Dear members, The important points being raised by Alex and Kushal, below, and others in the solipsism thread, inspired me to introduce a brief outline on the relevance of semiotic theory. As I introduced in my accompanying post, just now, replying to Paul Werbos, the men's rights movement provided the seeds of cultural change. The because genes narrative of Neo-Darwinism lies behind the myth of pre-programmed instincts to account for men's and women's motivations. This is complete nonsense. Peircean biosemiotics provides a much more compelling interpretation for how men and women make choices from culture. Let's take a look.
So how might semiotic theory relate to gender politics? Here are the essential elements of gender roles, within the context of Peircean semiotics: 1) Gender roles are habits; 2) Gender roles are chosen (association, conditioning); 3) Men and women "like" the roles to which they have been assigned. A couple of essential points to note: 1) Genes do not determine anything. While genes are still important, within a biosemiotic context, they do not "explain" complexity. If anything, they are better understood in the context of resistance to change, rather than the determination of change. you know, a kind of momentum of form, rather than a blueprint for form; 2) The above three points are simply restatements of Peirce's three categories. namely, thirdness (gender roles are habits); secondness (gender roles relate to associative learning. the associations that are chosen/ experienced); and firstness (gender roles as they relate to motivation); 3) Neural plasticity relates to habituation, associative learning and motivation in neurons. yup, the Peircean categories apply to single cells, too (I discuss this in my 2001 Semiotica article, The law of association of habits); 4) Imitation as an important dimension of Peirce's pragmatism (or pragmatacism). Perhaps a new word needs to be invented. imitation, as I intend it, is much more than blind copying. the notion of knowing how to be provides a richer context that is consistent with semiosis and pragmatism; 5) Culture as a thought. This is consistent with Peirce's the man is the thought. The notion of culture as a thought is an expression of the realization that each choice we make has a specific meaning with reference to its cultural context; 6) Biosemiotics is a more general interpretation of the semiotics of C.S. Peirce. It takes the anthropocentric priority of semiotics, and extends it to a more general context for all living entities. I make a brief reference to neural plasticity above. Yup, it has a direct part to play, too, in gender politics. Why? Professor Jill Stamm (specializing in infant brain development) of Arizona State University has guesstimated that 90% of a human brain's wiring is accomplished within the first four years of life. Guess what looms large in the first four years of any infant's life. it is the primary nurturer. It is the primary nurturer that first defines the things that matter (Peirce, pragmatism). In other words, if human cultures are being "oppressed" by anyone, it is the primary nurturer that has a primary role in inculcating those nasty, oppressive, "patriarchal" values that supposedly oppress women. Last time I checked, the primary nurturer has tended to be female. Now regarding this notion of culture as a thought: Every object in a culture is a cultural artifact that has meaning within a cultural context. The beer upon which I sip in Prague is established in a very different context to the beer that I sip in Munich, or Sydney, or San Francisco, or Budapest. In each context in which I make a choice is the cultural thought, or narrative, that informs it. In other words, the historical context, and whether you clink your beers, the words you use, the conversations you engage in. and whether you are male or female. What might sipping a beer in Prague have in common with a lion stalking a gazelle, bees swarming, a car mechanic fixing a car, a fish in a net, a ballet dancer dancing, leukocytes rolling slowly on endothelial cells, and P-selectins on endothelial cells interacting with PSGL1 <https://youtu.be/FzcTgrxMzZk> ? Seemingly disparate, unrelated events, they are united under one set of universal laws. Each is a player in a context, and as such, each is a sign that has a meaning within that context. And this is why Peircean biosemiotic theory and the three categories, understood in the context of motivation, association and habituation, are so important. Regards From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Alex Hankey Sent: Monday, February 12, 2018 3:22 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [Sadhu Sanga] could solipsism destroy the human species? Well said, Kushal. The nature of the reality of one's experience is something that changes as consciousness evolves. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi put it, 'Knowledge is Different in Different States of Consciousness'. At the highest level comes the realisation that 'All is One' - in some very subtle and quite hard to define sense. The realisation of this 'Unity behind All Things', or 'Unity in Diversity', is the essence of Advaita Vedanta, and the teachings and practices that lead up to that state. Interestingly, Bernard D'Espagnat, clearly demonstrated that quantum theory is incompatible with Naive Objective Reality, in which every object is assumed to have an independent existence, independent on anything else. He showed that the quantum correlations which so displeased Einstein mean that what we see and consider as independent 'objects' cannot necessarily be considered to be truly independent. The most beautiful, and to me perfect, expression of realisation of the Ultimate Unity is contained in a poem by Thomas Traherne, a 17th century English country parson. The sixth stanza of his poem 'My Spirit', which you can obtain in full off the internet (https://allpoetry.com/My-Spirit), reads: 'My Spirit' Stanza 6 Lines 1 to 7 A strange extended orb of Joy, Proceeding from within, Which did on every side, convey Itself, and being nigh of kin To God did every way Dilate itself even in an instant, and Like an indivisible centre stand, At once surrounding all eternity. Note the 'indivisible centre' - the Centre of his Being remains One, undivided. It cannot be divided, it is 'indivisible'. This is the Ultimate Realisation that drives out the prime cause of spiritual problems - Avidya, or ignorance of Unity. (No help to James Randi & co.!!!) The 7th Stanza that follows this one is an ecstatic statement of realisation that one would normally only expect to find in the Upanishads. In fact the whole poem has the quality of an Upanishad! Best wishes, Alex Hankey On 12 February 2018 at 06:48, Kushal Shah <atmabo...@gmail.com> wrote: On Feb 12, 2018 3:15 AM, "Paul Werbos" But to deny the existence of objective reality, either explicitly or (more common) in the way one tries to understand the universe or make policy, the phenomenon is all around us in many, many forms. To fully grasp the concept of objective reality, not only at a surface level but at a deeper level, seems to be a bit of a challenge for our species. A strong assertion of objective reality is as naive as its outright rejection. All theories and concepts operate only within a certain domain. If scientists can be stubborn in their assertion, others can also be stubborn in their rejection. As Newton said, every action has an equal an opposite reaction. In my opinion, this is the most important law of this universe. Best, Kushal. _________________________________________ Kushal Shah @ EECS Dept, IISER Bhopal http://home.iiserb.ac.in/~kushals -- ---------------------------- -- ---------------------------- Fifth International Conference Science and Scientist - 2017 August 18—19, 2017 Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, Kathmandu, Nepal http://scsiscs.org/conference/scienceandscientist/2017 Send a Donation to Support Our Services: http://scienceandscientist.org/donate (All Indian residents are eligible for tax benefits for their contributions under section 80G of the Income Tax Act) Report Archives: http://bviscs.org/reports Why Biology is Beyond Physical Sciences?: http://dx.doi.org/10.5923/j.als.20160601.03 Life and consciousness – The Vedāntic view: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420889.2015.1085138 Harmonizer: http://scienceandscientist.org/harmonizer Darwin Under Siege: http://scienceandscientist.org/Darwin Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute: http://bviscs.org Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Institute: http://scsiscs.org Sadhu-Sanga Blog: http://mahaprabhu.net/satsanga Contact Us: http://scsiscs.org/contact --- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Sadhu-Sanga Under the holy association of Spd. 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