Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Chair and the Elephant

The subjective/objective dyad is one of those ways of thinking about the world which is useful in a practical scientific sense but when the full weight of metaphysical analysis falls on it tends to be found wanting. I am thinking particularly here of monistic systems such as Advaitic Vedanta. It grants that the mundane poles of the subjective and the objective and all the ways that can be understood are real as appearance but not ultimately so. This reminds me of the story about the Danish Cabinetmaker who sold a chair to a Rajah resident in Bombay/Mumbai. Unfortunately when delivered and taken out of the cart at the palace a passing elephant stood on it. The chair was destroyed but the joints remained intact. That’s craftsmanship!

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