Friday, February 27, 2009

The Joys of Enlightened Nerdiness

Matt Yglesias ponders the true nature of Transformers (robots or vehicles or both?). My favorite comment:

Transformers are philosophically interesting because they complicate the classic Aristotelian distinction between form and matter, since their very nature is to change from one form into another. So we can’t say their form is either humanoid or as machine. As Aristotle would argue, their form consists in their activity, namely, tranformation. And their matter is organized around that principle. If Maximus Prime could no longer perform the act of transforming into a truck, or vice versa, he would no longer be a transformer. So, they’re neither one nor the other, intrinsically. They are, it goes without saying, more than meets the eye.

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