Re: Durkheim redux

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 16 Apr 2005 - 18:09:31 GMT

  • Next message: Price, Ilfryn: "RE: Durkheim redux"

    --- Kenneth Van Oost <> wrote:

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Scott Chase <>
    > You wrote,
    > > Instead of the solipsistic private illusion, I
    > think
    > > it's better to think of this in terms of the
    > > idealistic shared illusion. The categories of
    > thought
    > > we all share due to genetic or cultural
    > inheritance
    > > might influence the manner in which we perceive
    > > reality.
    > Ok, but than a few conditions has to be fullfilled,
    > 1_ we must perceive any sensation in the same way
    > others do,
    > or at least have the notion that we all feel the
    > same.
    > Do we !?
    Maybe not so much across cultures, but more so within a culture (or a nation). We could each perceive the world through lenses similar to others in our respective countries when it comes to matters of patritotism and national pride. Taking it down a few notches, we might perceive sports similarly to fellow fans of a certain team. The sports franchise is a social institution and we identify with it and get pulled in by emblems, mascots and songs and share these socifacts with fellow fans, just as we share a comon flag and national anthem with other citizens. There's much room for differentiation in this context, but stll there are some commonalities.
    > 2_ If we do, than the imprint of it, must have
    > created a likewise
    > grooved landscape in our brains/ minds. Did it !?
    There could be historically derived "landscapes" or chreodes that attract members of a given population due to locally contingent institutional accretions. If you are born in location such and such you will likely grow up rooting for the local high school fottball team and wear the school colors even when you're in elementary school. This isn't an historically determined fate, since you are free to jump over to a different channel if you're parents decide that you will go to a different high school and when in that channel you adopt the emblems and folkways of a different high school with its tradition and such. You might see things differently than your elementary school chums who still route for the other high school.
    > 3_ we must pre- suppose that the way of how our
    > brain is conditioned
    > over the eons is for all people the same ( genetical
    > I can agree) but
    > memetical it is deceptive and full of holes. Isn 't
    > it !?
    Well there's a middle ground here, that the meme machinists might want to address. The evolutionary psychologists talk about modules that emerged from the conditions of existence encountered by our common ancsetors in the Pleistocene EEA. If you're a Jungian one of these develomental modalities might be likened to a Self archetype. I'll have to review Anthony Stevens work and see what he says about the Self in light of evolutionary theory.

    If such a module existed, pehaps it has a deep rooted
    (or homologous) commonality across cultures. Thus cultural or individual level phenomena could feedback upon the genetic substrate (such as the epigentically rooted culturgens Wilson talked about). The sense of self wouldn't be a memeplex or memetic way of co-opting our minds as much as a genetically rooted survival mechanism. This could still be a shared illusion though, just more innate than that state I referred to regarding looking through the lenses of your local sports team.
    > 4_ If we do find that reality is for us all the same
    > and not quite that
    > different, doesn 't that mean that there is mush
    > more to say about it,
    > than of how our brain functions and of how plausible
    > our perceptions
    > of reality are !?
    > Do we not once again look at the sideways !?
    > 5_ Do people in China, India, Australia, Europe and
    > the US perceive
    > reality in the same manner we all do !?
    In some ways yes since we all share a certain mental architecture, but there's differentiation based upon localized historic contingencies. We have different views on what foods are proper to eat. Those in the US might be put off by what they find in a street market in China. Hindus would abstain from eating hamburgers.

    Yet, the trend of globalization is blurring these lines. The importation of labor from India into Jamaica had influenced the local cuisine and we now see a form of curry eaten in Jamaica. OTOH an idiosynchratic Jamaican religion called rastafarianism has impacted the world musically via reggae. Granted the rest of the world isn't awaiting Haile Selassie, but the pan-African dynamic inspired by Marcus Garvey has an impact in more subtle ways.
    > That
    > cultural and genetic
    > inheritance
    > can influence our perception, ok, but we all think
    > that the earth is round,
    > do
    > we not !? In what way can the cultural inheritance
    > of one living in Peking
    > influence the manner in which he perceives that the
    > world is round !?
    > And how does that differ from ours !?
    Well I'm not a solipsist or idealist, so I'd say that people begin looking at evidence and their perceptions begin to overlap with a shared reality.

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