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Luk√°cs tells an amusing anecdote in the “Reification” essay about a legendary critic in India who sets about investigating the myth he has heard about the world resting on the back of an elephant. “If this is so,” the thinker proposes, “then we must ask about that which the elephant stands upon!” When he is told that the elephant is balanced with dramatic precariousness on the back of a tortoise, the thinker is satisfied and his inquiry ends. If he is not, of course, he can always continue his search and inquire after that which the tortoise stands upon. He can search for a third miraculous animal.

The point being that the line of inquiry itself is rotten.

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