the symbol

Mon, 7 Feb 1994 21:44:14 EST

Read has made an excellent point about the structure of symbols, and its
utility as a framework for the `mental' part of what we call culture.
That same perspective is, AGAIN, one of the points made in my
own presentation of construct realism. Beginning with Rodney Needham's
virtually seminal work on culturally distributed synthetic images and
the cognitive/mental processes of organizing and structuring perceptions,
and integrating that concept with Pribram's model of holographic sensory
processing mode and a control theory approach . . . then, it is
possible to conceive of `culture' as an integrated system that spans
both the `mental' and the more material sociocultural system. When one
considers that Prigigone's work allows mapping across levels of
analysis . . . then the structure of the mental can be seen to parallel
the structure of the non-mental.
This is not a unique idea . . . analyzed using `fractal' concepts,
Marilyn Strathern has produced intriguing work on the symbol systems of
N. G., and recently published that work.

J. O'Brien
Indiana University