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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance


Interesting question! I'm inclined to say that consciousness is constituted both internally and externally, befitting its character as both a natural phenomenon and a social phenomenon.

Internally, consciousness is constituted by the various functions that LSV was keen to study: perception, memory, emotion, and so on. As he tells us, these form a dynamic system whose internal relationships are constantly changing.

Externally, consciousness is constituted by the practices and artifacts with which we sustain ourselves, including the knots and noches that David was reminding us of.


On Nov 19, 2014, at 10:25 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:

> Martin,
> $20K question:
> Is consciousness (or whatever term you would prefer - btw, what term would
> you prefer?) "internally constituted" or "externally constituted"?
> Also, would you be willing to share the paper of which you speak? Or at
> least the citation?
> -greg
> On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
>> wrote:
>> On Nov 19, 2014, at 4:56 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> "objective"
>>> just means that something is seen as not subject to change by a
>>> discourse community, even where that discourse community consists of
>>> just me and my lonely self.
>> Perhaps, David. But with time and effort and study we can come to view
>> that something differently, no?
>> There's a small but growing literature on "constitution" - the way that a
>> water molecule is constituted of, not caused by, hydrogen and oxygen. And
>> the article I was reading today was making an interesting distinction
>> between 'internal constitution,' as in the case of water, and 'external
>> constitution,' as in the case of money. What makes a coin a token of
>> monetary value is *external* to it: the social institutions of banking and
>> the practices of buying and selling. These don't cause it, they constitute
>> it. The coin, taken at face value, is objective. But once we study it as it
>> circulates through these practice and institutions, we come to see that its
>> objectivity does not mean it cannot change. On the contrary.
>> Although LSV like to talk about the constituents of a meaningful word as
>> 'internal' to that word, it seems more accurate to see them as external in
>> the same sense as the constituents of a coin or a bill are necessarily
>> external to it.
>> Martin
> -- 
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson