Chili. Specifically, chili with beans. Chili, clearly, is not the beans. However, the dish is frequently called “chili con carne,” literally “chili with meat,” and can often be made vegetarian. So it’s clearly not the meat. In that case, what is chili? If it has neither beans nor meat, what is left?

Sadly, as interesting and fun as the original thought train was, research led to the conclusion (seen at the Wikipedia article above) that it is, in fact, in the chili is in the chiles, which was the original term. It’s mostly in the mixture of spices, with things like beans and meat being added for substance as much as for flavor. Nonetheless, it can be seen, even in this mundane example, that no individual part can be said to be the essence, and that the essence is an emergent property of the parts when put together.


As a result of being both intensely curious and fabulously nerdy, I tend to think about random things a lot. This results in a fact or question filtering into my mental filing system, and giving birth to a spontaneous hypothesis, built on little more than speculation. I will be storing these in this post, and future posts under th “hypothesis” category. Read the rest of this entry »

AHA! (PHI 215, lecture 4)

Consider this:

Fourteen is twice (2x) seven, but only half (1/2) of twenty-eight.

What’s the difference between seven and twenty-eight? Twenty-one! Noticing a pattern yet?

What’s twenty-one? Three times seven, and three and seven make ten, which is two times FIVE!

Coincidence? I think NOT!