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July 3, 2009 6:30 pm

Original article by: “Avatar” – R.I.P.

Translated by: Roberto Alanagee, Being and Quirkiness

Harmony, which is a science and an art, is a human invention in view of abstracting laws. But one must be careful, for that is precisely where lays a subtle adjustment, which looks unimportant, yet the consequences of which  are far reaching downstream. The Swiss know it well, the source of the Rhone and of the Rhine are relatively close by, but downstream it’s a whole other story. One must not mistake the source!

Thus the subtle adjustment, which is crucial, is this one: there is an order in nature, but neither mathematics nor harmony are principles in themselves of this order. They are the fruit of human intelligence which interrogates and seeks to understand these principles. In realist philosophy, this is called a “quiddity”, in other terms the intelligibility of a reality.

Let me put forth an example, a true story, to show what a quiddity is but also the error consisting in mistaking it for the first principle. Once upon a time, a little boy was looking at a sculptor chipping away at a large piece of marble. After a few days, out of the marble rose a horse on its hind legs, magnificent, down to the smallest detail. The little boy cried out to the artist: wooooow, and since how long was the horse inside the marble? Well it is the same mistake when someone says that man has not invented mathematics, but has discovered them (just as the little boy could not imagine that the sculptor insufflates a quiddity into the marble, nor creates the horse – the horse was in the marble and the sculptor discovered it.)

This is quite a lovely farce, which has seduced many and close between. I know some who, after hearing this story would say: “well I wish to remain like this little boy”. And here we enter into an illusion, that which equates infantilism to the spirit of youth.

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