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Do You Believe In Faeries? · Monday April 22, 2013 by Crosbie Fitch

Alexander Baker asks me if ‘intellectual objects’ are real (whatever he means by that).

Alexander, if by putting your faeries in a box you can exclude me from them, then go for it. I’m not really sure you possess any faeries though.

If you can sell me a box of faeries such we can both identify and count how many faeries are within, and we can both exclude others from the faeries in our respective boxes, then that sounds promising.

If we can add and remove faeries to and from boxes, such that several people (in a double blind test) count the same numbers of faeries in a set of boxes (containing differing numbers of faeries), then we’re pretty close to establishing the physical reality of faeries.

The trouble is, we need to distinguish between a ‘faerie’ (a piece of paper shaped like a faerie) and a faerie (a tiny winged humanoid creature, ethereal or otherwise).

You can substitute faerie with triangle, and similarly distinguish between the ‘triangle’ (drawing of) and the triangle (abstract concept). You can put drawings of abstractions in boxes, but you can’t put abstractions in boxes.

You can even substitute ‘intellectual object’, but again, you need to distinguish between its physical description and the imaginary abstraction.

If you reverse this process, you should see that you are effectively trying to argue that faeries are real, and that you believe in their existence.

That the concept of faeries has played a significant part in mankind’s culture is true, but this doesn’t make faeries real, nor property (copyright notwithstanding).

You can physically possess a physical description of an abstraction. You can imagine, but cannot physically possess an abstraction – though thanks to indoctrination by sacred state granted monopolies, many people like to imagine that they can and should be able to possess abstractions (they make do with ‘all physical manifestations thereof’, given the abstract plane is still inaccessible to them).

So, Alexander, do you believe in faeries?



 

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