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Re: [xmca] Measuring culture

On Apr 26, 2012, at 4:44 PM, David Kellogg wrote:

> It seems to me that Merleau-Ponty is confusing the two things when he talks about words that teach ourselves our own thoughts from the outside. To the extent that those thoughts are my thoughts, it is realization. But to the extent that they are instances of the wisdom of the ancestors congealed in the form of the speech genre, is it an instantiation. 

I don't think M-P is confusing these two things - realization and instantiation - David, I think he is exploring their relationship. As thinking is realized in wording, this is necessarily an instance at one extreme of the cline of instantiation. At the same time, the speaker is employing and encountering the collective meaning potential that is held in common by members of the speech community. This access to potential will make contact with what was not instantiated on this particular occasion, but could have been. In this regard, the meaning that is present, instantiated, in the realization will differ in the resources available to it from the meaning inherent in the thinking, and will manifest possibilities that were not previously recognized or appreciated. It is in this manner, after all, that logogenesis connects to ontogenesis (the acquisition of personalized meaning potential) and phylogenesis, as Halliday recognizes. The speaker is taught in the act of speaking!

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