If you could choose one object to represent each branch of philosophy, which would you choose? Step with me, into this small museum.
Here, in Metaphysics Hall, the telescope. Breaker of authority. Through it, celestial objects reveal their motions, begging intellects to adjust their understanding of the universe, and their understanding of their role in it. The telescope is the perfect metaphysics metaphor, first intensely focusing its subject, then magnifying it for scrutiny. Galileo would agree, only don't ask him while he's on house arrest.
A perfect time to enter the Political Philosophy Room, and at its center, the United States' Harpers Ferry quarter. Issued in 2016 to celebrate an event (John Brown's attempt to rally a slave revolt) for which that government, over 150 years earlier, thought - not celebratory - but treasonous and insane, this object encapsulates the dynamics of history, ethics, politics, and philosophy in nickel-plated copper.
Speaking of Ethics, enter this atrium and behold: a single feather. Most likely, it is illegal for this feather to be here, that is, given it belongs to one of the 800 species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, enacted to promote the idea that no single country or its citizens can own a bird (or its parts, nest, eggs) which knows the entire globe as its home. Or does this feather belong to one of the species that is not so protected?
The last two rooms - before the gift shop - are enjoined, and on the back wall spanning both the Epistemology Entryway and Aesthetics Ballroom we see, simply framed and on-loan from LACMA, Rene Magritte's The Treachery of Images. Ceci n'est pas une pipe? Well, no, silly. And this is not a museum either. The staff releases you now back to your living room or office or elsewhere. But please visit anytime you'd like.