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Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Complex Foundation of Primitive Societies

The primitive societies were not simple; the Stone Age cultures were built on a complex foundation of systems of beliefs and norms of behavior. The notion of supernatural forces predates religious theory; practical politics predates political theory; the codes of morality and acceptable behavior, predate moral theory; spoken language, predates the rules of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary; creation of various forms of art, predates the theory of aesthetics. Theory does not precede action; in most cases, the theory of any subject is developed centuries or even several millennia after the subject has been acted upon and turned into a fundamental feature of human existence. Every philosophical idea is developed in a social and political context which is a creation of the men of action.

2 comments:

Ajit R. Jadhav said...

>> "... and turned into a fundamental feature of human existence."

Nope, that statement doesn't make sense; not even with the preceding qualifier used, viz., "in most cases,". It wouldn't make sense even in a *single* case.

However, the following would make sense:

"... and [attempted to be] turned into an enduring [or integral] feature of human existence [by some people]."

The fundamental vs. the derivative is an issue that simply *cannot* arise in the absence of any conceptual or theoretical structures, no matter how primitive these are. A significant number of explicit concepts (no matter how mis-formulated) had better be there, formulated explicitly, before any one could possibly order them using the fundamental vs. derivative distinction/criterion.

But yes, you make an important point. Also, as often is the case, I appreciate the sheer breadth of scope which you try to touch upon and connect together in many of your posts, as in here.

Best,
--Ajit

Anoop Verma said...

@Ajit, I think there is a point to what you are saying. I try to keep my posts as short as possible, since it is a blog. I am basically talking about the things that have "already" become a fundamental feature of the human civilization, so this is a retrospective view of the things and not a prospective view.