Places as samples and examples

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Christ Church College chapel at Oxford

A church in England can be an example of Gothic architecture without being a Gothic-themed place. The church is not a themed place just because it is an object of the tourist gaze. A place which is a sample, in Nelson Goodman's sense (Goodman 1976), may or may not also be a themed place; that depends on its institutional setting and normative mode of self-presentation. Theming's doubled self-conscious presentation of the self-conscious presentation of otherness explains the difference between a European cathedral and a Las Vegas replica. Even if the Las Vegas cathedral were an exact duplicate, even if the whole European town were replicated, it would be presented as being presented as a European town in its otherness.