It has been raining for days here in Brisbane, and because I have washing hanging up to dry inside, my room is starting to take on that musty smell that clothes have when they take to long to dry, or you forget them and leave them in the washing machine too long.
I have discovered that it is near impossible to read Sartre in the ad breaks while watching a movie. You just don’t get the block of concentration required. I also have discovered that there are problems with the concept of the essence of a thing being simply the sum total of all the appearances of it.
Firstly there is still a problem with being able to know the true essence of a thing from a single appearance because the essence is in the whole series of appearances, which may be infinite. You may get a glimpse of the essence but not all of it, and I’m not even sure that essence is the right word. When Sartre talks about things he is not talking about particulars but about broader concepts i.e what the colour red is, what courage is, not what is this particular quilt, but about the whole concept of what a quilt is. Such broad concepts really do seem to have infinite possible appearances. If you imagine the many possible different appearances of an individual quilt – it is different when you are tired, it is different depending on the light under which you view it, it is different for every single person who looks at it. To get at the concept of quilt you would have to see every single appearance of every possible quilt.
Is there a problem with this, Sartre doesn’t go into great detail about this at this stage, but I guess it still leaves us with gaps in what we can know.
The second problem is apparently to do with the being of the appearance. I have absolutely no idea what that means. I am hoping that further reading will clarify.
In the meantime, here are three new quilt blocks.