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Latest comment: 3 months ago by JPeton in topic want and need

mu. That jan Kita citation is beautiful, but probably not the best for the first page. wile is much more often used as a preverb, so it's hard to find good examples where it's a content word, much less a modifier. JPeton (talk) 21:29, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes I know that I could make one up, but see my page for why I don't feel comfortable doing that. I'll keep hunting and if I see something good, I'll bring it along. These were ones I culled basically at random from sources I had at hand. JPeton (talk) 21:33, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

want and need[edit | edit source]


A warning I have for wile is assuming it contains the idea of a "need." A "need" is a complex concept and trying to use wile to describe it is misguided. While most needs can be framed as types of desires, the goal of "wile" isn't to merge those concepts, it's to throw one of them away. This enables a toki ponist align their desires with their actions by giving them a word to describe their desires without any complex connotation. Sometimes it's more useful to say "my body wants food, but I don't want to eat."

Jean-Marc Quéré (tr. Preston Firestone aka jan Peton):

In Toki Pona, the concepts of duty, need, and desire are combined. The origin of the speaker's will, whether internal or external, does not influence the way in which they act. This will is therefore expressed by a single auxiliary: wile.

I'm hungry. -> I must eat. = I need to eat. = I want to eat.

mi wile moku.

Being in a state of necessity with regard to something implies the duty and desire to satisfy a need (in order to be well). In the absence of this will, the state of necessity does not exist (or doesn't exist any longer).

"If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich." - Lao-Tzu

The quotation at the end is from chapter 33 of the Tao Te Ching (https://www.egreenway.com/taoism/ttclz33.htm), Stephen Mitchell's translation. JPeton (talk) 21:54, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm actually not totally certain what lipamanka means here. I should ask them. JPeton (talk) 21:54, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, (personal communication 2023-11-11 on Discord): lipamanka disposes entirely of the concept of "need" and subsumes it all under "desires." This may well be an appropriate analysis, but it verges on the sort of philosophical speculation that I don't think is appropriate for this sort of article. I think the core take away is that "need" and "desire" aren't distinct in Toki Pona: Quéré argues that they both are expressed by "wile," whereas lipamanka disposes with the concept of "need" entirely in their philosophy of life and language, saying that all so-called "needs" are really "desires." It feels to me as if that distinction, though valid and interesting, doesn't make a difference for this article: the point is that whatever the word "need" means (if anything) and whatever the word "desire" means (if anything) are both covered by the one Toki Pona word "wile," and that the distinction is actually ephemeral and epiphenomenal. JPeton (talk) 22:47, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]