- For Teachers
Do say in English;
The reality of life will become tangible when you read books.
Thank you so much for your reply.
If I say,'' The reality of life in the totalitarian states becomes more tangible when you read Animal farm''.
I mean you can feel something better when you read about it .
Ray is right, tangible means concrete, something you can touch. You can use it as a metaphor, but this is almost the opposite of the meaning of the word, a poor metaphor. You could use "apparent" or "clear" but not tangible.
My New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition states:
"Anything that can be grasped, either with the hand or with the mind, is tangible."
May I say then, taking into account this entry, (for example) that my ideas of some aspects of life have become tangible, meaning that my mind has managed to grasp them firmly (or that after reading some philosophical books the understanding of my own life became more tangible than it had been before)?
That is a good philosophical question, which enters into my specialty, intensional semantics.
However, the second sense is metaphorical, in relation to the first. Tangible means "touchable" or something we can literally grasp, i.e. a material object.
Intensonal philosophy identifies mental objects toward which we can turn our attention, and apprehend, such as the notion of colour or shape, as opposed to the actual colour or shape. If we refer to such notions as tangible, we are using the word metaphorically.
In the OP's example, the reading of a text may allow a reader better to grasp a notion or concept, on an individual basis, but the notion or concept is not itself made more tangible in the process.
It's a poor choice of words in this case, in my view. I'd suggest "palpable" if you must, but I still find I agree with Ray's general idea.
'Tangible' is perhaps another word that is literally [sic] going down the toilet.
The aforesaid perfectly conforms with what Raymott said:
but does not go along with what that entry states.[...] reading doesn't make anything tangible.
If my mind does not grasp some concepts it does not mean that they are not tangible.