Joined: Oct. 2006
|Quote (Quack @ Jan. 25 2009,10:09)|
|Man is not guided by his genes and instincts only, we are the victims of heavy conditioning and indoctrination whether we like it or not.|
I don't disagree, Quack. Here is my take, which I've posted before and don't think I can improve upon:
It seems axiomatic to me that any person, at any given moment, expresses three tiers of history: one’s personal history, the history of the culture in which one is embedded, and evolutionary history. These are progressively more general, yet expressed simultaneously. As I write these words, I express ideas that arise from a personal history that is in many ways contingent and idiosyncratic - as is everyone’s - hence the uniqueness and incompleteness of my subjective view of the world. Simultaneously, these words carry forward elements of my enclosing culture, in that their lexical meanings and grammatical functions were historically established and stabilized within our language community over no more than the last 7000 years, the span over which languages as diverse as Sanskrit, Gaelic, Latin, and Greek evolved from a common linguistic ancestor. Hence their appearance here simultaneously reflects something of my own purposing and a contingent thread of Western linguistic history, as carried forward in both writer and reader. Also reflected herein is our human evolutionary heritage. Arguably, the ability to both construct and comprehend grammatically complex speech is an evolutionary adaptation of the human species (e.g., Pinker and The Language Instinct).
Nested at still greater removes are aspects of hominid, primate, mammalian, and vertebrate organization, reflecting progressively deeper evolutionary origins and increasingly ancient expressions of chance and contingency.
All told, each of us carries forward, and is embedded in, an astounding quantity of personal, cultural and biological history, with the result that many human psychological states often carry “the ancient alongside the new” (thank you Daniel Povinelli). On this view, there is no necessary contradiction between explanations at the individual, cultural, and evolutionary levels; all may, and oftentimes must, operate simultaneously in human behavior.
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.
"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace