Could a Change of Plaques at a Museum Help Engender True Philosophy? Answered
I visited a famous museum of art a while back, and was awed by the breadth of their collection.
I spent most of a day there, and as I walked through, something occurred to me; the historical plaques I read only told the story of our current understanding of history. They did not mention how our ideas of, for example, 12" Egyptian stone carvings, have changed from thinking they were idols to something like spirit "vessels" for the departed. This one-sided view gave the impression that we knew all about Egyptian culture. Yet, our understanding changes all the time. Translations of the "Book of the Dead" from 1930 hardly resemble recent translations.
I wonder, if we mentioned on a plaque how a particular artifact changed our views of ancient cultures, and did this for several artifacts, or even mentioned briefly some key research along the way, we might jog the minds of museum goers a bit more. Maybe get them thinking that the world is more open than presumed. Thus some visitors might get excited at the unanswered questions and have a desire to do further research in a topic on their own.
If a change of plaques could tell a larger story of how our ideas and "what we know" is challenged and changes all the time, then perhaps . . . it might even jog the visitor to challenge some of his or her own ideas, thus beginning to inspire true philosophy.