Ed-- Always stop at the high point if you can! :-))
The linking of these universalist/(biological reductitonist?) orientations
to Descartes is REALLY interesting. (Ed's note came
in while I was writing this). I agree this is really fascinating -- and
informative. If your ideas disconfirm the null hypothesis at the
.10 level with a one tailed test, you will do GREAT at AERA! A recent grad
student of mine wrote an interesting thesis titled, in
part, "bending the iron cage." Being suspended is also not an always
comfortable circumstance! Lots to think about.
On 11/19/06, Phil Chappell <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Mike and Ed,
> There is an interesting bit from the transcript (see below) where we
> can see the guest's (Roger Sandall's) take on culture. Also, see here
> http://www.culturecult.com/culturecult.htm for his award-winning
> book, "The Culture Cult", in which he "critiques the present
> enthusiasm [of anthropology and anthropologists] for tribal
> ethnicity". Sorry that this wasn't a fitting tribute to the late
> Professor Geertz, but still food for thought!
> Alan Saunders: And of course it's fairly common in Western culture
> for people to see their cultures as an iron cage, and to wish to
> escape from the iron cage. I mean for example, if you think of
> somebody like Descartes, he's trying to find a truth that goes beyond
> culture; that is true for everybody whether they be Protestants or
> Catholics or whatever.
> Roger Sandall: Absolutely. That's a position in which what we might
> call heroic individual ratiocination stands outside of culture.
> There's an immovable point in the universe from which the motions of
> various cultures may be observed, and you can get there by means of
> reason alone.
> Alan Saunders: How would somebody in the Geertzian tradition respond
> to what you've just said? I can think of two answers that might be
> given. One is, Well we use the metaphor of the web, we are not
> entitled to use the metaphor of the iron cage, because we all
> generally agree that iron cages are bad things, and we don't want to
> be evaluative of cultures, we don't want to be critical, we might
> perhaps like to praise them.
> And the other thing they might say is Well, you're just wrong in
> assuming that reason is not cultural, that reason too, is embedded in
> Roger Sandall: You're absolutely right, that is what they would say.
> That is what they have said for quite some time. All ratiocination,
> all intellectual activity is culture-bound. One culture is - the
> classic word is viable, is as viable as another. And this, I think
> people like Gellner particularly, regard as self-defeating, as
> leading nowhere.
> On 20/11/2006, at 8:47 AM, Ed Wall wrote:
> > Mike
> > Those metaphors may have been, in a sense, the high point. After
> > that, both the host and the guest embarked on a journey to suggest
> > that Geertz was not enough aware of the iron cage and, in fact, his
> > approach would, in a sense, fail to detect iron cages and naively
> > be sidetracked (the guest created a story where he placed Geertz in
> > North Vietnam taking propaganda as a given), that any hope lay in a
> > return to Descartes who, by definition, was immune to such thinking.
> > Ed
> >> I did not get all the way through, Ed. But I found it quite
> >> interesting as
> >> far as I got, where the speaker is contrasting the metaphors of
> >> "humans
> >> suspended in webs of meaning they have themselves helped to contruct
> >> (paraphhrase) and of the life world (in this case, bureaucratically
> >> organized life worlds, but the metaphor is fungible I believe) as
> >> an iron
> >> cage both from Weber. Enablement and constraint, enabling who to
> >> do what,
> >> constraining who from doing what? Classic example of where one
> >> needs to rise
> >> to the concrete, but a very interesting
> >> juxtaposition for me at the moment.
> >> mike
> >> On 11/19/06, Ed Wall <email@example.com> wrote:
> >>> I just listened. Fascinating. As far as the respectful goes, I tend
> >>> to think that something like that first involves reading carefully
> >>> the scholar taken up. I was not particularly convinced that this was
> >>> the case.
> >>> However, what made it fascinating were such statements as
> >>> "science is
> >>> cognitively impartial" and Descartes with his impartial and
> >>> evaluative view from the outside was, in contradistinction to
> >>> Geertz,
> >>> "on the right track."
> >>> Ed Wall
> >>>> I haven't yet listened to this, but thought others might be
> >>>> interested.
> >>>> Phil
> >>>> http://abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2006/1788034.htm
> >>>> Interpreting culture
> >>>> The distinguished American anthropologist Clifford Geertz died last
> >>>> month. This week, we take a respectful but sceptical look at his
> >>>> work, its origins in philosophy and its consequences for
> >>>> philosophy._______________________________________________
> >>>> xmca mailing list
> >>>> firstname.lastname@example.org
> >>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
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