Donald T Palmgren (email@example.com)
Thu, 6 Aug 1998 08:36:27 +0100
Exactly the same inorganic and biological patterns can be
assembled in billions of ways. The fish is assembled like
a fish, that is the social pattern of a fish. Social patterns
do not smell, taste or weigh, but they are nonetheless very
real. It is the difference between a fish and a pile of
whatever a fish is made of. Needless to say, social patterns
are dependent on the two levels below.
I'll say again that I don't think fish (or ants, or bees, or
wolves) can be said to have social patterns -- except perhaps in some
metaphorical or basically poetic sense. (I'm not totaly opposed to the
"fuzzyness" idea here, but I think "metaphorical" is more to my taste.
language -- and thus out thinking -- is basically metaphorical. Poetic
first and only literal prosaic by way of regulated social enforcement.)
I've expressed my opinion on this before, and, I fear, am still
haveing trouble making myself clear. Something is a *society* when it
takes on a life of its own -- a life dependent upon its individual
constituents, for it *embodies* itself in them, but still a life that is
seperate from them -- a group life... a "Giant." Is it not clear that
York City has a life of its own in a way that a school of fish most
certainly does not?
At the bilogical level, organisms do things in order to pass on
their genetic material and contine w/ the species -- that is what's of
biological value, and everything that pursues that end is a bilogical
value patern. That includes the schooling of fish, the formation of wolf
packs... all of their behavior is conditioned this way. (And in humans,
where we are helpless for our first 10-15 years of life, the formation
family units is -- yes -- a biological value.)
But socities are marked by rituals and institutions. That's how
you can spot them. The purpose of a ritual is to make sure that things
on the way they are indefinatly; as James Burke put it, "we
institutionalize a way of doing something to make sure it doesn't change
even when we do." In other words, even when the individual constituent
organisms of "the Giant" die and are replaced by a new generation, the
Giant goes on living. "The American Way" is a complex of patterns that
goes on and on even as its constituents come and go. And, what's more,
are prepared to fight, kill, and die in order to preserve our way of
-- the life of our Giant. The life of our Giant actually takes *moral
presadence* over my own procreation, passing on genetic material to
offspring, even (in countless minds) over the continuence of the race
else would you explain the Cold War?).
Do schools of fish have such a supra-individual lives? Such an
idiological complex marked out by rituals, institutions, group
identification, and patriotism? Don't you have to make a pretty big leap
to say that?
Magnus goes on:
Yes, there's some of those too in a fish. A society needs
a language with which different organs communicate. A fish
has some kind of brain-like nerve center where signals from
the sensory organs are dispatched and perhaps are made to
contract a muscle somewhere. The intellectual patterns are
carried by inorganic patterns, electrons. They are dependent
on social patterns, because it is the social pattern that
constructed the set of signals, or language, that is used.
I'm definetly in w/ Diana and several others here. Nerological activity
is not Intelectual value patterns. Int.poVs is not to be seen as
to just "thinking" or "mind" or "consciousness" or "subject-object
consciousness." Nerological activity is most certainly a biological
pattern primarily -- it's good for survival. And it is well w/in the
animal kingdom that we find "S-O thinking." I got that term from Hegel
who uses it simply to mean the recognition of I-This, me-the outside
world. My cat can chase a ball, knowing that the ball is something "out
there." Acording to Bodvar this simple recognition suddenly rates as
Intelectual activity. Come on! She chases the ball because that kind of
play is good for practicing the hunt... and, trust me, most of the time
she isn't very clear on the fact that this ball is a non-living thing
animated only by momentum and gravity. Anybody w/ cats knows how they
attack shoe laces, etc.
Consciousness ("S-O" is implicit) does not = Int.poVs. I am
very unconvinced, and fear that Bodvar's theory is just another
of "Mind" as Int.poVs.
Troy Becker wrote:
+ intellectual quality is the cognizance between one and one's self.
we big-brained humans know about intellect. but so does a dog that know
it doesn't "like" its master to beat it. that would be a good example
of a society-intellectual quality shift. the dog and the master compose
a social quality. the dog and its "feelings" compose an intellectual
quality. oh, what a cold example. although similar to the dog's
feelings, human intellect is more complex.
I think it will help to remind ourselves that, in LILA, Pirsig
Int.PoVs w/ logic, riger, objectivity, etc. -- in other words:
Enlightenment values. He *writes* that the defining characteristic of
20th cen has been that this is the era of Int.poVs comming into
over Soc.poVs. Do you really think he's talking about dogs and fish
I think it will help to put some dates on things.
Social values (as something w/ a life of there own, *dependent
upon* [as Ken reminds us constantly] but still seperate from biological
[Darwinian] value) first come into being... oh, I am going to say at
8,000 BCE w/ the earliest apperance of agriculture, townships, and
barnyard domestication (the dog, used for hunting, was domesticated well
earlier -- c. 15,000 BCE) in Mesopotamia and (only slightly later) the
Nile, the Indus river vally and the Yellow river of China. I'm saying
pending further anthroplogical review. I mean the first religion(magic)
goes back w/ Cro-Magdon man to c.30,000 BCE on the steeps of Europe...
the first city-states w/ coins, calenders, and dynastic rule don't
until 4-3500 BCE in Mesopotamia. So it's a big anthropological
to figure out at exactly what point a group identity/idiology (a Giant)
took the dominent possition over biological values (survival), and I'm
qualified to speculate much more on that.
But certainly before 30,000 BCE and Cro-Magdon man there were no
social values. Not even among schools of fish.
Now hanging a date on Int.poVs is much easier because pheadrus
done the work. They can be said to begin forming in 6th cen. BCE Greece,
to really come into being during the 17th and 18th centuries (the
"Scientific Revolution" and the Enlightenment [More so, I think, w/ the
Enlightenment]), and at last assume dominance over Social values
to LILA) around the time of the First Wourld War. Keeping that in mind
will help keep you from miss-identifying Int.PoVs.
We have been into the following before; Are other primates on the
verge of copying the human abstract capability. This very moment I
heard on the radio about baboon females faking "heat" to protect
their offspring from aggressive males. Isn't that an emerging
abstraction? "Thinking": 'If I do this that brute will believe
that...'. It also has a certain bearing on the MOQ thesis that
Intellect grows out of Society, not (directly) out of Biology; Baboon
ideas will necessarily reflect baboon society just as human ideas
reflects human society.
Aarrrggggg..... You continue to wound me.
Tell me, do these female baboons have the standerd Enlightenment
(sometimes "Western") values of objectivity, rigerous logic, methodical
experamentation, recording results... do they possess that most
-- most fundamental -- Intelectual value, namely that the validity of a
proof is independent of who proposes it (be he black, Native American,
it a woman... whether it is a multi-PHD w/ an IQ of 180 born of royalty
and filthy rich, or a bum on the street). That is the driving idea --
begun in the 18th cen. -- that won IntPoVs (acording to pirsig) their
freedom from Social values. Do Baboons posses such thoughts which man
himself lacked until *very* recently in his evolution?
Bo (I also thought it was "Beau," but then I'm a Tennessee boy) goes on:
This is what the MOQ hinges on: it kills the SOM idea of human
consciousness being about - or having access to - any objective
reality - out there. I hope DONNY will accept this last statement
even if baboons don't meet his social standards?
You make me sound like a snob. :) "Oh, look, it's Mr.
(And being a self-confessed Idealist, yes, I certainly do agree
that the "out-there" is... well, it's out!)
Maggie (weilding Occum's razzor w/ deadly intent) sums-up:
inorganic = mineral
biological = plant
social = animal
intellectual = human
My version (actualy, my understanding of P's version):
inorg = the laws of physics/chemistry (ie. An electron does
such-and-such because the universe values that reaction to so-and-so
organic = "Darwinian values" --the law of the jungle, survival
the fittest, the value in procreation and in growing stronger through
weeding-out the week (rams butting heads to see who gets to mate) and
random mutations that prove benifitail and so are retained.
social = laws of man, laws of fassion, conduct, social stauss,
you tell the "counts" from the "no-counts."
intelectual = logic, riger, experamintation, etc.
Or, to use Maggie's examples:
inorg = minerals
Org = plants, animals, man (homo-sapian)
Soc = The united States, The Brittish Empire...
Int = Kantian formalism, the MoQ, QM, nucler biology, Cartisan Dualism,
So, who has a problem w/ that?
TTFN(ta-ta for now)
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