MD Food for thought

From: Scott R (
Date: Mon Sep 02 2002 - 10:55:40 BST

Platt, Gary, John B., Wim, etc.,

I've mostly been dissing the "map is not the territory" slogan for it's
SOM-ish underpinning: the belief that there is something beyond
language, or language-like existence that language is to map. However,
there is another, and perhaps more important reason for objecting to the
phrase, and that is its implied privileging (I know, post-modern-speak)
of "reality" over "language", and therefore relegating the intellectual
level to subservient status. It is because of this attitude, I believe,
that John prefers the pursuit of "immediate experience" over
metaphysics. On the contrary, I believe that redemption for the masses
lies in nourishing the intellectual level.

As Wim points out (1/9) (and as -- who else -- Barfield also does) it is
the intellect that provides public content, while our
emotions/perceptions are necessarily private. As always, mathematics
provides the clearest example of this. No one can disagree that if one
accepts Euclid's postulates then opposite angles of an isosceles
triangle are equal.

The more our thoughts are made public, the more they become refined to
allow the possibility of general agreement, even if that agreement needs
to be in the form of "If...then..." statements. In this way, our
presuppositions become opened up for inspection and reworking.

So, Platt, yes, we do eat our menus, in that LILA (for example) is food
for thought. I don't think this is "merely a metaphor", but an
acknowledgment of the first-class reality status of the intellectual level.

As for putting down abstraction, as John does, I think one should ponder
the utter mystery that lies in the ability to abstract. And without it
there is no intellectual level.

- Scott

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