1/07/2011

Seat of meanings

To the word cathedra, which in Latin means chair, and therefore leads one towards ex cathedra pronouncements, 
and cathedrals, with their air of authority, "majestic, soaring, standing against the sky like a filigreed exclamation point". 
From these, on to other chairs: regal thrones, the judicial bench, the congressional seat, and the like. And, further, 
to the sitting position, in philosophy designated as "the seat of the soul, or of intelligence, or of wisdom or reason"...
"The chair is something more than where we place out bottoms." - Arthur Danto.
And then there is the "final" chair that draws attention to: the electric chair. 
One can see that the meanings of this piece of furniture keep changing: from transcendence to humility to barbaric cruelty.

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