Posted by Steve Price on April 26, 1999 at 09:38:49:
In Reply to: Re: A Stretch on Aesthetics? posted by Marvin Amstey on April 26, 1999 at 09:17:15:
Dear Marvin, et al.,
You wrote: "Wow! That's quite a task: interpreting the intent of the dead? Can we really do that? Marvin"
I think sometimes we can. Here's a little exercise:
Q. Why did the (dead) pastoral nomads live in woolen houses?
A. Because it was easier to transport than most other kinds of houses and besides, they had lots of wool.
Q. Why did the (dead) pastoral nomads keep their stuff in woolen containers?
A. More or less the same as the one above.
Q. Why didn't the Turkmen make big woolen boxes, like the NW Persians did?
A. Funny you should ask. I've been wondering about that, too.
The first two demonstrate that we can make guesses about the intentions of people who are now dead, and feel pretty comfortable about the likelihood that those guesses are correct. We (I should say, "I") don't have a very good guess about the third, but the fact that the people are dead doesn't automatically make their intentions unguessable.
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