Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Complex Foundation of Primitive Societies

The Stone Age cultures were not simple; they 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. The theory of every 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.


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.


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.