Psychology of learning mathematics
Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Recognition
An imaginary classification posed by Jorge Luis Borges. Used by Foucault in
"The order of things" and Sandi Toksvig in "Whistling for the Elephants".
"animals are divided into:
- (a) belonging to the Emperor
- (b) embalmed
- (c) tame
- (d) suckling pigs
- (e) sirens
- (f) fabulous
- (g) stray dogs
- (h) included in the present classification
- (i) frenzied
- (j) innumerable
- (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush
- (l) et cetera
- (m) having just broken the water pitcher
- (n) that from a long way off look like flies
Borges's conclusion was that there is no classification of the universe
that is not arbitrary and conjectural. At the end of our panorama of
philosophical languages, we shall see that, in the end, even Leibniz was
forced to acknowledge this bitter conclusion."
Eco (1995, pp.207-208)
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