Which is the real chair and why?

The first one

Sunny_the_skeptic

The second one

hootowlWillcooper

The third one

Nobody :(

None of them

WunderscoreVicZincDW2Bub

All of them

TrishBlindMistLussMotionless

Other

Abbadon517

Favourited

VicZincdoctorwho1011TiffaneeSukiesnowBub
Which is the real chair and why?

Explained by BlindMist...

This was the most heated debate of my college experience so far. Your thoughts? In case you can't read the third, it's the definition of a chair: A seat with a back, and often arms, usually for one person; a seat of office or authority, or the office itself; the person occupying the seat or office, esp. the chairman of a meeting; a sedan-chair; a chaiset; a metal block or clutch to support and secure a rail in a railroad.

Top Comment

Those examples are representations of chairs.

+333 See / Add Replies

Bub Bub

Comments

Those examples are representations of chairs.

+333 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “Those examples are representations of chairs.

If those examples speak on behalf of all chairs by being representations, then there has to exist in them the qualities of a chair.

+111 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “If those examples speak on behalf of all...

(Except for the opening sentence a chair in all my examples means a "chair").

Well put. But the "qualities of a chair" doesn't mean they are chairs.
A chair is what a chair does. No one can sit on the definition of a chair. No one can sit on the two-dimensional, artistic impression of a chair. The chair in the middle may be made of paper mache which would render its usefulness as a chair limited if not impossible. Even if the chair in the middle were made of wood, the wood may be rotten or balsa wood or poorly assembled or any number of disqualifying attributes.

Is a folding chair a chair if it is in the flat, unopened position? Or, in that example, is it merely the possibility of being a chair? In that example, again, what if no one knew how to unfold it? How about this: if a chair has a load capacity of 300 pounds, is it still a chair if a morbidly obese person (500 pound plus) couldn't use it? Another example: if a chair were in pieces in a box, it can only become a chair once it is assembled, right? Another: does a chair have to be seen or touched to be a chair (does it exist if no one knows it is there?). If the chair were never sat on would it still be a chair? If a chair fell in the forest would it make a sound?

+112 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “(Except for the opening sentence a chair in...

And what does a chair do?

If I started to sit on the same table everyday instead of sitting on a chair, would that table then be a chair if it's serving the function of a chair?

At what point is something doing what a chair does and at what point is it not?

+222 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “And what does a chair do? If I started to...

Your post inspired another idea which I may post later: (it will be worded better - I hope (smile)) In order to best present an argument, a person should, as fully as possible, understand the argument(s) against. Fleshing out my position would mean I would need to understand how to present my case in a court of law.

Another proposition for you: if all life in the Universe disappeared tomorrow with no hope of coming back would God still be be necessary?

0 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “Your post inspired another idea which I may...

True, you gotta understand the counterarguments.

Yes, to create new life. It wouldn't be the same life, but God has the ability to make all things new.

+111 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “True, you gotta understand the...

By the way, a table is not usually designed with a back :) which counters the definition of a chair.

0 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “By the way, a table is not usually designed...

But according to you, the definition of a chair is not a chair so how can we trust it?

Here's what shut down the debate in class:

The teacher was an art professor, and so we were in an art room. The room didn't have tables or desks, but we were using some type of artsy wooden boards as tables.

They weren't tables by definition and couldn't even be held up on their own, but someone asked

"What are these?"

And everyone said "Tables"

And there was just this moment of awe-inspiring silence

Just thought I would share that

+111 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “But according to you, the definition of a...

Well that clinches it: everyone said. Then whatever those were must be tables. LOL

0 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “Well that clinches it: everyone said. Then...

If everyone said grass was red, would that make it true?

What if everyone was just living a lie they wish were true?

+111 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “If everyone said grass was red, would that...

That's just it :)
I agree the red grass example is nonsensical
Everyone (or close enough to everyone) once thought the Earth was flat

0 Reply

Bub Bub

I see a photo. In it a chair, a photo of a chair and a description of a chair. I can not use this photo as a chair. But...i can sit on it:]

+222 Reply

Carla Carla

In response to “I see a photo. In it a chair, a photo of a...

I remember a girl in the desk behind me in grade 2 asking me this question. She said Plato said the perfect chair was in furniture "heaven".

I'd ask if a chair were in front of me, how could I make it NOT a chair? At what point would it no longer be a chair if I took it apart piece by piece. At what point would it no longer be a chair if I added pieces to it?

+222 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “I remember a girl in the desk behind me in...

Furniture heaven:).

My brain says....as long as you can touch the pieces, and you can reconstruct it, it is a chair.
Add as many pieces as you can, it remains a chair until you can no longer sit on it.

Your brain might tell you something different.

+222 Reply

Carla Carla

In response to “Furniture heaven:). My brain says....as long...

How small does the back have to become before it is no longer a back? How reduced in size the seat, the legs, the armrests (if any) before they are useless?

If the chair were 400' high with the seat being 200' in the air would it still be a chair? For who?

+221 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “How small does the back have to become before...

Ahhh.
A seat, not always a chair. A stool, or a bench.
Four legs, back to the lumbar area of the spine.(my thoughts)
Tiny...a child or doll chair.
A giant....get a very tall ladder, have a seat:)

+222 Reply

Carla Carla

In response to “Ahhh. A seat, not always a chair. A stool...

So. When is a chair a chair? When is a chair not a chair?
Is there a perfect chair? One good enough for chair heaven? LOL

+222 Reply

Bub Bub

In response to “So. When is a chair a chair? When is a chair...

Plato said the one perfect chair is in furniture heaven. So..there may be no more:).

With all the words in our language we could ask these questions all night each night till we are no more:]

When is a beautiful flower, just a weed?

+222 Reply

Carla Carla

In response to “So. When is a chair a chair? When is a chair...

In the words of someone in my class

A chair is a chair if it has chairiness

+333 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

Nothing is real.

All of these item have ample chairness for my personal taste.

+334 Reply

VicZinc VicZinc

In response to “Nothing is real. All of these item have...

If nothing is real

Then everything is nothingness

But nothingness does not exist either

Because it's not real...

So now we're just stuck in a paradox

+222 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “If nothing is real Then everything is...

That is where I am most comfortable.

And why do you say 'nothing does not exist'? That is as meaningless as saying 'bald is a hairstyle' or 'empty is a measurement of volume'

0 Reply

VicZinc VicZinc

In response to “That is where I am most comfortable. And why...

Nothing is real. If nothing is real, then the whole concept of nothingness is not real, which means the concept of nothingness has to be real which means something is real.

And I'm confused by my own comment.

0 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “Nothing is real. If nothing is real, then the...

Reminds me of the time a guy proved a poorly cooked meal is better than god...

A poorly cooked meal is better than nothing
and
nothing is better than god

Therefor a poorly cooked meal is better than god.

If we accept that nothing is real than surely it is real. That implies nothing exists - which is our point to begin with.

(wink)

+111 Reply

VicZinc VicZinc

In response to “Reminds me of the time a guy proved a poorly...

Ugh, you're so frustrating

But at least I'm not whirling around in the paradox anymore

+111 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

All of them and none of them. All are representations of chairs, but I can sit on none of them.

+222 Reply

Bozette Bozette

In response to “All of them and none of them. All are...

So a chair is something you can sit on?

Someone in my class gave this example:

If I were to sit on someone's head, then would that person's head then be a chair since it is satisfying the purpose of a chair?

0 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

In response to “So a chair is something you can sit...

The purpose of a chair is to sit...not all seats are chairs.

0 Reply

Bozette Bozette

The obvious answer is rarely right but what the hell

0 Reply

Sunny_the_skeptic Sunny_the_skeptic

In response to “The obvious answer is rarely right but what...

Who knows what the right answer is. Maybe it's just one of those questions without a definitive answer.

+222 Reply

BlindMist BlindMist OP

One is a picture the second is a chair and three is words on a paper

+111 Reply

Willcooper Willcooper

They are all representations. I can't sit in any of them.

0 Reply

DW2 DW2

I only see 2

0 Reply

Abbadon517

The first one is a picture.

0 Reply

hootowl hootowl

the photograph picture of the black and white chair is ,I don't know, is the same chair of the one in colour. I think so?

0 Reply

bird1986 bird1986

The structuralist critic in me is tingling

sign systems and chains of signifiers just (goo)

0 Reply

Wunderscore

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