LS Re: Soc. and Intellectual values
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 15:00:44 +0100

Platt, Jonathan, Bo and LS:

If I can just recap because I'm forgetting what this thread was supposed
to be about...

We were trying to clarify the differences between biological, social and
intellectual. And Bo has argued that a subject-object view of the
universe is necessary for the intellectual level. Subject-object meaning
that an entity distinguishes itself from the rest of reality.

What I think Platt, Jonathan and possibly Donny are arguing is that
subjects and objects must also exist at the biological level because in
order to survive an entity must be able to tell the difference between
itself and everything else.

>Jonathan (the CELL -:) may correct me, but it's my understanding
>that one-celled organisms such as bacteria, algae and fungi, who
>live in close proximity, nevertheless never merge across species.
>If so, these life forms must have some way of deciding what
>constitutes a species. They must have some kind of recognition
>system which makes it possible to distinguish one from another, self
>from other, me from not-me. Even among cells there must be a
>rudiment of identity.

The question is the same as Herrigel in Zen in the Art of Archery asking
how he can possibly hit the target if he doesn't make a distinction
between himself and the target. Rationally, that's absurd! But the Zen
reality doesn't bear that out. In fact the archer isn't less accurate
when he transcends subject and object, it turns out that he is MORE

In LILA the hot stove example shows that the experience comes before
intellectualization. If biological experience comes before intellect for
humans then why not for cells?

As Jonathan has pointed out, what we are really getting down to are
issues like causation, volition, perhaps even the reality of space and
time. Platt (perhaps) wants to know: what is the cause of the cell
behaving like this? But how can we be sure there is a "cause" at all.
Life is a migration of static patterns of value towards Dynamic value.
The only reason that the MoQ offers for anything is that it is moral.


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