maandag 14 maart 2016
Consider a room that contains a chair, an empty table and an empty cabinet. Suppose that this list of things offers a complete description of what there is to be seen in the room. Imagine that you enter it. You look around and you see nothing more but those three things. Would it be possible for you to create a new material object in this room merely by looking around and using language? Such a verbal creatio ex nihilo obviously seems metaphysically impossible. Nevertheless, look intensively at the chair and the cabinet at the same time. Focus your attention on them as being together. While doing so introduce the word 'chair-cabinet' and fix it's reference by declaring that it refers to the chair and cabinet together. After this act of naming the context has changed. For it seems not unreasonable anymore to hold that the room now also contains a chair-cabinet that has the chair and the cabinet as its material parts. Here we have an example of an act that perhaps resembles to at least some extent an act of verbally creating something out of nothing.