June 18, 2010


Everyone examines a ratiocination more carefully than the evidence sustaining it.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección , p. 223


  1. The original Spanish is:

    Todos examinan con más cuidado el raciocinio que la evidencia que lo sustenta.

  2. The Spanish word evidencia, translated here as "evidence," can be difficult to translate. In ordinary Spanish it has two meanings. The first is "evidence" in a more legal sense, such as "overwhelming evidence against the accused," "circumstantial evidence." In this sense, evidence can have a collective sense, such as when "the prosecutor piles on the evidence against the defendant."

    The second meaning could perhaps be translated as "obviousness," that is, when something is evident and need not be proven any further.

    When Gómez Dávila uses the word, he generally uses it in the second sense, but he also seems to attach a semi-technical, epistemological meaning to the term. In this aphorism, for instance, he quite purposely opposes evidence to ratiocination.

  3. See the next aphorism for a better of what Gómez Dávila meant.