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Re: [mythsoc] "Owls?" you ask...

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  • Margaret Dean
    ... Is this what you re looking for? I once heard a lady tell her daughter that if you ate too many aspirin tablets you would die. But why? asked the
    Message 1 of 32 , May 14, 2003
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      "Ernest S. Tomlinson" wrote:
      >
      > On Tue, 13 May 2003 09:23:12 -0500, "Croft, Janet B" <jbcroft@...>
      > said:
      >
      > > I didn't explain Pratchett's concept very well, I'm afraid. What he
      > > means by "Lies-to-children" is those partial truths or little stories
      > > that seem to explain a phenomenon -- until you look at them a little
      > > closer and see that it doesn't really explain the whole thing.
      >
      > I understand that, but I see a big difference between "rainbows are
      > caused by raindrops acting like prisms" (which isn't quite the whole
      > story, but still a good approximation of the truth) and "you shouldn't
      > chew gum because it angers the elf that lives in your stomach" (which
      > isn't true at all, unless you resort to a tortured post-modernistic
      > definition of 'truth'.)
      >
      > (I'm reminded of Lewis's argument about "horrid red things". Where was
      > that?)

      Is this what you're looking for?

      "I once heard a lady tell her daughter that if you ate too
      many aspirin tablets you would die. 'But why?' asked the
      child. 'If you squash them you don't find any horrid red
      things inside them.' Obviously, when this child thought of
      poison she not only had an attendant image of 'horrid red
      things,' but she actually believed that poison was red. And
      this is an error. But how far does it invalidate her thinking
      about poison? She learned that an overdose of aspirin would
      kill you: her belief was true. She knew, within limits,
      which of the substances in her mother's house were poisonous.
      If I, staying in the house, had raised a glass of what looked
      like water to my lips, and the child had said, 'Don't drink
      that. Mummie says it's poisonous,' I should have been foolish
      to disregard the warning on the ground that 'This child has an
      archaic and mythological idea of poison as horrid red things.'"

      The quote is from an essay that is actually called "'Horrid Red
      Things'."


      --Margaret Dean
      <margdean@...>
    • Margaret Dean
      ... Is this what you re looking for? I once heard a lady tell her daughter that if you ate too many aspirin tablets you would die. But why? asked the
      Message 32 of 32 , May 14, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        "Ernest S. Tomlinson" wrote:
        >
        > On Tue, 13 May 2003 09:23:12 -0500, "Croft, Janet B" <jbcroft@...>
        > said:
        >
        > > I didn't explain Pratchett's concept very well, I'm afraid. What he
        > > means by "Lies-to-children" is those partial truths or little stories
        > > that seem to explain a phenomenon -- until you look at them a little
        > > closer and see that it doesn't really explain the whole thing.
        >
        > I understand that, but I see a big difference between "rainbows are
        > caused by raindrops acting like prisms" (which isn't quite the whole
        > story, but still a good approximation of the truth) and "you shouldn't
        > chew gum because it angers the elf that lives in your stomach" (which
        > isn't true at all, unless you resort to a tortured post-modernistic
        > definition of 'truth'.)
        >
        > (I'm reminded of Lewis's argument about "horrid red things". Where was
        > that?)

        Is this what you're looking for?

        "I once heard a lady tell her daughter that if you ate too
        many aspirin tablets you would die. 'But why?' asked the
        child. 'If you squash them you don't find any horrid red
        things inside them.' Obviously, when this child thought of
        poison she not only had an attendant image of 'horrid red
        things,' but she actually believed that poison was red. And
        this is an error. But how far does it invalidate her thinking
        about poison? She learned that an overdose of aspirin would
        kill you: her belief was true. She knew, within limits,
        which of the substances in her mother's house were poisonous.
        If I, staying in the house, had raised a glass of what looked
        like water to my lips, and the child had said, 'Don't drink
        that. Mummie says it's poisonous,' I should have been foolish
        to disregard the warning on the ground that 'This child has an
        archaic and mythological idea of poison as horrid red things.'"

        The quote is from an essay that is actually called "'Horrid Red
        Things'."


        --Margaret Dean
        <margdean@...>
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