Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Alleged ducks.

E. loves to share reasoning philosophy with me. Yesterday, our theme was inductive reasoning.
"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

And there is the elephant test:
"It is difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it." This reasoning was actually used in a court case (Cadogan Estates Ltd v Morris).
As was "I know it when I see it". This phrase was used by Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio.

The medical profession also uses adages. "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra". In other words, what is an obvious diagnosis might not be. You might have a zebra.

And politics?
"You can lead a fish to water but you can't cure its fin rot." John Buckle, a British politician.

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."  I must go check my watches. I believe I have gone on too long here.
Alleged watch.

What is your alleged favorite adage?


Sandra said...

the one i use at least several times a month is Murphy's Law
my version is If anything can go wrong it probaly will. since i am a glass half empty person, I use it a lot, also it has proven over and over in my life to be TRUE. all of these are familar to me but not the zebra. my husband uses the duck quack quote a LOT and did so yesterday.

Barb said...

Your examples are great- now if only I can remember to see the whole picture!

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

Mine is pretty basic...and I use it all too frequently.

"If it stinks like _____, it probably is."

Another, I have found to be true, especially while shopping for RV's: "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true." There's an awful lot of too good to be true, out there!

are you loving the cool temperatures? I am!!!

altadenahiker said...

"When you walk up to a closed door, there's always someone on the other side, listening for your footsteps."

I've never understood that, and perhaps that's why I find it unforgettable.

Stella said...

One that my mother loved (to tell me) is "A stitch in time, saves nine." Its proved good for us quilters over the years!


Al said...

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day!

Snapper II said...

I just love this post,I have gained so much knowledge from this.
BUT Whenever I concentrate really hard, I usually get a headache. LOL

Oh well! My Madeline always said
"You are in over your head, Hubby."

Banjo52 said...

This is a fun topic, and I can't believe I forgot to leave an adage (though others apparently have forgotten as well). How about Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry (cleaned up a bit for your site): Opinions are like noses; everybody's got one.