What Is a Chair?

Topics: Mind, René Descartes, Philosophy Pages: 3 (1082 words) Published: March 6, 2011
Chairs have been around for as long as mankind has. As soon as the need to rest developed, chairs developed. When I think of a chair, I immediately think “four legs, seat, back, etc.”. But is this really what a chair is? Could you not also place a book on this “chair” and it would now be transformed into a table? Is it possible that I could sit on a table, or a stump, or a bed and it would now be a chair? How do we as humans instinctively know what chairs are? When are we taught to know the difference between chairs and other furniture? Is it just implied, or is there something deeper in our psyche that tell us these things. These questions have been asked for as long as people have given thought to how the the world works around them. As we have read in works by Lucretius, Plato, and now Descartes, we are looking for the answers of the age old question “What is a Chair?” by also analyzing the questions of mankind that come along with this deeper thinking.

The parts of the chair work together as one whole object, never wavering, unless, one of the parts of the chair break apart, or become damaged. The whole chair works in unison, is in equilibrium until an outside force is brought upon the chair, causing it to become imperfect; whether that be a slight wobble of a leg or a complete disconfigurment of an armrest or something that would completely render the chair useless. This equilibrium enables the chair to be one solid unit, not a collection or pieces that create an object. I believe that Lucretius would say that the chair does not exist at all, but it, like everything else, is only made of atoms, and that the chair is only a consequence of atoms coming together to form one unit. Like the chair itself, there are many parts in order to make it a whole, but without some of those key components, it would just be a heap of parts. Lucretius would say that the chair is real, but it, like everything else, is made of the same components, atoms....
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