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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    salient object

    The Greeks’ focus on the salient object and its attributes led to their failure to understand the fundamental nature of causality. Aristotle explained that a stone falling through the air is due to the stone having the property of “gravity.” But of course a piece of wood tossed into water floats instead of sinking. This phenomenon Aristotle explained as being due to the wood having the property of “levity”! In both cases the focus is exclusively on the object, with no attention paid to the possibility that some force outside the object might be relevant. But the Chinese saw the world as consisting of continuously interacting substances, so their attempts to understand it caused them to be oriented toward the complexities of the entire “field,” that is, the context or environment as a whole. The notion that events always occur in a field of forces would have been completely intuitive to the Chinese. But the Chinese had a kind of recognition of the principle of “action at a distance” two thousand years before Galileo articulated it.

    What does this salient mean? "easily recognized or spotted"?


  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: salient object

    No. In which dictionary at www.onelook.com did you find this definition?

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: salient object

    It's my assumption. The definitions in dictionaries are "most important and core", but it sounds irrelevant to this context.

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    #4

    Re: salient object

    Yes, I think you're right when you suggest it means easily recognised.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: salient object

    I'd go noticeable/relevant.

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    #6

    Re: salient object

    Look at the context, then guess the meaning; try to work it out.

    The text is telling you that the Greeks focused all their thoughts on the salient object, and consequently ignored or failed to properly consider other things. They didn't notice those other things, or think they mattered or were important in their deliberations.

    Sounds like "salient" might mean "noticeable", "important".

    Keep reading.

    Tomorrow, look up the word in the dictionary to refine your guess.

    Follow this pattern always when reading. You can thank me in six months.

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