[Fwd: Re: Structure of facts and opinions]

t (erimann@ix.netcom.com)
Sun, 30 Aug 1998 00:07:55 -0700

From: <erimann@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 00:07:55 -0700
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: [Fwd: Re: Structure of facts and opinions]

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Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 23:42:27 -0700
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Subject: Re: Structure of facts and opinions
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Mark,

The historical dichotomy between man and nature is not reflected in my
reference to the two broad categories of human cognitive attention. On
the one hand, the biogenetic interests of the species hail back in time
to our organismic heritage before the advent of culture. What I intend
to categorize here are those fundamental persuasions, needs and desires
traceable to our environment of evolutionary adaptiveness. Examples
include such things as desire for nourishment, security and sex.

The emergence of sociocultural systems presented humans with new
challenges calling forth new types of cognitive adaptations. Though the
fundamental needs continue from the biogenetic to the sociocultural
dimension, the types of adaptations which resulted are different.
Security and ascension in sociocultural systems became roughly equated
with success in attaining the nourishment, security and sex underlying
adaptations at the biogenetic level. The difference lies primarily in
the types of features characterizing the adaptive landscape. Before
culture and what would be considered language our ability to negotiate
niche and status in social systems was irrelevant. For the past ~50+
thousand years this is different.

The dichotomy I allude to is the Cartesian dualism positing humankind
outside of the flow of life as observed in our non-human surroundings.
This "tired and outdated" dichotomy appears in many forms though my
reference to the dual categories of human cognitive capacities is not an
example. For an example consider the subtle yet common bias positing
humankind at the terminus of terrestrial evolution. Additional examples
may be gathered from any of the many religious traditions which propose
a devine preference for the human species.

In my estimation, humans are situated at a particular point in the
unfolding of organismic evolution on Earth. The sociocultural systems we
have crafted transcend the organismic dimensions of evolution. As a
species we are involved at both levels of complexity. Our cultures
evolve around and beyond us. We are parts within cultural systems and
our cultural conditions influence our species evolution. This is not a
dichotomy. Rather, it is an instance of the continuity of life from one
level of complexity to the adjacent and emergent level.

scott

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