Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pataphysics

Dictionary.com defines pataphysics as "a supposed branch of philosophy or science that studies imaginary phenomena beyond the realm of metaphysics; the science of imaginary solutions." According to the American Heritage Dictionary, pataphysics is "the French absurdist concept of a philosophy or science dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics, intended as a parody of the methods and theories of modern science and often expressed in nonsensical language."

Again with the French and deconstructionism. Unlike the movements that attempted to swallow history and philosophy, among other academic subjects, this deconstructionism has thankfully been relegated in its entirety to the world of the arts.


The word jumped at me from listening to the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."

Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical
Science in the home
Late nights all alone with a test tube
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Googling "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" lyrics resulted in more than a few mistaken substitutions of 'metaphysical' for 'pataphysical.' The above search combined with each word resulted in 600 to 100 returns in favor of 'pataphysical.'

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The College de 'pataphysique was founded On May 11, 1948, in Paris. Their motto was: Eadem mutata resurgo ("I arise again the same though changed").
[from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pataphysics]

3/19/2007 12:43 PM  

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