Borges Blue Tigers

Borges Blue Tigers


In this story Borges shows us the relationship between two opposite concepts that convey different universes (Cosmos "order" and Chaos "disorder in Greek) and what may happen when they infringe their limits and boundaries. Philosophical questions about the operation of the universe arise from the story and make us aware of our limited knowledge as regards cosmos and its laws. Alexander Craige is a professor of Easter and Western logic at the University of Lahore, India, and he is the walking paradox in this story. In the search for the blue tigers that had been hunting his dreams and exciting his imagination ever since he was a little child, Alexander finds his long-held beliefs about logic and mathematics (and all the attempts of imposing any kind of order) suddenly refuted by a new hypothesis: the universe admits of Chaos.

He is terribly shocked by the fact that the blue pebbles change number without following any pattern, logic is not applicable to their behaviour, no matter how hard he tries to find a rational explanation to these changes. Moreover, he is overwhelmed because none of four arithmetical operations seem to be useful when dealing with the pebbles. A reference is made to the beginning and the end of mathematics. The Greek used stones to make the first calculations and now the pebbles refute thousand years of theory disobeying the laws that determined the functioning of mathematics as a science.

This break of the established order of the universe as well as the order inside one's own head can be either frightening or enlightening and it depends on the attitude the owner of the "miracle" takes towards it. For our man of logic, Alexander, it is absolutely terrifying. His tendency to classify and rationalize everything blinds him to the possibility of the knowledge and wisdom that is being given to him. He is not ready to undermine a history of men's science...

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