Neologisms vs unusual uses of familiar words

“In fact, when a philosopher needs a word to express a new generalisation, he must choose between two things; he must choose a neologism, if he is put to it, or he must decide, and this is unquestionably better, to stretch the meaning of some old term.” — Gabriel Tarde

If I didn’t already own Laws of Imitation, I’d have to buy it just to have this quote in physical form. I face this dilemma all the time when trying to say something new. Both objections, to neologisms and to unusual uses of familiar terms, are standard features of philosophical defense mechanisms, whose purpose is to disqualify speech capable of undermining its conceptions.

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