Monday, March 30, 2009

You can copy a newspaper with it...

Picture a toy chest, filled with a variety of toys. Ther're frisbees, blocks, sailboats, all sorts of fun toys.

Each toy is different, but each is fun, and is used differently. A frisbee and a sailboat can both provide amusement, but not if you sail a frisbee and toss a sailboat.

That is, each toy has a purpose.

Amongst this collection is an egg of silly putty. What is its purpose?

The way one enjoys silly putty is from the acceptance that its purpose is what you make of it. You test its extremities - how long, flat, and tall you can make it - while realizing that every silly putty tower must collapse upon itself.

That's my best description of philosophy. By engaging questions, impossible questions for which answers will never be found, you are testing your own extremities and ingenuities. Philosophy is mental silly putty.

Most kids mess around with silly putty, but don't properly engage it. Instead they sail sailboats, throw frisbees, and build with blocks. Some dress up in costumes and pretend. Others march stuffed bears.

Every kid has had the silly putty experience, though. And that is not true of the rest.

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