Saturday, September 15, 2012

To the Fairest

Now Award to the Appropriate Recipient
An apple of discord is a reference to the Golden Apple of Discord (Greek: μήλον της Έριδος) which, according to Greek mythology, the goddess Eris (Gr. Ερις, "Strife") inscribed "to the fairest" and tossed in the midst of the festivities at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, thus sparking a vanity-fueled dispute between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite that eventually led to the Trojan War (for the complete story, see The Judgement of Paris). Thus, "apple of discord" is used to signify the core, kernel, or crux of an argument, or a small matter that could lead to a bigger dispute.


  1. The Golden Apple of Discord may have sparked the feud, but, like any feud, any excuse would have sparked the conflict anyway.

  2. Actually, this tale forms the underlying basis of all arguments, the discussing subject's differing relative perspectives of what is "best" (the fairest). There is a latin saying, "Degustibus non est disputandum,"(About taste there can be no argument). In other words, people won't likely "argue" about the details of a shared "experience"... what they will argue about is to how it compares with others, or what it means in terms of a "future" good for that particular subject.

    You'll notice that Hera represents "power", Athena "wisdom/reason" and Aphrodite "heart/love/desire". These are three of the main relative positions between different subjects that can give rise to "argument".

  3. ...and if your "judgement" as to what constitutes "the fairest" follows that of Paris and you award the title to love/desire, you'd better be prepared to deal with consequences (a Trojan war).

  4. Which is why Thersites concludes: "Here is such a patchery, such a juggling and such knavery! all argument is a cuckold and a whore; a good quarrel to draw emulous factions and bleed to death upon. Now, the dry serpigo on the subject!"