Thursday, August 02, 2012

Modes of being (of hobbits)

Someone asked me what I thought of this post by the Maverick, about the ‘mode of being’ of holes. No thoughts, really, as I don’t know much about holes.

But there may be a parallel with the points I raised here, about numbers and hobbits. It’s an obvious mistake to say that hobbits have existence in a different way from cats, or that they have a different 'mode of being' from cats. To say that hobbits are fictional is not the same kind of thing as saying that cats are furry, nor do hobbits have a different 'mode of being' from cats. Cats exist, hobbits don't, and to say that hobbits are fictional is just to say that they don't exist, with the added connotation that writers say they do in works of fiction. (Fiction being, as I said elsewhere, a particular mode of falsity in which the writer does not intend to deceive, but rather to amuse, his reader).

As for holes, well they do exist, but as accidents of the cheese. But this needs further thought, as it begs many challenges by the Realist.

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