pons asinorum


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pons as·i·no·rum

 (pŏnz′ ăs′ə-nôr′əm)
n.
A problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person.

[New Latin pōns asinōrum, bridge of fools (nickname of the Fifth Proposition in the Elements of Euclid, due to its difficulty) : Latin pōns, bridge + Latin asinōrum, genitive pl. of asinus, ass, fool.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pons asinorum

(ˌæsɪˈnɔːrəm)
n
(Mathematics) the geometric proposition that the angles opposite the two equal sides of an isosceles triangle are equal
[Latin: bridge of asses, referring originally to the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid, which was considered difficult for students to learn]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pons asinorum - a problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person
problem - a question raised for consideration or solution; "our homework consisted of ten problems to solve"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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In section three, Stephen's critical reviews of Ruskin's economic ideas are analysed to tease out the three main ways Stephen identified Ruskin as unfit to comment on political economy; namely, an unwillingness to use abstract-deductive logic, a failure to acknowledge the is-ought dichotomy, and an inability to subscribe to pons asinorum doctrines that single out a scholar as a political economist.
And, as for Ricardo, they are blinded by Mill's dictum that his 'law' is the pons asinorum of political economy.
The weakest reason for optimism is that selecting good justices--meaning justices who consistently fulfill the hopes of the president who nominated them--has proven a pons asinorum for even the best presidents.
This is the pons asinorum for readers of pop-math expositions.