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Re: The concept of meaning

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  • louise
    Wil, When you made a response to Tom, that on the level of the genome, the concept of race has no meaning (#47913), the seed was planted in my mind that
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 29 4:38 PM

      When you made a response to Tom, that "on the level of the genome, the concept of race has no meaning" (#47913), the seed was planted in my mind that germinated to become a brief account of the philosophic thinking that underlies my own distrust of the biologistic trend in social thought. The post was, however, addressed to the list's readership as a whole, not to you personally.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      > L.
      > If this was to me, I do not understand what you are trying to say.
      > Wil
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: louise <hecubatoher@...>
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 11:51 am
      > Subject: [existlist] The concept of meaning
      > A philosophical approach to human existence uncovers the nature of
      > subjective reality, and the centrality of valuing. The human creature
      > is the only kind of animal whose nature is reflected back to itself in
      > a the form of highly articulated language, though in the actual
      > conditions of life, relatively few among the species receive the full
      > privileges of this possibility. Where the examined life becomes an
      > actuality, the ordinary process whereby meaning is what develops in
      > relation to the individual's own acts of valuation, becomes open to
      > view, and capable of an entire honesty which most types of human life
      > forbid. The practice of bad faith, as Heidegger acknowledged, takes
      > into account the need for compromise in social relationship. At its
      > core, though, a philosophically-scrutinised existence is answerable for
      > the values it affirms, and in this lies meaning and the happiness of
      > life. Usually these practices are enshrined in specific religious or
      > secular bodies of doctrine, whether written down or not, and I have
      > always learnt a great deal about the human mind and its vagaries from
      > mature religious traditions where there is provision both for practical
      > and contemplative modes of living.
      > This rather abstract analysis of the ways in which language does not
      > exactly generate meaning, but co-operates in the instinctual and
      > reflective process, is an attempt to indicate how our lives as humans
      > are in their nature continuous with that of other 'higher' forms of
      > life, such as dogs, pigs, horses, whales, and so on, yet also set apart.
      > My quarrel with the way Western science has evolved is instanced by the
      > different kind of abstraction implied in the genome, where the examined
      > human life is completely absent, and an underlying dehumanised ethic
      > prevails. There are many ways in which a human being can be so
      > pressured by servitude or persecution that s/he may feel like a
      > machine. A human being, nevertheless, is not a machine, rather a
      > creature suppressed by political factors that ought to be opposed.
      > This is the history of man's struggle for freedom and justice, and
      > philosophical ways to continue the fight may look improbable. I think
      > this is brought about by the natural limitations of the individual
      > mind, and that there is plenty to fight for, with realism. Sometimes,
      > though, fighting is very quiet, peaceable, completely invisible. Also,
      > as Herman has suggested (#47908), "attitude" is a good way of
      > characterising the ways of philosophy. There is so much more to say,
      > and participation is still the key, I believe.
      > Louise
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