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Bullet Points from 9-25-07 Meeting

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 4 months ago

 

Bullet Points from 9-25-07 Meeting

 

- "Humanism" establishes the norm and the other... suddenly there is such a thing as a "healthy" human by which to diagnose, disempower, denegrate.

     - See Georges Canguilhem: The Normal and the Pathological

 

- Schizophrenia often exhibit religious and spiritual explanations for their hallucinations

         - And the "healthy" religious?  What do they do?

         - The notion of schizophrenia as an amplification of mental processes, the neurosis of the turned-up ego: Madness and Modernism by Louis A. Sass

                   “The growing consciousness is a danger and a disease.” - Nietzsche

 

Does the schizophrenic's chaotic inner world resemble modern art and literature? Sass, a clinical psychologist and Rutgers professor, argues that schizophrenia and modernism display striking affinities: fragmentation, defiance of authority, multiple viewpoints, self-referentiality and rejection of the external world in favor of an omnipotent self or, alternately, a total loss of self. While the parallels he draws often seem superficial, there is much to ponder in Sass's notion that schizophrenia's core traits are exaggerations of tendencies fostered by our culture. This dense, startling work examines schizophrenic inauthenticity in light of the thought of Nietzsche, that champion of self-invention and the mask. Sass analyzes Kafka's introversion, Baudelaire's esthetics of disdain, Alfred Jarry's robotlike persona and the loss of self suffered by Antonin Artaud, a diagnosed schizophrenic. Further, he likens schizophrenics' deviant language to the prose of Rimbaud, Sartre, Beckett and Barthes.   (AMAZON DESCRIPTION)

 

- In the face of too much information, too many options, too many possibilities, a universe of plurality... we want to shut off.

   - It seems easier, more concrete, if we're static, immovable, set-in-stone ---> finished evolving

   - Dualities make the world a simpler place, with option A and option B

        - BUT: damn near everything truly reflects a continuum

        - Binary systems can be useful to introduce elements of a system, but misleading if taken literally (dualism)

              - Deconstruction gets obsessed with dismantling binary systems

 

- There is no human nature: we're too plastic.

     - Is this seen pessimistically?  Optimistically?

     - Does this paralyze us?  Or energize us?

 

 

- "Life is Dukkha"

      - pain?  or the passing into and back out of existence?

 

How do we define time?  Chronological time vs. Lived time

   - Chronos vs Cairos

       - Living entirely in either causes suffering, balance is needed.

       - Chronos is our greatest human work of art

 

Schopenhauer: World as Will and Representation

 

 

 

- Donald: strange notion that "no knowledge is better than some knowledge"

      * "in order for it to be useful, it must be perfect"

 

- The notion of science as Truth, vs science as not yet disproven

 

- Pragmatism: abandon the dualism of right/wrong, begin to consider usefulness

 

- Quantam lesson: our observations are subjective!

 

     - This impacts how we've formulated the ways in which evolution operates:

 

- Huxley (Darwins Bulldog) ---> notion of nature as red in tooth and claw

    - victory in battle is grace

    - mirrors values of the period: the strong and violent male prevails within the Law of Battle:

 

Law of Battle.—Some male beetles, which seem ill fitted for fighting, nevertheless engage in conflicts for the possession of the females. Mr. Wallace 63 saw two males of Leptorhynchus angustatus, a linear beetle with a much elongated rostrum, "fighting for a female, who stood close by busy at her boring. They pushed at each other with their rostra, and clawed and thumped, apparently in the greatest rage." The smaller male, however, "soon ran away, acknowledging himself vanquished." In some few cases the males are well adapted for fighting, by possessing great toothed mandibles, much larger than those of the females. This is the case with the common stag-beetle (Lucanus cervus), the males of which emerge from the pupal state about a week before the other sex, so that several may often be seen pursuing the same female. At this period they engage in fierce conflicts. When Mr. A. H. Davis64 enclosed two males with one female in a box, the larger male severely pinched the smaller one, until he resigned his pretensions. A friend informs me that when a boy he often put the males together to see them fight, and he noticed that they were much bolder and fiercer than the females, as is well known to be the case with the higher animals. The males would seize hold of his finger, if held in front, but not so the females. With many of the Lucanidæ, as well as with the above-mentioned Leptorhynchus, the males are larger and more powerful insects than the females. The two sexes of Lethrus cephalotes (one of the Lamellicorns) inhabit the same burrow; and the male has larger mandibles than the female. If, during the breeding-season, a strange male attempts to enter the burrow, he is attacked; the female does not remain passive, but closes the mouth of the burrow, and encourages her mate by continually pushing him on from behind. The action does not cease until the aggressor is killed or runs away.
Darwin, Origin of Species

 

Daniel Dennett: Darwin's Dangerous Idea

 

- There exists the notion that our "hardware" hasn't changed, and that "software" is the only thing undergoing rapid alteration.

    - used to defend the traditional outlook of psychology

 

- What is meant by "hardware" -> brain size?  skull size to hold the brain?

         - Developmental psych shows the importance of synapses, networks of neurons, etc in our behavior: functional neuroanatomy.

         - Have these things changed recently?  Is this considered a hardware or softward shift?

               - Here we have the shift to wetwares as an integrated model

         - The brain is played by culture and technology, changed  as we learn, individually and collectively

         - Information technology begins with sexual selection: signaling systems!

                  * Terrence Deacon: Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain

 

 

 

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