Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cat Quest: The Ontological Argument for the existence of the purrfect book

[Even a] fool, when he hears of … a [book] than which nothing greater can be conceived … understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his understanding.… And assuredly that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, cannot exist in the understanding alone. For suppose it exists in the understanding alone: then it can be conceived to exist in reality; which is greater.… Therefore, if that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, exists in the understanding alone, the very [book], than which nothing greater can be conceived, is one, than which a greater can be conceived. But obviously this is impossible. Hence, there is no doubt that there exists a [book], than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the understanding and in reality. 
 - St. Anselm, Archbishop of Cantebury (1033-1109) in Proslogium, updated by me for relevance to bibliophiles on a quest

St Anselem was talking about God, but I've decided he could have been talking about a book. Not just any book, the ultimate book. Per the ontological argument, if the perfect book in my head is a science-fiction book about cats and it can be made more perfect by existing, it must exist. Otherwise the book in my head is not perfect. I feel in my heart that I am truly imagining the perfect book, ergo it exists.

I don't want to give the impression that I've found this book. I compulsively pick up science fiction and fantasy novels featuring cat titles at the used bookstore, but I seldom get around to reading them. Having them in my library, waiting for the day that I choose to pursue the quest for the perfect book, was enough. The day has also come (yesterday, in fact) when I have decided that I wanted to post something on Tuesdays and Thursdays but don't have a new book finished to put up a review. Therefore the day has come where I need to face my collection and read those cat books. And like so many voids in the internet, I'm filling up space with cats.

Call to action: What's your favorite cat book/cat-in-a-book?

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