Re: [OPE-L] marx's conception of labour

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun Nov 19 2006 - 06:00:28 EST

>  It follows that by saying intentionality is characteristic of
> humans I do not mean to say that it is peculiar or exclusive to humans.
> In general we should be very suspicious of anything that looks to cut
> us off  from the rest of the natural world.



> At some point quantity becomes quality

All that need be said is that we are a distinct species which means
ipso facto that homo sapiens is qualitatively different from other
species.  The fact that there is species differentiation should not be
taken to mean that there is qualitative improvement. Rather, it is
instead merely an adaptation to different material circumstances.
For example, other mammals (cetaceans, pinnepeds, sirenians)
adapted to living in the water.  This adaptation should only be seen
as representing a qualitative improvement from the perspective of
coping with a changing environment. Also, adaptation often means a
diminution of certain qualities, e.g. in the transition from the ape
to homo sapiens the new species became significantly weaker in
terms of physical strength.

> and it does look like language marks off such a difference, but this is a
> difference of degree become significant, not something more.

Recalling a discussion I had recenntly with Jurriaan:

We know very little about the languages of many species.  We
should not take a lack of knowledge on _our_ part to mean a lack
of language on the part of other species.  Until we have a much
better understanding of other animal languages and modes of
expression then we should hold in abeyance any claims about
our use of language relative to the uses and forms of languages
by other species.

Conceptions in "modern society" of the relation between humans
and other species are generally tied more to economic expedience
and ideology (and cultural-institution-based human chauvinism) than
to science (and scientists themselves have often had ideological blinkers
on when considering this subject.)

In solidarity, Jerry

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