Re: Culture & symbols

Robert Snower (rs222@WORLDNET.ATT.NET)
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 20:47:37 +0000

At 04:24 PM 7/29/96 +0000, Ronald Kephart wrote:
>In message <19960728222218.AAA21693@LOCALNAME> Robert Snower writes:
>> Primitive totem feasts, or circumcision ceremony, is hypothesis
>> making. Pretended kinship and pretended limitation on reproductive
>> competition. But I'll bet they didn't sit around and talk about it.
>I bet they did and/or do!
>And what do you mean by "primitive" in this context?
>Ron Kephart

Primitive: early, original, antique, ancestral, the base for subsequent
developments. (You are going to tell me they are not primitive, because
they occur today, and sometimes as a component of a sophisticated culture.
But they are different now. And even if not, still, they are literal
survivals of what, in the course of other lineages, even within that same
sophisticated culture, were essential bases for subsequent cultural
evolution. In biological evolution, the amoeba can be called primitive, but
it still survives, perhaps as an important part of an ecosystem.

Talking about things, i.e., verbal commentary, is not really a part of
ritual (chanting might be), or art. Even when language is the medium, as in
myth and literature, it is not a talking about, as compared, e.g., to

But it is not a big point. I am trying to say that language is only one
instance of the same intellectual process I think we are both talking about,
and that, I believe, is more important.

Best wishhes. R. Snower