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Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday June 25, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:00 PM
Object Lesson
 
“… the best definition
 I have for Satan
is that it is a real
  spirit of unreality.”

M. Scott Peck,
People of the Lie

“Far in the woods they sang
     their unreal songs,
Secure.  It was difficult
     to sing in face
Of the object.  The singers
     had to avert themselves
Or else avert the object.”

— Wallace Stevens,
   “Credences of Summer”


Today is June 25,
anniversary of the
birth in 1908 of
Willard Van Orman Quine.

Quine died on
Christmas Day, 2000.
Today, Quine’s birthday, is,
as has been noted by
Quine’s son, the point of the
calendar opposite Christmas–
i.e., “Anti-Christmas.”
If the Anti-Christ is,
as M. Scott Peck claims,
a spirit of unreality, it seems
fitting today to invoke
Quine, a student of reality,
  and to borrow the title of
 Quine’s Word and Object

Word:

An excerpt from
“Credences of Summer”
by Wallace Stevens:

“Three times the concentred
     self takes hold, three times
The thrice concentred self,
     having possessed

The object, grips it
     in savage scrutiny,
Once to make captive,
     once to subjugate
Or yield to subjugation,
     once to proclaim
The meaning of the capture,
     this hard prize,
Fully made, fully apparent,
     fully found.”

— “Credences of Summer,” VII,
    by Wallace Stevens, from
    Transport to Summer (1947)

Object:

From Friedrich Froebel,
who invented kindergarten:

Froebel's Third Gift

From Christmas 2005:

The Eightfold Cube

Click on the images
for further details.

For a larger and
more sophisticaled
relative of this object,
see yesterday’s entry
At Midsummer Noon.

The object is real,
not as a particular
physical object, but
in the way that a
mathematical object
is real — as a
pure Platonic form.

“It’s all in Plato….”
— C. S. Lewis

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