Re: [OPE-L] status equality

From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Tue Mar 01 2005 - 15:48:37 EST

Hi Rakesh

Sorry for the delayed response.

> But what about an adult?

Yes, there all kinds of more concrete determinations that prevent
fungibility, and accumulation of knowledge does slow further learning
and change. But so what? For instance, there are all kinds of
mechanisms that prevent the law of value attaining is attractor state.
Lawful behaviour of natural kinds manifest as tendencies in open

> Wisdom in our genes? To me that is a peculiar expression

I meant that our genetic code embodies a theory of what is required to
succesfully act and reproduce in a niche. It is no accident that boats
have fins like fish. Evolution is a big inductive mechanism that
generates knowledge in the form of species.

> >  This
> >genetic basis enables the development of highly adaptable animals that
> >may be socialised into an existing body of theory and practice.
> Again perhaps necessary but not sufficient condition for high adaptability.

There's no perhaps about it, and I worry about the motivation for
inserting that "perhaps". Where does it come from? Monkeys don't
participate in the labour market. A necessary condition to do so is
some basic machinery, certain innate causal powers. I agree however it
is not a sufficient condition.

> But that's not all that separates us. It may be necessary but not
> sufficient; the divide is a historical product. I am interested in
> historical accounts of perception, cognition, powers. Isn't this what
> Marx called for in his third Paris Manuscript?

That is fine. But how is it possible that humans can have a history
and animals cannot? How is it possible to claim that the essence of
humanity is the ensemble of social relations?

It is possible because there are genetic differences between us and
animals. We are genetically and socially determined. Kant discovered
the necessity of the apriori, but Darwin showed that it had evolved.
Hence, our cognitive biases are objective relative to a niche, and we
need not worry about "things in themselves". Subtract evolution and
our genetic basis from the concept of humanity and our own agency
quickly disappears: we become mere blank pages that society writes
upon quite arbitrarily, the postmodern death of the subject. Freud is
forgotten. Flat ontology etc.


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