What kind of world is the world we live in?1 Or better, what is its form? And is there maybe more than one? Let us consider the idea of “forms of the world” in the simplest of its senses. The very idea compels us from the start to accept an inevitable plurality. Consider the following immediate and ordinary examples. In today’s common sense the earth is spherical; in scientific discourse it is slightly flattened at the poles, so it is elliptical; photographs showing us planet earth from space, beautiful and solitary, make us perceive it as circular; children, without too much concern, draw it as an irregular ball; for a long time many peoples and cultures have believed the earth to be flat, just as in the geographic maps that we all study in school growing up. In the latter, Europe is always at the centre and the sizes of the continents are distorted. Could it be that only one of such forms is correct? Certainly, they all make sense and have meaning for someone.
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- Forms of the World
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