm

"Both" works for me.

I try to be a fox to others, but to myself I'm most certainly a hedgehog.
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Re: Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

Postby Mr Reasonable » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:05 pm

I chose both because I am all things to all people. I pretty much am excellent on both sides of any spectrum. Seriously. You guys have seen it. You know what I'm talking about here.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
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