Saturday, 14 April 2007

Philosophical Conundrum

So I was told that rats made good pets. I thought that I would get two girl ones, and call them Pam and Barbara. Then I bought a book about rats and discovered that they wee on you carpet all the time and need constant attention and supervision. Bye bye Pam and Barabara.
My conundrum is this: By calling into existence the concept of Barbara and Pam, were there from that moment, two ACTUAL rats, who would in the future be named thus? If so, when I decided not to buy them, did they cease to exist? Have I murdered two theoretical rodents? Or have there, since their conception, been two rats, who I WOULD have bought, but now that I haven't, they are just called, say, Sylvia and Prunella?
It tortures me so.

1 comment:

OddBabble said...

We currently have rats living in our shed (unwelcome pests) would it help if we named two of them Pam and Barbara before we poison them? Then there will be two actual rats who are actually destroyed? You can then grieve them and move on with your life???

By Andy, at Sat Apr 14, 10:28:00 PM 2007

What wonderful philosophical ponderings. I think that Pam and Barbara probably DO exist, and are being taken good care of by someone with lino flooring who is ok with wee!


By B, at Mon Apr 16, 10:40:00 AM 2007

Kelly Hack at 6:03pm April 23

I believe that now both Pam and Barbara and Sylvia and Prunella live now and will live forever - therefore not murdered.

Rats are fantastic pets.

I think I might have a wild one in my kitchen! Oh dear - honestly, I know I don't like cleaning but I'm not THAT dirty - at least, not in the kitchen!!!

Simon Bradford at 12:12pm May 31

Perhaps you could try and cast the conundrum in terms of Alain Badiou's Situation, Event and Truth Process.

You might be able to say that the creation of Pam and Barbara was an immanent break which introduced new knowledge or language to a Situation (though quite what the Situation was I am not sure, maybe your loneliness or pet free state?) and ... Read Morewas the Event at the start of a truth process; at the same time you created yourself as the Subject within the truth process. It is now up to you to decide whether you want to be faithful to the event and the process or if you wish to discard the truth process. Or perhaps this is an example of a simulcrum and therefore should be discarded.

I would tend to the latter as the existence of the two imaginary rats never addressed the situation in the first place. Perhaps the imaginary rats therefore take the place of Lacan's/Zizek Object Petit a, and therefore the existence of the rats is in fact a fetishistic device.

OddBabble at 6:49pm May 31
Well, obviously. That's what I was thinking too!