Dear Ken,

I see now what you meant.
Well, I used the verb "to provoke" not in the sense of a cause of our everyday thoughts, but in the sense of provoking us to *think*, to give it a thought, or better said: to reflect about it. I don't think all questions do that, though it all, of course, depends on the "language game" they appear in.
For example, if someone asks you "What time is it?" in most of the situation you won't think much about it, but simply look at the clock and answer the question. This, of course, doesn't mean our thoughts won't be included in answering this question, but we usually don't reflect about it. However, if you are reading Heidegger on time in this very moment, it might make you think of it in detail...
My point was simply that there is a difference between the question you put the other day - if we can imagine math as our mother tongue - and the questions we hear every day in different occasions as a part of our everyday life. We might put such questions in a philosophical context too, but now I have a question:
Can you imagine a mind which is constantly being provoked (in this philosophical sense) by all sorts of questions without ability to take them in any usual non-reflective sense?


Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
--On Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:36 PM -0700 Dunja Seselja
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Um, how do you mean the other kinds...?


Well, if you can have a question which may only provoke thought, there
must be other kinds of questions, right? What do they do?

My Eliot professor liked to remark that man is the only being who is a
question unto himself (maybe he said "human beings," but he definitely
cringed at "humans"). The point being that for us human beings, our
existence puts our being in question. "Why? Wherefore? What is our ultimate

So questions are very interesting. At a minimum, I'm thinking, a question
provokes thought. What else do they do?

Ken A.
<[log in to unmask]>

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