The obscure objects of mass production

The objects of mass production – screws, nails, cell phones, cars – are everywhere. They are, for the most part, humdrum and insignificant and beneath the notice of philosophers. But in fact, I
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The objects of mass production – screws, nails, cell phones, cars – are everywhere. They are, for the most part, humdrum and insignificant and beneath the notice of philosophers. But in fact, I shall suggest, they are deeply mysterious from an ontological point of view. Here is something that actually happened this morning, I folded a piece of origami paper (square and uniformly coloured) in a complicated way, made a single cut across the result, and ended up with two paper decorations. As I made the cut, one of them fell to my left – decoration A. The other fell to my right – decoration B. But suppose, hypothetically, that the piece of paper I grabbed had been put into the packet the other way round, rotated by 180˚. I would have grabbed the same piece and gone through the same process of folding and cutting. One decoration would have fallen to my left, one to my right. Would I have produced the same two decorations I in fact produced, namely A and B? And, supposing the answer to. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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