The world is full of individual things and events. But to think about them, even in the simplest fashion, already requires categories and metaphors. "The oak tree on the corner of First and Main" points to an object, but only by identifying it as one of a group (oaks, which are trees, which are plants, which are terrestrial lifeforms) and via its relationships to other objects (location of streets, in the more-or-less present time). To say more about that tree, or trees in general, requires further connectivity to other classes and categories of objects.

The more we look at objects, the more obvious it is that they're all one, intimately bound via a spiderweb of relationships. "A is B" either says nothing (if it's just a relabeling) or something infinitely deep. (Or both!) Names give us power — because a name is a link, a pointer, a first step into the hyperspatial network of ideas that is the universe.

Sunday, October 10, 1999 at 15:51:57 (EDT) = 1999-10-10

TopicThinking - TopicPhilosophy

(correlates: ForestDialect, DalaiLamaBirthdayGift, ImpossibleStandards, ...)