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Wittgenstein on Family Resemblance, or why I don’t like base classes

This is largely a through-away notion, but there is a point to it.

Wittgenstein talks about something called ‘family resemblance.’  Very, very generally speaking, we talk about things as being similar, as fitting within a common ‘concept’, but they don’t share a single defining feature.  The stock example is that of a game.  Hockey is a game.  Tiddlywinks is also a game.  You cannot define a common defining feature.

Sometimes, when talking about code, there are people who want to do everything in terms of base classes and subclasses.  This is natural and understandable, but there are many times when it is mistaken.  Just create separate classes.

posted on Sunday, May 10, 2015 12:23 PM Print
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