Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The cultural heritage thread

Expand Messages
  • Mary
    Louise, Thanks again for your participation. I am thinking and trying to organize my thoughts for this thread. I wonder if once we all agree upon some basic
    Message 1 of 41 , Apr 1, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      Louise,

      Thanks again for your participation. I am thinking and trying to organize my thoughts for this thread. I wonder if once we all agree upon some basic definitions and examples of how heritage significantly differs from one place to another, we might relate it to the Sartrean concept of existence preceding essence. Traditions may exist within groups, but does the introduction of new traditions or 'deviation' from the 'norm' actually threaten the group? What are some of these fears? I recall one contributor was concerned with Sharia. Something I've noticed is how the younger generation is not as concerned with this as the older, and perhaps this complacence worries them. We, however, won't be here to act as heritage police: it will be their world after all. And many young people aren't too happy with what we've left for them.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
      >
      > Mary,
      >
      > Yes, I think we shall agree in many respects, but the particular reference to 'fear of loss' in my second paragraph had behind it something I instinctively knew was contentious here at the list - or in contemporary Western discourses, generally, at least in most respectable circles. Wil has been quite clear in his rejection of the notion, 'heritage', and I think this is as good a term as any with which to grasp the nettle.
      >
      > What I was trying to relate in my second paragraph is a kind of doubleness I feel, about my humanness and my ethnicity. Whereas I recognise what Wil so clearly brought into view [55211] when disagreeing with Irvin about the basis for Mitsein - i.e. that (if I do indeed understand) it is our humanity and not our ethnicity which ultimately grounds both charity and empathy (not synonyms, in my view, whichever 'charity' we intend), nevertheless our ethnicity may be bound up with heritage whose dissipation entails real loss.
      >
      > In attempt to be more concrete, in the interests of clarity, one might take the example in the political domain of immigration policy (a form of exclusion, or inclusion, in action). Massive flows of immigration may readily evoke fear of loss in different individuals and groups, and, for instance, in the case of the ethnic majority, the loss feared may be loss of heritage, including the disappearance of the actual land under tarmac, brick and concrete. This does not constitute proof of prejudice, but may be result of observation and reflection. This was the matter with which I expected Wil and possibly yourself to disagree. Of course, my example does not preclude further interpretations of how loss occurs, the depredations of capitalism in general, etc. My position is that a reflective sense of ethnicity and heritage may be felt without necessary loss to one's sense of that which is universally human, and that the conflicts this may generate cannot be avoided without shutting down certain forms of thought. Some find this (shutting down) desirable - and 'racism' is a prime example. I do not know whether I am a racist or not - I guess that would depend on definition.
      >
      > There are various loose ends here, but I will post this tentative effort so far. I am trying just to get a sense of selfhood in the most uninhibited form, sceptical of what is currently thought acceptable, because no attempt to 'embrace the Other' is possible without bringing the whole of oneself to the encounter. Is culture thinkable without heritage?
      >
      > Louise
    • Jim
      Herman, If I recall we had this conversation about two years ago. I agree Aristotle had a moral blind spot when it came to slaves (and women), and this blind
      Message 41 of 41 , Apr 3, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Herman,

        If I recall we had this conversation about two years ago.

        I agree Aristotle had a moral blind spot when it came to slaves (and women), and this blind spot is a serious blight on his ethics as a whole.

        However, Aristotle was no individualist. He argued that the good life could only occur within the polis, i.e. within a `civilised' state where there was respect almost equals and all contributed to the governance of the state.

        I would extend Aristotle's idea of the polis to the whole of humankind. My ability to live the good life does not just depend on whether I can manifest personal virtues, it also depends on the levels of unhappiness and injustice in my community.

        Jim


        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Herman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Jim,
        >
        > Forgive my quick response :-). I was finishing another post, when I caught
        > this post.
        >
        > On 3 April 2011 17:57, Jim <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi Herman,
        > >
        > > Following Aristotle, a virtue is a character trait which contributes to, or
        > > is an element of, the good life. And the good life is the environment where
        > > there is general well-being and the people are happy and flourish.
        > >
        > > Aristotle spoke only for the elite of the elite. The realisation of his
        > virtues demand an entire system of appropriation. There is nothing general
        > about his general well-being. That is why the societies that fashioned
        > themselves after "the Greeks" were just like them. The slavers of the modern
        > world were as interested in general well-being as Aristotle.
        >
        > Sorry :-)
        >
        > Cheers
        >
        >
        > Herman
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.