Learning from Examples. The Human and the Non-Human





Examples, Learning, The Particular, The Human


The paper argues that examples are not only used as rhetorical support for a presented general thesis but also circulate without explanation (whether or not with a hidden agenda). We often encounter particulars (persons, cases, situations, stories, etc.) that only with time assume the meaning of an example of something. Learning from so encountered examples is a lengthy process, based on recognizing serious and significant stakes (often related to essential structures of human life) reflected within them, resulting in i) the ability to trace significant connections to other particulars and ii) acting upon this recognition. It is disputable whether i) and ii) are intrinsically connected. The elusive nature of learning from examples – the difficulty of deciding whether learning has taken place – is illustrated using the example of environment-related actions.


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