Apr 27, 2015

Are all hoarders collectors or are all collectors hoarders? One might be tempted to argue that it's either the one or the other, but I would like to resist that temptation. I would want to argue that a hoarder "collector" in the relevant sense. "Collection" has many meanings, of course. Just think of the "garbage collector," or of the coffee grimes "collecting" in the drain. A "hoarder" is collecting things in that way, but a "collector" of books (or pencils) is discriminating. He selects according to some principle(s) what will become part of his collection and what won't. That this principle is not always conscious presents a problem, and it may lead to the collector becoming a hoarder, but it does not negate the difference. The collector is not a hoarder.