Re: Culture & symbols

thomas w kavanagh (tkavanag@INDIANA.EDU)
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 11:31:10 -0500

Oh, what's the use.

On Fri, 2 Aug 1996, Robert Snower wrote:

> At 12:35 AM 8/2/96 +0000, thomas w kavanagh wrote:
> >On Thu, 1 Aug 1996, Robert Snower wrote:
> >
> >> Redistribution creates a common identity in the same way tattoos do, or
> >> kinship terminologies do.
> >
> >I did not follow the BMODs thread so I don't know if this was discussed
> >there. Tattoos do not *create* identity. They might express a pre-existing
> >one or be used as the basis of later lumping and/or splittling, but the
> >act of putting pigment under the skin does not create/establish anything.
> Must disagree. The process of tattooing, with the appropriate accompanying
> mentality, can create identity, without pre-existing link, mental or
> otherwise. (Where did your "pre-existing one" come from?)

'pre-existing [identity]' = "appropriate accompanying mentality"

<quibble skipped>
> >As far as sociobiology is
> >> concerned: sociobiology, via Hamilton's inclusive fitness, accounts directly
> >> for societies in mammals (including humans) certainly past nuclear families,
> >> to social bands and groups of varying complexity.
> >
> >just plain non sequitor: it does not follow. If I remember from a looong
> >time ago, "inclusive fitness" describes the evolutionary relations between
> >biological relatives. But human societies "past nuclear families" include
> >a good many people who are not biological relatives and for whom
> >"inclusive fitness" does not apply.
> Not necessarily.

Specify. And please take into account that human societies 'above/past' the
nuclear family, i.e. 'social bands and groups of varying complexity' --
('hordes,' 'tribes', 'clans,' 'ethnic groups', etc.), include people who are
not biologically related.

And nothing was contained in your original statement about
> non-relatives when you flat-out maintained sociobiology could not account
> for society "above the nuclear family." Nothing about relatives, nor in
> fact, anything about humans.

I would have thought it was self evident. If sociobiology can only
account for societies of relatives, then the only human societies it can
account for are nuclear families.