On Hokusai’s woodblock prints

Sometimes when looking at some piece of reality, puzzling choices have to be made when describing it as ‘one’, as ‘many’ or perhaps as neither ‘one’ nor ‘many’. Three woodblock prints of the artist
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Sometimes when looking at some piece of reality, puzzling choices have to be made when describing it as “one,” as “many” or perhaps as neither “one” nor “many.” Three woodblock prints of the artist Hokusai can illustrate the issue. Image 18 by Hokusai. Public domain via Marquand Library, Princeton University Library Let us start with print one. Does this print represent seventeen things, seventeen men fighting, or does it represent a collection of men doing to, and thus in a way one thing, a collection, or does it represent eighteen things, the seventeen fighters and the individual men? None of the three options seems wrong, even if there is a preference for the first. What then does this mean? Are there three realities represented at once? Or is the collection in fact nothing beyond and above the two individual fighters, so that when we speak of the collection we don’t speak of another thing distinct from the seventeen fighters, rather. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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