Ontological Fish

In his children’s book, Fish is Fish, Leo Lionni tells a story of a friendship between a tadpole and a minnow.
They love their life in the pond as they both grow up. Once the tadpole becomes a frog, he follows his urge to explore the world outside of the pond. When he returns, he regales the fish with tales of brightly coloured birds, cows with pink bags of milk, and people who wear clothes. The illustrations in the book show that while the frog is talking, thought bubbles of the fish show fish with brightly coloured wings and tails flying through the sky; fish with ears, horns and pink bags of milk; and fish wearing clothes and walking upright on their tails. The point being that what the fish ‘sees’ is a product of the nature of his reality and the ways he has come to know things. Different views of the world and different ways of gathering knowledge exist.

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