Mediation Revisited

In my early article on mediation, I originally talked about it without adequately saying in a simple way what it is. Since I refer to it frequently, I wanted to fix this. Normally I don’t give notice of edits to older articles, but this one seemed to deserve it. Now added at the top:

“Mediation is any kind of dependency of things on other things. With such dependencies in mind, Euclid the geometer is famously reported to have said there is no royal road to science, but the point also applies more broadly to all kinds of meanings. Paul Ricoeur referred to mediation as the ‘long detour’ essential to understanding.”


Hegel’s famous phrase “the owl of Minerva flies at dusk” refers to his Aristotelian view that ends are more important than origins. Since Minerva (Athena) is the goddess of wisdom, he is also emphasizing that wisdom is the product of a lengthy development, and implying that it is in a sense backward-looking.

Euclid is reputed to have quipped that “there is no royal road” to geometry. This applies to many other things as well. Understanding comes gradually, through practical engagement.