Nurturing human nature

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Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Under all the learned behaviour, the rhetoric, the modern mythologies, the lies, peeks the spirit of a hidden nature.
Under the memetic veil, lies a genetic past, not yet entirely concealed, repressed, even if forgotten.

Study of human nature can only come on the extreme edges of human behaviour, where social rules crack.

Satyr


Well put. And, admittedly, there are any number of folks out there who subscribe to any number of moral and political narratives that clearly fail to recognize the extent to which "social rules" have to come to grips with certain biological imperatives derived from millions of years of evolution on planet earth.

That is one thing, sure. But it is another thing altogether to insist that only the manner in which you describe "human nature" is the basis upon which all reasonable men and women are obligated to assess and then to judge human behaviors.

On the contrary, throughout the entirety of human interactions on planet earth, there have been any number of examples in which nurture twisted and shaped nature into all manner of conflicting and contradictory social interactions.

Consider:

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=12061

Or consider this observation from Michael Novak's The Experience Of Nothingness

Jules Henry:

Boris had trouble reducing 12/16 to the lowest terms, and could only get as far as 6/8. The teacher asked him quietly if that was as far as he could reduce it. She suggested he 'think'. Much heaving up and down and waving of hands by the other children, all frantic to correct him. Boris pretty unhappy, probably mentally paralyzed. The teacher quiet, patient, ignores the others and concentrates with look and voice on Boris. After a minute or two she turns to the the class and says, 'Well, who can tell Boris what the number is?' A forest of hands appears, and the teacher calls on Peggy. Peggy says that four may be divided into the numerator and the denominator.

Henry remarks:

Boris's failure made it possible for Peggy to succeed; his misery is the occasion for her rejoicing. This is a standard condition of the contemporary American elementary school. To a Zuni, Hopi or Dakota Indian, Peggy's performance would seem cruel beyond belief, for competition, the wringing of success from somebody's failure, is a form of torture foreign to those non-competitive cultures.


In other words, there are extant cultures in which "I" predominate and cultures in which "we" prevail. And in the modern world there are any number of instances [in any number of contexts] in which one is ranked and then rated higher than the other.

But who is really able to say that, when push comes to shove, they and only they grasp the one true understanding of all of this relating to right and wrong and good and bad and true and false.

The objectivists of course...
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby phyllo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:22 pm

Jules Henry:

Boris had trouble reducing 12/16 to the lowest terms, and could only get as far as 6/8. The teacher asked him quietly if that was as far as he could reduce it. She suggested he 'think'. Much heaving up and down and waving of hands by the other children, all frantic to correct him. Boris pretty unhappy, probably mentally paralyzed. The teacher quiet, patient, ignores the others and concentrates with look and voice on Boris. After a minute or two she turns to the the class and says, 'Well, who can tell Boris what the number is?' A forest of hands appears, and the teacher calls on Peggy. Peggy says that four may be divided into the numerator and the denominator.

Henry remarks:

Boris's failure made it possible for Peggy to succeed; his misery is the occasion for her rejoicing. This is a standard condition of the contemporary American elementary school. To a Zuni, Hopi or Dakota Indian, Peggy's performance would seem cruel beyond belief, for competition, the wringing of success from somebody's failure, is a form of torture foreign to those non-competitive cultures.
How can one learn unless errors are corrected?

What should have happened in this example?

How would the Indians have handled it?
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:11 pm

phyllo wrote: How can one learn unless errors are corrected?


The point though is to differentiate cultures where correcting the mistakes of others is embedded in competition more so than in cooperation.

phyllo wrote: What should have happened in this example?


You're asking me? Here I am no less entangled in my dilemma. In some respects competition is a good thing, in other respects it is not. Or, for the reasons that some construe it to be a good thing, others construe it to be a bad thing. My point is only to suggest that any particular frame of mind here is rooted in dasein rooted in a particular cultural and historical context.

On the other hand, Satyr's point seems to be that while there may well be be conflicting social, political and economic narratives here, only the one wholly in sync with the manner in which he construes "human nature", is the correct one.

phyllo wrote: How would the Indians have handled it?


Well, you'd have to further investigate their cultures to discover that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby Ultimate Philosophy 1001 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:25 am

Iambigous, competitiveness in schools is FUN. Hopi schools seem lame and boring.

If Rainbow Rocks didn't have any competition in it, it would be a lame and boring movie.


Hmm...Let's make a FPS game, but everybody wins!


Fun? Yeah right. You're thinking of this.


Who are we objectively, to say, that the muffins taste like poop?


Can't decide.
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby phyllo » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:36 am

The point though is to differentiate cultures where correcting the mistakes of others is embedded in competition more so than in cooperation.
The division into competitive and non-competitive categories is particularly artificial in this case. It seems unlikely that a non-competitive society could survive if it does not correct the errors of students. Nature, biology and the requirements of survival would force both competitive and non-competitive societies to act in the same way.

You know, the stuff that Satyr might say. :wink:
You're asking me? Here I am no less entangled in my dilemma. In some respects competition is a good thing, in other respects it is not. Or, for the reasons that some construe it to be a good thing, others construe it to be a bad thing. My point is only to suggest that any particular frame of mind here is rooted in dasein rooted in a particular cultural and historical context.
You and the author present a particular example ... a particular context ... and you suggest that there is something wrong in the way it is handled. But neither of you offer an alternate way of handling it.

That gives you a huge advantage since the unstated alternate can't be analyzed or criticized. It's the perfect solution.

An objectivist would identify the goals in the situation, look at alternative solutions and select the solution which best meets those goals.

All you say is that sometimes something is good and sometimes it's bad. That's very general. Here you have a very specific context and you are unable to tackle it. It doesn't get get more down to earth than this.
Well, you'd have to further investigate their cultures to discover that.
Who says that the Indians would use another approach? Who says that it would work?

It's impossible to evaluate the nothingness that is being offered as an alternative.

In order to decide between the competitive approach and the non-competitive approach in this particular context, there would have to be descriptions of both. It's simply not adequate to say that there is another way and leave it at that.
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

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"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby Pandora » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:03 pm

I've always been perplexed as to why of all the Native peoples it is the North American native tribes which were the most affected by alcohol and drug addictions. Is it their biological nature, at their particular evolutionary stage which prevents them from assimilating into modern society? Their Central and South American relatives do not seem to have this problem, as most of their descendents have been assimilated already. I mean, at this point, I think it may be their inherent genetic biology that is preventing them, because they are not the only peoples in our history that have had their land taken away from them and then persecuted and displaced. The only other distinguishing feature about them is their lack of agricultural development, and I'm wondering if that development may play a crucial role in our biology, the missing link that makes it that much harder for one to move on to the next stage of development. There is no other reason I can think of that would explain their inability to move on.
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:14 pm

phyllo wrote:
The point though is to differentiate cultures where correcting the mistakes of others is embedded in competition more so than in cooperation.
The division into competitive and non-competitive categories is particularly artificial in this case. It seems unlikely that a non-competitive society could survive if it does not correct the errors of students. Nature, biology and the requirements of survival would force both competitive and non-competitive societies to act in the same way.


It's not a matter of correcting errors, but the attitude that one takes in doing so. The class can all work together collectively to correct the errors of individuals. No one is made to feel humiliated for being wrong. Or the success of those who do have the right answer can come at the expense of those who don't.

It is merely pointed out above that there have been actual existing cultures that embodied both frames of mind. Or a complex intertwining of both depending on the context and the people involved.

In the modern world, capitalism has prevailed. The emphasis is on both competition and the individual. But there are those who argue that this is just an historical snapshot of human interactions. That, in previous eras, in nomadic tribes, hunter and gatherer societies, slash and burn communities etc., the emphasis was more on cooperation and the community.

Then it comes down to arguing that capitalism either reflects our one true "human nature", or that, possibly, down the road, human cultures will reconfigure yet again into something that we cannot even imagine here and now.

The objectivists among us merely insist that it can only be understood and encompassed in the manner in which they think about it. With or without God.

You're asking me? Here I am no less entangled in my dilemma. In some respects competition is a good thing, in other respects it is not. Or, for the reasons that some construe it to be a good thing, others construe it to be a bad thing. My point is only to suggest that any particular frame of mind here is rooted in dasein rooted in a particular cultural and historical context.


phyllo wrote: You and the author present a particular example ... a particular context ... and you suggest that there is something wrong in the way it is handled. But neither of you offer an alternate way of handling it.
That gives you a huge advantage since the unstated alternate can't be analyzed or criticized. It's the perfect solution.


This just exposes the gap between what I think I am pointing out here and what you think I am pointing out instead.

My point is that the extent to which we as individuals react to Boris and Peggy above is embedded in an "existential contraption", embedded in the experiences, relationships and sources of information that each of us have accumulated as individuals insofar as that pertains to the conflicting narratives relating to cooperation and competition. Embedded finally in particular historical and cultural contexts.

My point is that back when I was a committed Marxist/socialist [a committed objectivist], I had in fact wholeheartedly embraced the argument that cooperation is superior to competition in human interactions. No doubt about it.

But now I note that either side can make reasonable arguments for both frames of mind; and that my own frame of mind is embodied in dasein as an "existential contraption".

And it is this ambiguity/ambivalence that psychologically the objectivists are most disturbed by. Maybe cooperation is better here, maybe competition. But it must be either one or the other. Our side must be right because the other side must be wrong.

In other words:

phyllo wrote: An objectivist would identify the goals in the situation, look at alternative solutions and select the solution which best meets those goals.


The goal is to improve the math skills of the students. But: does the solution revolve more around the children working together with the teacher and the families in the community to achieve this goal, or an understanding that each individual is pitted against everyone else in the race to take the right answers to the best colleges and to the best jobs.

Even today in the modern world both narratives are still being debated, Here for example:

https://youtu.be/v1qtv7uKUlY

So, you tell me: Is this the right message to be sending to our own children?

phyllo wrote: All you say is that sometimes something is good and sometimes it's bad. That's very general. Here you have a very specific context and you are unable to tackle it. It doesn't get get more down to earth than this.


No, all I am pointing out is that I am still entangled in my dilemma here. That, in other words, to the extent these things are brought "down to earth", is the extent to which conflicting narratives embedded in conflicting goods become apparent to me.

I can [at best] take an existential leap to a particular political prejudice [here and now] knowing full well that a new experience, a new relationship or a new source of information and knowledge might nudge [compel] me in a different direction.

In fact, polemics and entertainment aside, I come here looking for narratives that might yank me up out of my dilemma and offer me a frame of mind enabling me to "tackle it" once and for all.

And not instead succeeding only in yanking the objectivists down into the hole that I've dug for myself over the years.

But not you, right? :wink:

Well, you'd have to further investigate their cultures to discover that.


phyllo wrote: Who says that the Indians would use another approach? Who says that it would work?


For all practical purposes, it will either "work" for them or it will not. But you would have to explore that with them though, right?

phyllo wrote: It's impossible to evaluate the nothingness that is being offered as an alternative.


Again, that's your rendition of me. If human beings choose to interact then there must be a set of rules devised in order to sustain the least dysfunctional relationships. I merely suggest that in a Godless universe, the best of all possible worlds would seem to revolve around democracy and the rule of law...moderation, negotiation and compromise.

Well, in the context of political economy of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby phyllo » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:48 pm

It's not a matter of correcting errors, but the attitude that one takes in doing so. The class can all work together collectively to correct the errors of individuals. No one is made to feel humiliated for being wrong. Or the success of those who do have the right answer can come at the expense of those who don't.
I wasn't in the classroom so I don't know what the exact mood was like, however, this does not sound like Peggy was humiliating Boris:
"Peggy says that four may be divided into the numerator and the denominator."

Nor does this sound like the teacher was intending to humiliate him :
"The teacher quiet, patient, ignores the others and concentrates with look and voice on Boris. After a minute or two she turns to the the class and says, 'Well, who can tell Boris what the number is?' "

The author of the story paints it in a particular way :
"Boris's failure made it possible for Peggy to succeed; his misery is the occasion for her rejoicing."

:-k Was she really rejoicing?

And the location is an American school with a student teacher ration of maybe 25 to 1 and a lot of curriculum to cover. It's not an Indian village.
My point is that the extent to which we as individuals react to Boris and Peggy above is embedded in an "existential contraption", embedded in the experiences, relationships and sources of information that each of us have accumulated as individuals insofar as that pertains to the conflicting narratives relating to cooperation and competition. Embedded finally in particular historical and cultural contexts.

My point is that back when I was a committed Marxist/socialist [a committed objectivist], I had in fact wholeheartedly embraced the argument that cooperation is superior to competition in human interactions. No doubt about it.

But now I note that either side can make reasonable arguments for both frames of mind; and that my own frame of mind is embodied in dasein as an "existential contraption".
That's page 1 and you never move past it.
No, all I am pointing out is that I am still entangled in my dilemma here. That, in other words, to the extent these things are brought "down to earth", is the extent to which conflicting narratives embedded in conflicting goods become apparent to me.
Then one moves past the conflicting narratives.
For all practical purposes, it will either "work" for them or it will not. But you would have to explore that with them though, right?
I would have to do it with them because you won't move on to techniques, methods and processes for analyzing and evaluation options and arriving at solutions.
Again, that's your rendition of me. If human beings choose to interact then there must be a set of rules devised in order to sustain the least dysfunctional relationships. I merely suggest that in a Godless universe, the best of all possible worlds would seem to revolve around democracy and the rule of law...moderation, negotiation and compromise.
Okay, so how would that work in this particular example. There are objective ways of reducing fractions. The question then seems to be how to correct Boris without traumatizing him.

Once you answer that question, you can investigate how to correct a large number of children in a classroom setting.

Then expand it to teaching children in general.

In the process of that exploration, you might find that classrooms are a poor environment for learning. However, maybe we don't have enough resources to move away from that teaching environment. So, maybe we have to maximize our results within those constraints. :-k
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby phyllo » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:06 pm

Once you identify the conflicting goods, then you move on evaluating the alternatives and developing a solution.

That's the application of philosophy. Right?

Not all solutions are equal. Right?
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"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:51 am

Pandora wrote:I've always been perplexed as to why of all the Native peoples it is the North American native tribes which were the most affected by alcohol and drug addictions. Is it their biological nature, at their particular evolutionary stage which prevents them from assimilating into modern society? Their Central and South American relatives do not seem to have this problem, as most of their descendents have been assimilated already. I mean, at this point, I think it may be their inherent genetic biology that is preventing them, because they are not the only peoples in our history that have had their land taken away from them and then persecuted and displaced. The only other distinguishing feature about them is their lack of agricultural development, and I'm wondering if that development may play a crucial role in our biology, the missing link that makes it that much harder for one to move on to the next stage of development. There is no other reason I can think of that would explain their inability to move on.


Similar words are attributed to Chief Seattle ... the Native peoples are the smart ones.

Canada, the most affluent of countries, operates on a depletion economy which leaves destruction in its wake. Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby tentative » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:06 pm

It isn't the content, it's HOW we think about competing points of view.

What is competition? Is it winning at the expense of others? That seems to be the base assumption currently exhibited in most societies. But what if:

Competition is competing ideas addressed by learners and teachers. I am a learner gathering all I can from those more skilled than I, OR, I am a teacher who by my actions help those less skilled grow. Yes, one "side" will always prevail in competition, but the focus isn't on winning, it's on sharing. Ideally, each participant is both learner and teacher at the same time. It's still competition but the difference is how we think about it. It isn't "in your face", it's what did you learn from the experience?

Of course, this is all muddied by so-called competition for resources and assets which simply uses the idea of competition as cover for the goal of control over others. Competing for control of land, water, oil, etc. is simply the application of raw power and over-rides the potential of benevolent competition.
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby Pandora » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:08 pm

Natives had less control over their land. They didn't have domesticated animals, so they had "manage" their hunting grounds instead. That alone would make them more competitive and territorial. Instead of having my plot of land with farm animals/crops here, and yours over there, there may be, geographically-speaking, only one prime hunting place. And I don't know why people have to romanticize natives being some kind of superior beings who live in harmony with nature (like Na'vi or something). They simply didn't know any other way, they had to. And they fought with each other over resources, too. And had slavery:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery ... ted_States

This is an interesting doc.; its not comprehensive, but it does highlight some differences between how natives and europeans saw land and resources. It was not a matter of some moral superiority, but of own cultural/historical experience. The natives did not have much control over nature, like europeans did, and were also quite superstitious as result (some prefer to call it spirituality). Who knows, maybe if N.A. buffalo and deer were domesticated their culture and views on nature would have changed too. But the natives never experienced the development that europeans have (while europeans did go through hunter-gatherer stage in Europe, and moved on), so i don't know how one can call their view superior. If natives had the same opportunities (domestication, etc.), they would have turned out the same way, more or less. Its like calling someone's view superior only because he did not have a chance to venture out and make a mistake.
https://youtu.be/7FItlStGMY4
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:28 pm

phyllo wrote:
It's not a matter of correcting errors, but the attitude that one takes in doing so. The class can all work together collectively to correct the errors of individuals. No one is made to feel humiliated for being wrong. Or the success of those who do have the right answer can come at the expense of those who don't.
I wasn't in the classroom so I don't know what the exact mood was like, however, this does not sound like Peggy was humiliating Boris:
"Peggy says that four may be divided into the numerator and the denominator."

Nor does this sound like the teacher was intending to humiliate him :
"The teacher quiet, patient, ignores the others and concentrates with look and voice on Boris. After a minute or two she turns to the the class and says, 'Well, who can tell Boris what the number is?' "

The author of the story paints it in a particular way :
"Boris's failure made it possible for Peggy to succeed; his misery is the occasion for her rejoicing."

:-k Was she really rejoicing?


Look, if you can't see the distinction here between what Boris experienced [endured] above and a context in which both the teacher and the students work sympathetically/empathetically to help him in acquiring the correct answer, I suspect the gap in our understanding of all this is beyond closing.

Again, that's your rendition of me. If human beings choose to interact then there must be a set of rules devised in order to sustain the least dysfunctional relationships. I merely suggest that in a Godless universe, the best of all possible worlds would seem to revolve around democracy and the rule of law...moderation, negotiation and compromise.


phyllo wrote: Okay, so how would that work in this particular example. There are objective ways of reducing fractions. The question then seems to be how to correct Boris without traumatizing him.

Once you answer that question, you can investigate how to correct a large number of children in a classroom setting.

Then expand it to teaching children in general.


Again, as though there really was no distinction at all to be made here between establishing the objective arithmetical truth and establishing the one and only objective manner in which rational boys and girls are obligated to react to those among them who do not know the answer.

As though there are not any number of historical/cultural contexts in which competition and the individual prevail or, instead, where cooperation and the collective prevail.

In other words, that if we think it through as "serious philosophers" we can finally establish, say, Aristotle's "golden mean" or Kant's "categorical imperative".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby phyllo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:02 pm

...
In other words, that if we think it through as "serious philosophers" we can finally establish, say, Aristotle's "golden mean" or Kant's "categorical imperative".
What I get from your reply is that you don't want to "think it through". You don't want to explore the limitations of philosophy as it applies to this "down to earth" example. You don't want to see if there is one (The One Objective) way to deal with Boris or if there are several ways which are equally effective.

You want to make some vague points about dasein, domineering objectivists and undefined alternate options.

Okay, you have done it. :character-yoshi:
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"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
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"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:50 pm

Pandora wrote:Natives had less control over their land. They didn't have domesticated animals, so they had "manage" their hunting grounds instead. That alone would make them more competitive and territorial. Instead of having my plot of land with farm animals/crops here, and yours over there, there may be, geographically-speaking, only one prime hunting place. And I don't know why people have to romanticize natives being some kind of superior beings who live in harmony with nature (like Na'vi or something). They simply didn't know any other way, they had to. And they fought with each other over resources, too. And had slavery:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery ... ted_States

This is an interesting doc.; its not comprehensive, but it does highlight some differences between how natives and europeans saw land and resources. It was not a matter of some moral superiority, but of own cultural/historical experience. The natives did not have much control over nature, like europeans did, and were also quite superstitious as result (some prefer to call it spirituality). Who knows, maybe if N.A. buffalo and deer were domesticated their culture and views on nature would have changed too. But the natives never experienced the development that europeans have (while europeans did go through hunter-gatherer stage in Europe, and moved on), so i don't know how one can call their view superior. If natives had the same opportunities (domestication, etc.), they would have turned out the same way, more or less. Its like calling someone's view superior only because he did not have a chance to venture out and make a mistake.
https://youtu.be/7FItlStGMY4


1) The most self evident characteristic of the animal kingdom is the struggle for "property rights" ... I use the word property well beyond simple the example of land. eg ... the right to mate.

2) Most people disdain the correct label of "animal" when speaking of the human species.

3) Humans have almost always spent most of their time and energy focused on the primordial propensity to secure "property rights".
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:17 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
Pandora wrote:Natives had less control over their land. They didn't have domesticated animals, so they had "manage" their hunting grounds instead. That alone would make them more competitive and territorial. Instead of having my plot of land with farm animals/crops here, and yours over there, there may be, geographically-speaking, only one prime hunting place. And I don't know why people have to romanticize natives being some kind of superior beings who live in harmony with nature (like Na'vi or something). They simply didn't know any other way, they had to. And they fought with each other over resources, too. And had slavery:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery ... ted_States

This is an interesting doc.; its not comprehensive, but it does highlight some differences between how natives and europeans saw land and resources. It was not a matter of some moral superiority, but of own cultural/historical experience. The natives did not have much control over nature, like europeans did, and were also quite superstitious as result (some prefer to call it spirituality). Who knows, maybe if N.A. buffalo and deer were domesticated their culture and views on nature would have changed too. But the natives never experienced the development that europeans have (while europeans did go through hunter-gatherer stage in Europe, and moved on), so i don't know how one can call their view superior. If natives had the same opportunities (domestication, etc.), they would have turned out the same way, more or less. Its like calling someone's view superior only because he did not have a chance to venture out and make a mistake.
https://youtu.be/7FItlStGMY4


1) The most self evident characteristic of the animal kingdom is the struggle for "property rights" ... I use the word property well beyond simple the example of land. eg ... the right to mate.

2) Most people disdain the correct label of "animal" when speaking of the human species.

3) Humans have almost always spent most of their time and energy focused on the primordial propensity to secure "property rights".



K: I disagree with proposition one and three, agree with two...
1) I don't agree that that "self evident characteristic" of the animal kingdom is
the struggle for "property rights"... the idea of property is not present in animals
and the "right to mate" is an instinct bred by millions of years of evolution....
animals can be territorial but that is also instinct.. protecting food or the family
is bred into all animals thus creating this instinct.....

as I agree with two, I shall move onto three... in fact, the longest economic
system humans have ever had was the hunter/gatherer society and they
had no interest in property.. they moved to follow the herds... and they
treated goods communally, sharing equally between everyone in the tribe...
it wasn't until the agricultural age, roughly 12 or 10 thousand years ago, that humans
had any interest in property per se and that is once again, protecting the food
source... so for a million or so years, humans beings had no interest in property,
real or otherwise...it is the "modern" society that has an interest in property
and that is not all societies as there were tribes in the America's that
also shared real property such as food and clothing equally, communally and
that was reported by the Spanish and English, around 500 years ago...

so we don't actually have to spend our time pursuing property, real or otherwise...
we just choose to because, not because of instinct because that instinct doesn't exist
in nature....but because of a false and very destructive ideology that is damaging
to ourselves and our environment.....

Kropotkin
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:02 pm

phyllo wrote:Once you identify the conflicting goods, then you move on evaluating the alternatives and developing a solution.

That's the application of philosophy. Right?

Not all solutions are equal. Right?


Clearly.

But hasn't my point always been in noting the distinction between an observation of this sort as a "general description" of human interactions, and the considerably more substantive reality of focusing the beam [discussion] in on a particular set of conflicting goods embedded/embodied in daseins able to express reasonable arguments from both [many] sides of the issue?

And then "resolved" in any particular human community through one or another combination of might makes right, right makes might and/or moderation, negotiation and compromise?

The bottom line then being that actual behaviors either prescribed or proscribed in this community revolve around those who are then able to enforce a particular political narrative/agenda.

Through one or another set of customs, folkways, mores and/or laws. Embedded then in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Contexts reflecting an enormously complex interaction between genes and memes evolving over time in a world bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.

And then the part where philosophers/ethicists either are or are not able to establish [logically, epistemologically etc.] which solutions are in fact more equal than others.

All I then ask of the objectivists here is that they bring their arguments [their "general description" encompassed in a "world of words"] down out of the scholastic clouds and note the manner in which their "analysis" is applicable to actual social, political and economic contexts most of us will be familiar with.

Here I note the manner in I am entangled in my dilemma above. And why, over the years, I have come to be. Embodied, in other words [re abortion], in this:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.


And then I ask others to note the extent to which they are not entangled in it. And why, over the years, this has come to be.

Then folks like you will often claim to have done so. Then I will note that I do not recognize it as the equivalent of my own trajectory above.

Then we're stuck.

But I repeat myself. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:33 pm

phyllo wrote:

In other words, that if we think it through as "serious philosophers" we can finally establish, say, Aristotle's "golden mean" or Kant's "categorical imperative".
What I get from your reply is that you don't want to "think it through". You don't want to explore the limitations of philosophy as it applies to this "down to earth" example. You don't want to see if there is one (The One Objective) way to deal with Boris or if there are several ways which are equally effective.


As a rule, based on my experience over the years, when objectivists argue that I don't want to "think it through", what they mean [if only subconsciously] is that had I really been willing to "think it through" I would think of it as they do.

For example, run this by Satyr.

As for exploring the limitations of philosophy, note a particular "down to earth" example and encompass the extent to which you have "thought it through". Given that both sides will come up with a set of assumptions that they deem to be the most reasonable/virtuous, how would the philosopher/ethicist then establish a frame of mind that all reasonable men and women would be encouraged to embrace in turn -- either because it reflects Aristotle's "golden mean" or embodies their obligation per Kant's "categorical imperative".

phyllo wrote: You want to make some vague points about dasein, domineering objectivists and undefined alternate options.


Note to others:

Please reconfigure this assertion into a frame of mind that I may recognize more succinctly as applicable to my arguments above.

In other words, not just as a "general description" of my own admitted "existential contraption".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby phyllo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:47 pm

All I then ask of the objectivists here is that they bring their arguments [their "general description" encompassed in a "world of words"] down out of the scholastic clouds and note the manner in which their "analysis" is applicable to actual social, political and economic contexts most of us will be familiar with.
I just gave you several opportunities to discuss a particular context ... education in America ... specifically as it applies to educating Boris and you have completely avoided doing it.

What do you want?? Do you want an objectivist to do all the work - lay out all the alternatives, evaluate them and decide on a course of action? And you take potshots at him/her from a safe distance?? That way you don't have to commit yourself to anything and you don't make yourself vulnerable to criticism.

Okay. Stay safe.

:character-luigi:
As for exploring the limitations of philosophy, note a particular "down to earth" example and encompass the extent to which you have "thought it through"
All my posts, in this thread, have been about this one particular "down to earth" example - educating Boris.

You refuse to discuss it.
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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:28 pm

phyllo wrote: I just gave you several opportunities to discuss a particular context ... education in America ... specifically as it applies to educating Boris and you have completely avoided doing it.
What do you want?? Do you want an objectivist to do all the work - lay out all the alternatives, evaluate them and decide on a course of action? And you take potshots at him/her from a safe distance?? That way you don't have to commit yourself to anything and you don't make yourself vulnerable to criticism.


Does this take me back! To the character Stephane in the film Un Coeur En Hiver: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2343757&hilit=Un+Coeur+en+Hiver#p2343757

In particular the dinner party scene:

Daniel: What upsets me, as I wrote in my last book, is that on the pretext that it's all culture some rate a pop video alongside a Claudel play, a Piero Della Francesca or the Ravel sonata our friend is playing. The confusion is unprecedented. It's all lumped together, pell-mell.
Regine: People can still choose.
Daniel: Yes, but with everything meriting equal attention concensus of opinion becomes a wooly horror. I believe in a certain mental vigilance. Is that pompous?
Lachaume: No. We're listening. It's the voice of tradition.
Daniel: Tradition! So I'm a reactionary.
Lachaume: No, you speak for an anxious elite in a world threatened by democratic excess.
Daniel: I've fought elitism all my life.
Camille: There's confusion, I agree. If culture is still a privilege it isn't reserved for quite so few.
Daniel: It's worse, all these clueless clodhoppers in the museums.
Camille: Yes, but if in this museum a clodhopper's life is changed by a work of art, isn't that something?
Stephane [to Camille]: You almost agree. For you, too, there's the sensitive individual in the blind masses.
Camille: I didn't say that.
Maxime: No, you said there's a natural selection of people destined...
Camille: No not at all.
Maxime: You said some see things that others don't.
Stephane: Yes. That's what you said.
Camille: Yes. I mean, no. But...I exclude no one.
Lachaume: And you? You have no opinion?
Stephane: No.
Camille: None?
Lachaume: He's above the debate.
Stephane: I hear contradictory arguments, all valid.


And, no, I did not avoid doing it:

But hasn't my point always been in noting the distinction between an observation of this sort as a "general description" of human interactions, and the considerably more substantive reality of focusing the beam [discussion] in on a particular set of conflicting goods embedded/embodied in daseins able to express reasonable arguments from both [many] sides of the issue?

And then "resolved" in any particular human community through one or another combination of might makes right, right makes might and/or moderation, negotiation and compromise?

The bottom line then being that actual behaviors either prescribed or proscribed in this community revolve around those who are then able to enforce a particular political narrative/agenda.

Through one or another set of customs, folkways, mores and/or laws. Embedded then in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Contexts reflecting an enormously complex interaction between genes and memes evolving over time in a world bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.


Education in America? The plight of Boris? Again, as with Stephane, I hear contradictory arguments, all valid. Here with respect to the tug of war between cooperation and competition.

I merely note how the objectivists make their own distinction between "one of us" and "one of them". We know precisely what to do about Boris and education in America; and if you don't agree then you are wrong.

What I note is that, unlike the objectivists, it's not a question of my wanting to take sides on the issues of the day, but in being drawn and quartered given the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting goods.

In other words, I lack the comfort and the consolation embodied in that psychological font the objectivists crave in being able to ground "I" in a world in which their "is/ought" interactions become just one more rendition of the either/or world.


Like you, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Nurturing human nature

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:38 am

it is the "modern" society that has an interest in property
and that is not all societies as there were tribes in the America's that
also shared real property such as food and clothing equally, communally and
that was reported by the Spanish and English, around 500 years ago.


Huron Indian's long house is a good example.

Huron Long House.jpg
Huron Long House.jpg (36.18 KiB) Viewed 276 times
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