Re: creation of symbols

Vance Geiger (geiger@PEGASUS.CC.UCF.EDU)
Sat, 24 Jun 1995 01:07:49 -0400

From: "Charles A. Smith" <11casmith@BSUVC.BSU.EDU>

My question is how active do you think this creation of
connections is, what wit h the possibility that each individual
has a different point for that inner connection to have meaning.
Maybe a better way to say it is that there is a chance for the
same symbol to mean different things to different people and with
that in mind, what are the chances that symbols, and connections
based on them, are superficial only.


Since symbols are basic to communication between people they can
hardly be superficial. For example: if certain people have their
way it may become illegal (at least for a short period until the
law is overturned) to burn the American flag. Burning a piece of
cloth with a particular design imprinted on it is a purely
symbolc act. The symbol is the design. After all you could burn
an old T shirt, even one that is red, white and blue (will I ever
be able to list those three colors in different order?!) and no
one would care. Now the flag burner, and the anti-flag burner
may attach the same meaning to the flag (in fact that is the
basis on which the debate about flag burning rests) such that
what they dissagree about is whether the activity should result
in some sort of cost to the flag burner or not. If flag burning
becomes illegal and you do it you may encounter agents of the
state who seek to sanction you. They may even apply coercive
force on you to obtain your cooperation (cooperation?). Would
this count as superficial?

vance geiger

A question for you: is an individual only an individual to the
degree they do not do what other people do?