RE: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)

From: Chris Lofting (
Date: Sat 17 Jun 2006 - 13:57:59 GMT

  • Next message: Russ Volckmann: "Re: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)"

    Hi John,

    My perspective on categories has been on what you get out of self-referencing of WHAT/WHERE, aka differentiating/integrating, where that self-referencing is manifest in basic neural dynamics.

    Thus the categories I gave came from Plutchik where they 'fit' the WHAT/WHERE template that comes out of self-referencing. My own perspective is on the categories of the dichotomy where specialist perspectives, such as emotional perspectives, have categories isomorphic to all other sets of categories derived from self-referencing in that the methodology introduces artefacts that are used by relabelling in all unique contexts. (Plutchik and others START with emotions whereas my focus is on the origins of meaning and so go 'deeper' and so 'vaguer' a la issues of generic context management and so communication of intent etc)

    Thus from a primate perspective, and so spanning the whole species, we have hard-coded categories (invasive work on the amygdala have shown the
    'interdigitation' of the elements of fight/flight 'across' the amygdala where that interdigitation comes out of self-referencing a dichotomy). The reference to your islanders would refer to the customisation of emotions by local context through one's sense of self. Thus emotions extend into the language in the form of 'untranslatable' expressions (e.g. compare Finnish/Hungarian with indo-european expressions)

    The scale of expressions reflect the regulation of expressions by context-sensitivity so I can understand the claim of anger as 'rage' - a snake for example will strike with the same intensity regardless of context; the strike focus as such is 'universal'. Move into mammals and we are more context-sensitive. E.g. in control of hot/cold issues, so the reptile has to move whereas the mammal sweats or shivers; move into us and we build reverse-cycle air conditioning.

    IOW there is a cybernetics element at work re control/regulation that is expressed in us (and other primates etc or those with some degree of frontal lobe development) through the use of reason to regulate emotion (and so we and other mammals can 'play', we learn to pull our punches).

    With singular consciousness comes the skill of refined manipulation of emotions for social benefits (charismatics have this skill where their nature can disarm quickly and allow for light 'trance' elicitation etc). All of that said, the invasive work indicates the 'hard coding' of fight/flight and so that is a property of our species-nature, our particular/general nature. The issue of anger/rage then becomes one of regulation and so of degree.


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