more thoughts

I once read a comment on talking about ‘language’.  The gist was that talking about language was comparable to several blindfolded people washing an elephant.  None of them could see the whole thing so one would say they were washing a big flappy thing that moved and was flexible (an ear); another would say that they were washing a solid round thing that moved up and down and had several distinctive harder parts (a foot). The point being that one could only talk about language in terms of one of its aspects, structure for example or usage but that it was impossible to talk about it ‘in the round’  cf the uncertainty principle.

Of course this ignores the fact that people being people would walk around the elephant and talk to other people washing it and hear what they said.

This scenario is pretty much what talking about ‘art’ is like.  Except that the word ‘elephant’ refers to an individual example of a physically existing set of things.  This set of things is ontologically stable (at least on the human time scale).  “Art’ on the other hand is a different kind of word.

More later.

Let me think about this.

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