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Re: [existlist] tough enough for what?

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    CS, I am not sure to whom you are responding and what your general argument is favoring. What text are you citing that critiques 80 s anthropology? What is
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 8, 2008
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      CS,

      I am not sure to whom you are responding and what your general argument is
      favoring. What text are you citing that critiques 80's anthropology? What is
      this difference that you mention between "us" and the "I/we" that you say is
      common in Continental thought? And what do mean by calling Hegel anti-egalitarian?

      Wil



      **************
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Exist List Moderator
      ... Responding to the strange meanderings posted recently by Bill and Mc Colly (sp?). The notion that there is a nefarious political class, on left and right,
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 8, 2008
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        On Jun 08, 2008, at 16:03, eupraxis@... wrote:

        > I am not sure to whom you are responding and what your general
        > argument is
        > favoring. What text are you citing that critiques 80's anthropology?
        > What is
        > this difference that you mention between "us" and the "I/we" that
        > you say is
        > common in Continental thought? And what do mean by calling Hegel
        > anti-egalitarian?


        Responding to the strange meanderings posted recently by Bill and Mc
        Colly (sp?). The notion that there is a nefarious political class, on
        left and right, assumes a lot more negative about people than I have
        encountered. I'm not a conspiracy theorists, and knowing leaders in
        both parties I have come to believe many more are earnest than is
        realized. However, we tend to attribute negative (even "evil" or
        "bad") motivations to those disagreeing with our views.

        I spent three years in the deep pits of DARPA research. I really
        didn't see people motivated by "evil" -- they really had rationalized
        their views or their fears. If you read the Senate Intelligence
        Committee report carefully, you find a suggestion not of leaders
        lying, but of only seeing what they wanted and selectively discounting
        anything they didn't want to believe. Nothing nefarious in being
        blindly stupid... though we have seen willful ignorance can be
        dangerous.

        Yes, there are "evil" men and women. Definitely. But, I think we
        assume there are more of these than there really are. I think there
        are people who truly do believe whatever their superstitions
        (religions being included) tell them. Their "sins" are mistakes...
        while my sins are evil.

        This is where we could discuss "Bad Faith" and authenticity. We could,
        on this list, discuss the philosophical underpinnings of situations or
        issues. Rants don't help place anything in context.

        I am also stating that what we think is "right" is shaped by some
        underlying, probably evolutionary, desire to protect our group. We
        rationalize morality. (I'd point to Pinker, Hauser, de Wall, Dawkins,
        and numerous others who suggest an evolutionary origin to what is
        considered moral by our species.)

        Hegel believed in powerful states, guided by a leadership class. While
        he was a supporter of a standard education, rule of law, etc, he also
        showed a sense of elitism. I don't think this is a bad thing -- I want
        leaders who are "better" in some way: better educated? Better
        informed? I'm not sure... but I know I don't think everyone is capable
        of every job.

        Equality under the law is not the same as equality of ability. (Not
        that we have equality under the law in Western nations, but it is
        something we strive for, I believe.)

        As for the text I was reading, it was a critique of the history books
        being used in Texas and California schools. These books are both
        political correct and afraid of offending the religious right. As a
        result, these books try for a meaningless, conflict-free, version of
        history. The author of the text was the head of UCLA's history
        department, Nash.

        http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/history/nash/

        He's a supporter of "multicultural" history, but not the whitewashed
        sort we now teach. Instead of a "Western = bad, colonial, etc."
        perspective, he wants to remind people that most civilizations were
        pretty far from perfect.

        We should never delude ourselves -- all of us are biased, all cultures
        are flawed, and we (whoever "we" are) have no monopoly on good
        intentions. Of course, intentions don't make us right. We just need
        some leaders who will admit that they, too, can be wrong.

        - C. S. Wyatt
        I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        that I shall be.
        http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
      • bhvwd
        ... anthropology? ... that ... Mc ... on ... have ... in ... rationalized ... discounting ... there ... could, ... or ... Dawkins, ... While ... also ... want
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 8, 2008
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          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator
          <existlist1@...> wrote:
          >
          > On Jun 08, 2008, at 16:03, eupraxis@... wrote:
          >
          > > I am not sure to whom you are responding and what your general
          > > argument is
          > > favoring. What text are you citing that critiques 80's
          anthropology?
          > > What is
          > > this difference that you mention between "us" and the "I/we"
          that
          > > you say is
          > > common in Continental thought? And what do mean by calling Hegel
          > > anti-egalitarian?
          >
          >
          > Responding to the strange meanderings posted recently by Bill and
          Mc
          > Colly (sp?). The notion that there is a nefarious political class,
          on
          > left and right, assumes a lot more negative about people than I
          have
          > encountered. I'm not a conspiracy theorists, and knowing leaders
          in
          > both parties I have come to believe many more are earnest than is
          > realized. However, we tend to attribute negative (even "evil" or
          > "bad") motivations to those disagreeing with our views.
          >
          > I spent three years in the deep pits of DARPA research. I really
          > didn't see people motivated by "evil" -- they really had
          rationalized
          > their views or their fears. If you read the Senate Intelligence
          > Committee report carefully, you find a suggestion not of leaders
          > lying, but of only seeing what they wanted and selectively
          discounting
          > anything they didn't want to believe. Nothing nefarious in being
          > blindly stupid... though we have seen willful ignorance can be
          > dangerous.
          >
          > Yes, there are "evil" men and women. Definitely. But, I think we
          > assume there are more of these than there really are. I think
          there
          > are people who truly do believe whatever their superstitions
          > (religions being included) tell them. Their "sins" are mistakes...
          > while my sins are evil.
          >
          > This is where we could discuss "Bad Faith" and authenticity. We
          could,
          > on this list, discuss the philosophical underpinnings of situations
          or
          > issues. Rants don't help place anything in context.
          >
          > I am also stating that what we think is "right" is shaped by some
          > underlying, probably evolutionary, desire to protect our group. We
          > rationalize morality. (I'd point to Pinker, Hauser, de Wall,
          Dawkins,
          > and numerous others who suggest an evolutionary origin to what is
          > considered moral by our species.)
          >
          > Hegel believed in powerful states, guided by a leadership class.
          While
          > he was a supporter of a standard education, rule of law, etc, he
          also
          > showed a sense of elitism. I don't think this is a bad thing -- I
          want
          > leaders who are "better" in some way: better educated? Better
          > informed? I'm not sure... but I know I don't think everyone is
          capable
          > of every job.
          >
          > Equality under the law is not the same as equality of ability.
          (Not
          > that we have equality under the law in Western nations, but it is
          > something we strive for, I believe.)
          >
          > As for the text I was reading, it was a critique of the history
          books
          > being used in Texas and California schools. These books are both
          > political correct and afraid of offending the religious right. As
          a
          > result, these books try for a meaningless, conflict-free, version
          of
          > history. The author of the text was the head of UCLA's history
          > department, Nash.
          >
          > http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/history/nash/
          >
          > He's a supporter of "multicultural" history, but not the
          whitewashed
          > sort we now teach. Instead of a "Western = bad, colonial, etc."
          > perspective, he wants to remind people that most civilizations
          were
          > pretty far from perfect.
          >
          > We should never delude ourselves -- all of us are biased, all
          cultures
          > are flawed, and we (whoever "we" are) have no monopoly on good
          > intentions. Of course, intentions don't make us right. We just
          need
          > some leaders who will admit that they, too, can be wrong.
          > I suggest many will not aced to so light a prescription.
          Insulation is really about being an island and even his handlers leak
          isolation. Our president now must surrender power in the middle of a
          full force political war. The transition team exists and I wish them
          luck. Executive looting is not a crime in DC. Many want to talk about
          that, is the repository of justice to become the cul de sac of
          freedom. I might stab a point at general philosophy in that it is
          better to be alive since dead is forever. Bill
          > - C. S. Wyatt
          > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not
          all
          > that I shall be.
          > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
          > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
          >
        • eupraxis@aol.com
          CS, Responding to the strange meanderings posted recently by Bill and Mc Colly (sp?). The notion that there is a nefarious political class, on left and right,
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 8, 2008
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            CS,

            Responding to the strange meanderings posted recently by Bill and Mc Colly
            (sp?). The notion that there is a nefarious political class, on left and right,
            assumes a lot more negative about people than I have encountered. I'm not a
            conspiracy theorists, and knowing leaders in both parties I have come to believe
            many more are earnest than is realized. However, we tend to attribute
            negative (even "evil" or "bad") motivations to those disagreeing with our views.

            Response: Then you should count yourself as very lucky indeed. If the Bush
            administration does not count as nefarious to you, I am not sure what can. But
            if that term strikes you as too comic book, why not just use the term
            "criminal"?
            ---
            I spent three years in the deep pits of DARPA research. I really didn't see
            people motivated by "evil" -- they really had rationalized their views or their
            fears.

            Response: Well, maybe the fourth year would have been the charm? Yikes! What
            in the world were you doing there?
            ---
            If you read the Senate Intelligence Committee report carefully, you find a
            suggestion not of leaders lying, but of only seeing what they wanted and
            selectively discounting anything they didn't want to believe. Nothing nefarious in
            being blindly stupid... though we have seen willful ignorance can be dangerous.

            Response: Yes, the report was nuanced ("bi-partisan") so as not to declare
            open war on the GOP. I have a pdf of the report, however, and it certainly comes
            as close as one could want in calling the push to war insincere and biased.
            What more could you want?

            I, for one, would love to see the whole cabal tried for treason and then sent
            to the Hague for their crimes against humanity. But maybe I am just from an
            other tribe?
            ---
            Yes, there are "evil" men and women. Definitely. But, I think we assume there
            are more of these than there really are. I think there are people who truly
            do believe whatever their superstitions (religions being included) tell them.
            Their "sins" are mistakes... while my sins are evil.

            Response: Millions dead and displaced; torture; renditions; civil liberties
            lost; politics by division? No, sir, their "sins" are quite criminal.
            ---
            This is where we could discuss "Bad Faith" and authenticity. We could, on
            this list, discuss the philosophical underpinnings of situations or issues. Rants
            don't help place anything in context.

            Response: Please, do.
            ---
            I am also stating that what we think is "right" is shaped by some underlying,
            probably evolutionary, desire to protect our group. We rationalize morality.
            (I'd point to Pinker, Hauser, de Wall, Dawkins, and numerous others who
            suggest an evolutionary origin to what is considered moral by our species.)

            Response: I disagree with that. This just another version of what used to be
            called "psychologism". The truths behind the war and the rest were kept under
            wraps, not because "the genes" made them do it, or to protect the cave, but
            because the rationale was based on motivations that were best kept secret for fe
            ar of protests. I can't believe that anyone still thinks otherwise.

            And as you mention him, I have great problems with Pinker's reductivism and
            his neo-racism -- his theory on the superiority of Ashkenazi Jews, and related
            matters (including his attitudes about certain others) is well known. He heard
            him at a talk at NYU some time ago. His apologetics were even worse than his
            initial comments. He would say that he was not a racist and did not believe in
            race, and then make a claim for race and submit his own as superior to the
            rest. It was quite remarkable. Many persons walked out, many Jews included. I
            found him arrogant and oddly naïve. But you can Google him. There are any number
            of videos and blogs about it.

            Wil



            **************
            Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with
            Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.
            (http://food.aol.com/tyler-florence?video=4?&
            NCID=aolfod00030000000002)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • C. S. Wyatt
            I can t comment on Pinker s views on racial differences, since I have only worked on general issues of decision making and brain damage. I do know that there
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 8, 2008
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              I can't comment on Pinker's views on racial differences, since I have only worked on
              general issues of decision making and brain damage. I do know that there are cultural
              differences that seem to affect brain development -- but those are not the result of
              breeding, since adopted children reflect the linguistic development of their new families.
              (Curiously, twin studies show moral impulses and even sociopathy more likely to be
              genetic.)

              My mention of Pinker was within a group of scholars. To dismiss his general research
              based on his ignorance or biases might not be the right thing to do. This doesn't mean his
              biases don't affect his research, either. Freud and Jung said some pretty ludicrous things
              about Jewish brains.

              This does point to something I do think we need to remember: being skilled or knowledgeable in one area does not make one special in all areas -- or even above
              reproach. We have Heidegger as a pretty good example of stupid brilliance.

              As for being deluded, versus intentionally nefarious, I theorize that anyone wanting to be
              president, prime minister, or whatever a nation has, is able to convince his or her self of all
              sorts of things. I'm not saying this is a good thing; too many are unable or unwilling to
              listen to advisers.

              What makes a person want power? Or, once a "good" person has power, what causes the
              eventual isolation and detachment? I wish I knew. Even admired men and women have
              been extremely flawed -- more so as their power and influence increased.

              - CSW
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