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[Xmca-l] Re: Polysemy of "Community"

That's an alternative way to go, Cliff, define "community" by "shared meanings," but the upshot of that way is the counter- intuitive conclusion that kids and their parents belong to different "cultural communities."

Many do. And many kids (teens) and their parents, but far from all, would not find that counter-intuitive given their experience.

There is one point which I must clarify though from your last words below: "The material form of an artifact may be universal in the sense that we may all agree on the label for it. However, the artifact may have very different meanings for us." No. The artefacts have a universal material form despite us having "different labels" for it. The foundation of natural science is that matter exist independently of human activity, obedient to natural laws which are knowable. And natural science has a right to exist; it is not a giant mistake.

Sure, although we can only assume that through our human activity (including the means that leads to natural laws).

We *do* of course ascribe different meanings to one and the same material form or object, but that is thanks to human activity.

Exactly. And isn't human activity what is of most importance to us? (Including the human activity that may affect the natural world).

The matter exists independently of our interpretation of it. This is why I know I can rely on artefacts to provide a sound, universal foundation for "community," and I leave it entirely open that a multiplicity of meanings and actions are in conflict within the community.

But your "sound, universal foundation" is built on the meanings you have for those artifacts.