By Ethan Shea
This time everyone is arguing over whether there are more doors or wheels in the world, and the lighthearted yet passionate banter is certainly welcome.
Those on Team Wheels often cite the immense number of wheeled vehicles in the world. In addition to cars, there are skateboards, scooters, and bicycles. Moreover, you need to replace these wheels more often than you need to replace most doors, so there must be a lot of them!
However, members of Team Doors point to skyscrapers, bathroom stalls, refrigerator doors, and even kitchen cabinets. Regardless of what side of the debate you’re on, both doors and wheels have some tempting points.
One of the most interesting aspects of this debate is the fact that many people are struggling to define what counts as a door and what counts as a wheel. Should cabinets count as doors? What about mini wheels pasta? Is each individual morsel technically a wheel?
While I have my own opinions on these controversies, the main reason why this debate is so fascinating is because it is surprisingly philosophical. In fact, the struggle to define doors and wheels remind me of Plato’s Theory of Forms.
We all have abstract ideas of what wheels and doors are, and this non-physical concept is the truest, most essential form of them. When we try to translate our general ideas of the forms to specific objects, things can get complicated. If you’d like to read more about this idea and consider how it applies to the great door and wheel debate, Plato discusses it a bit in The Republic, which is available here at Falvey, among several other dialogues.
There are many more reasons why this debate has a home in the Library. First of all, Falvey recently acquired a new set of wheels, as a NovaRacing car was just relocated to outside of the Idea Lab due to the CEER Expansion Project. To learn more about the car and NovaRacing, check out this blog.
There are also countless famous doors in literature and film. In addition to the image from Monster’s Inc. featured above, a few that come to mind are the Doors of Durin from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the entrance to Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter series, and the wardrobe door to Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia.
I’m curious where everyone stands on this hot topic, so don’t be afraid to leave a comment taking a side. Are you Team Wheels or Team Doors?
Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library