July 29, 2009

"At the heart of Western philosophy lie a series of interrelated assumptions, embedded in a metaphor, which greatly constrain our ability to comprehend major transformations in the modern world. The culprit is the pervasive ideology of what may be called 'depth ontology' whereby we tend to assume that everything that is important for our sense of being lies in some deep interior and must be long-lasting or solid, as against the dangers of things we regard as ephemeral, shallow or lacking in content. These become highly problematic metaphors when we encounter a cosmology which may not share these assumptions, and rests upon a very different sense of ontology. The importance of these metaphors lies not only in the narrow and sometimes parochial pursuit of philosophy, but in the tendency of these ideas to be infused in more general, often moral, judgments on the world at large."

From Style and Ontology by David Miller in Consumption and Identity edited by Jonathan Friedman. This quote is a little more philosophical than I like to get on the blog, but I find it comforting. I like to think deeply about things, like design, that others may consider shallow and this idea validates my goals.