Tuesday, June 30, 2009

note taking
Reading Gintis and the rest all I can see is a overworked attempt to get freedom out of determinism: “rational determinism.” The mixture of moral passivity and optimism is bizarre. And the difference between Anthropology and Sociology is that the former is concerned not only with individual societies but individual persons. Sociology is concerned with people as a mass. The preference for the latter functions as an interest in “ideas’ but also as a preference for impersonal forms of communication and knowledge. This preference itself can be described as a product of a cultural determinism. Anthropology and sociology as practices exist as examples of two kinds of performative ethos; each are manifestations of the moral assumptions/values that precede them. One is social, one extra-social. We want to create meaning out of the world. Some prefer crystalline forms: absolute, time independent, “immortal” designs. Others see a narrative arc: from beginning to end. Each group responds to trauma (the traumatic interruption of their pattern) differently. Suicide: when you feel you no longer ‘should be alive’ when the narrative arc comes crashing downward after a traumatic event. But why am a still here? It’s the formal pattern [functioning as a sense of order and of order as "meaning" and as comfort] that’s determinate for modern consciousness, not Darwinism. But of course consciousness itself is epiphenomenal.

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