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Material Mind

Unit Two – Post

As a coping mechanism, Tlönists view reality as a mere state of mind. Nothing is real and everything is either thought or perceived. No regularities exist, and the material world cannot be assigned a state of ‘being.’ To exemplify the Tlönist negation of materialism, it is useful to study their concept of hrönir. The following are some of the properties of hrönir:

  1. Hrönir are duplicates of lost things (although appear somewhat larger in size than the ‘original’),
  2. The act of perceiving or thinking of a hrönir is central to their production,
  3. Duplicates of duplicates can exist, and so one could have a hrönir of a hrönir.

This concept is necessary for Tlönian logic, as it is what allows the Tlönian psyche to negotiate the lack of ‘being’ of material. Since objects do not exist, then all objects must be hrönir. Meaning that, as a broader take on the ‘observer effect’ of metaphysics, things only exist if and when we observe/smell/touch/(etc.) them. Following this logic: the Tlönist believes that if they do not perceive an object, then it does not exist. And in the case in which they do perceive something, then it is still not truly there, for it is simply an abstract reflection, a hyper-real mirroring, of an object that the mind, whether consciously or not, intends to find. Objects are thus replicas and manifestations of the Tlönists thoughts.

What is salient to note about this paradigm is the subdomains of rationality that it allows for. Through rejecting materialism and the world around them, Tlönists are able to perceive the ubiquity of evil to be non-existent. Wars crimes and suffering did not really occur because they are only a fragment of the mind. The nature of truth here is hardwired to nullify the presence of torture, suffering, science, religion (etc.). The Tlönists lack of acknowledgment of pressing and difficult phenomena brings to qustion what the Tlönists’ response would be if they were ever confronted with a situation where these material-based phenomena… What this then brings to question is if it would be ethical to bring upon such a catastrophe to the Tlönist civilization in pursuit of ‘enlightening’ ‘them.’ Or perhaps what the non-Tlönist could do before delving into any of this is understand that Tlönist could not ever know about these realities, no matter how hard one tries. These final questions bring me dismay, as there are certain thoughts that I hold to myself to be truths that an abundance of, if not nearly all, populations around me deny.

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Sources consulted in the creation: (in addition to the primary source)

Pozueta, María Díaz. “From Philosophical Idealism to Political Ideology in “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” and “Deutsches Requiem”.” CR: The New Centennial Review 9, no. 3 (Winter, 2010): 205-228,288. https://ezproxy.lib.davidson.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/231995993?accountid=10427.

http://sites.millersville.edu/tgilani/pdf/Fall%202017/PHYS%20302/Plato’s%20Republic-2.pdf

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