Studies in Rationality

 

PART I

Outline STUDIES IN RATIONALITY

  1. “Other types of rationality”
  2. “Double Bind”
  3. “Irrational Rationality”
  4. Physiological Substance of Experience: Richard Rorty
  5. Standardization & Measurements
  6. Hannah Arendt (inhumanity of truth)
  7. “Two families of objects”: The Sensorial Logic of Cayenne Pepper
  8. Use of ambiguity & the non-apprehensible
  9. “Physiological Origin of Rationality”: Stimulus and perception is cause and effect relationship.

 

 

Studies in Rationality

1)Ways of constructing meaning that are not necessarily conceptual:

-Physio-Spatial Adversaries

-“Deep Play” rituals and activities

-Logical Dead Ends

2) Double Bind

Conflict between perception (fisiosensory) and the socio rational; but both are forms of rationality:

  1. (A)Mother: “I love you”  BUT  (B) Child perceives grimace on mother’s face

Thus A is socio rational, socio-symbolic truth; B is physio-corporeal rationality, physio-corporeal truth.

Context throws anthropological self into turmoil because the experiencing of double bind as object of it, imposes something like a third entity on individual that is neither and both-simultaneously- physio-corporeal and socio-rational. It is also the experiencing of a “fight or flight” context, outside of very possibility of linguistic expression. Builds maturity, physio-psychological flexibility of self? (That’s what the say, at any rate)

But could also be the experiencing of a physio-corporeal self that cannot become culturally rational; a physiosensory anguish that is all the more incremented in the experiencing of the impossibility of refuge in a social self (a part of the self here brutally denied in the imposibility of sociorational, semiotic embrace).

3) Irrational Rationality

Rationality undermines the very physio-corporal plane it is itself a product of.

 

4) Physiological Substance of Perception (before socio-rational decodification)

Richard Rorty and the phenomenological self. But this could be considered a part of the realm of PHYSIO-SPATIAL ADVERSARIES. Human sensory perception is succinctly defined and so universal as of the existence of a living body.

 

5) Standardization and Measurement

“The Coffee Paradox (2005) Polanyi (The Great Transformation)“a market economy requires a market society” which is to say, economics is always an anthropological event and entity. But fictions are technically logical dead ends in that, because they are taken for granted, they cannot be contradicted and so serve formally to make further logical deductions, although original premise as fiction is in no way empirically true or substantiated.Events and conventions as semiotics:Systemic Interdependence texts (numbers)

 

6) Hanna Arendt and the inhumanity of truth (Los hombres en tiempos oscuros)

When rationality no longer serves the function of the group (in regards to an underlying and original “socio rationality” within a geometry of human groups on the physical-spatial plane of their one time evolutionary permanence in time), it turns against itself and betrays the source of its own rational essence: it becomes a destructive force that is, in this technical sense, insane.

The functions of self and group integrity are interwoven as a result of our previous evolutionary –surely nomadic–past. If balance in this context is lost, systemic functionality is altered. When a single, imposed rationality (of a technical nature, let’s say) consolidates itself uncontested, finally, by any other element of the group, the overall group has effectively lost the ability to correct itself as group and through the physio-corporeal force of rejection, as in fact is standard in regards to human groups that have not been dominated by a single force of rational imposition. In such contexts, the universal, physiologically sensory nature of moral acceptability (as of the direct experiencing of sensory reality and social connection) is still accessible and cannot easily allow itself to be surpassed in regards to the contemplation of one’s immediate bodily political, bodily social world. For the spectacle of cruel and unjustified violence against others always must be made legitimate (through sundry arguments of political rationalization), but even then must it be limited and often shrouded altogether from the eyes of the general public.

But such spectacles of violence are always poignant for the physio-opprobic individual, as a source of moral invigoration in any case, and the physio-anthropological opportunity, once again, to position herself as indeed a self, caught, so to speak, between the force of opprobrium (exacted by the need to belong to the group) and her own physiologically sensory substance of experience.

Individuality, to the extent that it is not conceived as in fact a product of the group in its own, higher-tiered structural necessities, is thus an illusion when contemplated only through its objectively physical aspects (as such and such a person we might know, and the body we recognize ashim or her). In reality, that personality we are familiar with–that we also can only know through our own, social self–is indeed an avatar produced by, subject to, a structurally superior plane of physiological interaction towards the collective permanence of really the group.

7) Two families of objects: Higher-Tiered technical rationality over and through physio-anthropological aggregates

Explain the physiology and logic of Cayenne Pepper in the treatment of skin infestation by sarcoptes scabiei

Which is very similarly the same exact logic of cleanlinessas of the physiological-sensory experiencing of certain consumer mouthwash(CCM) and its cosmetics of taste and sensation in the human mouth; and as such and to such a forceful degree, we are directly compelled to believe in the technical properties and efficiency both CCM and Cayenne Pepper (in regards to the treatment of skin infection) are said to possess. But most importantly and all we really “know” for sure, is only the physiological-sensory experiencing of them.

What then would be a better–at least deeper–understanding of the relationship, in this case, between our physio-sensory experiencing of what is essentially sensation, and a “rational” understanding of the broader context and meaning of the event?

Define “rational”: in the sense that commonly held beliefs (“wives tales”) suggest to us what is real (as part of the greater “socio-rational”); that is to say, because opprobrium always plays a part in how the individual manages sensory sensation and images, it is no surprise that strong sensory experience should push us in already opprobically rational and established directions, until more empirical observation on our part allows us to discard specific premises–that, for instance, cayenne pepper is effective on human skin against scabies infection (it isn’t but it sure feels like it could be when applied to the skin!).

 

But, in a certain sense, all rationality can become opprobically constituted and reinforced, if enough social credence is given, although it is surely to be assumed that rationality of a more intellectual nature is in this sense (more) intrinsically rational, and so autonomous to a greater degree and in regards to the biological force of opprobrium in us as anthropological individuals.

 

CCM is particularly interesting because it incorporates an aura of scientific efficiency –as opposed to a cayenne pepper which smacks of grama”s home remedy; its chemical properties along with its aseptic packaging seem to constitute a sensory gimmick that, in the mind of the sensory subject, partners physiological sensation with something like the scientific power-drive to comfort and progress. 

 

In only a slightly different realm, the chemistry of potato chips is also carefully crafted towards above all the sensory delight of perceiving subject, who is also, of course, a paying (or potentially paying) customer. And this sensory experiencing of exploding texture and taste in the mouth and according to our tongue’s capacity of sensation, can be juxtaposed with a marketing elements of prestige (versus scorn of, naturally cheaper, frequently generic, brands) so that an opprobic link between physio-sensory experience and price can effectively be established, as a form of indeed rationality which, however, never verges on, nor even approaches, the conceptual at all.

 

8) Rationality and Ambiguity

In regards to positivist cultural contexts (especially but not exclusively, because all sedentary anthropology participates of this to some degree), the non-apprehensible and that which is beyond the periphery of direct confirmation is of course used to increase ambiguity itself; because immediate physical-spatial experience in the collective order of sedentary groups is necessarily clear and understandable, it becomes also tedious (unbearably so), so that which cannot in fact be understood, ascertained or apprehended, is suddenly valuable as a way of making immediate physical limitation and its tedium bearable.

 

Because positivist cultural contexts have always, since really the Renaissance and especially the Enlightenment, sought to in fact illuminate and rationally reveal * the underlying order of the world (behind the veil of our sensory perception and experience), the stability of these anthrostructural contexts frequently turns against the very physio-corporeal entity rationality is actually a product of and so is still dependent on. Ambiguity in this case serves itself of the human sensory periphery–like it does in regards to wives tales and particularly scientific (or openly “pseudo-scientific”) conceptualizations–in order to preserve in this manner a necessary sensory precariousness to in fact invigorate cultural rationality by holding on to its very reason for being (that is, its auxiliary support of the collective nature of human groups, simply). Because in the living need for people to be rational, versus the often extraordinarily fantastic confusion, uncertainty, doubt–and hope–regarding what is real, conceivably real, and that which is not, the deeper drama of being in the titillation of a discerning self, can cryptically unfold.

 

But of course such a physio-sensory titillation is of a less and less directly physical nature, taking place through imagery and symbolic reproduction as ultimately a form of aesthetics; and this general realm of the physiologically sensory that is opprobically/morally relevant for perceiving individual , but not physically–nor politically, nor certainly not judicially–real, arises every time we read a newspaper article, or hear a story connected in some way to the relationship between human beings; every time similarly we see a film–a musical video or photograph–in which individual people relate to each another or their groups through sundry situations of conflict, rivalry and emotion, we exercise once again our socio-rational selves in just our perception of the images and representation of other human beings; images in regards to which we totemically define and position ourselves, enjoying a greater degree of freedom (protected as we are in the intimacy of our bodily senses) from the public, physical world’s repudiation, though not from the physiological, sensory reality and opprobic truth of the emotions we feel surge in us, in reaction to what our eyes perceive.

9.The physiological origen of rationality: The Gap

Rationality exists because it needs to exist; because human groups require it in order to homogenize singularly physical-sensory experience of individuals. Because sensory stimulus is in itself a perpetual need from the standpoint of the individual to be rational, human groups become necessarily dependent on external stimulus to reinforce the living cohesion of the group in its opprobically based, socio-rationality. The act of physiologically rational imposition, however, is in itself a problem because it requires a new equilibrium of not knowing, of new contexts of sensory stimulus that once again need to be sociorationally decoded. All rational contexts, then, are externally reinforced –exist in opposition to- broader contexts of the ambiguous, necessarily so that rationality can continue to exist in its very need to exist. INFERENCE individuals are vulnerable to boredom, and so continuously need—look for—stimulus as evolutionary pathway to their on social self (or at least to the physiological substance of experience that constitutes that self). And 2), greater levels of intergroup aggression are possible—and important historically to achieve—provided the mechanisms of control over individual physiology are more elaborate so as not to jeopardize group integrity and cohesion. That is to say: a more elaborate group (or cultural) paradigm of individuality based on opprobic relevance and intra group obligation for the individual, capacitates the group to achieve–and to control–greater heights of explosive aggression against intergroup competitors.

And yet the individual remains removed and far form her social self, given that the socio rational self is, and always must remain, a physiologically extrinsic self  literally subject to–and even property of–the group and the structural requirements of its own integrity, in time; a collective unicity as in fact product of the multitude and its individual physio-corporeal substance, that only remains effectively functional as long as one side is never allowed to dissolve itself into the other: as long as individual anomie remains among us–or at least its credible insinuation and innuendo–while at the same time being held in check and defined, and so essentially managed in a structural sense, but never, of course, completely nor definitively…

 

PART II

Antonio Damasio, The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making, 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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