[percy-l] Re:Seminal events of consciousness

Ken Armstrong armstron at ohiou.edu
Tue Dec 17 16:17:54 EST 2002

At 01:37 PM 12/17/2002 -0500, James Piat wrote:

>I take the notion that things have a source or cause (or causes as Aristotle
>I think put the matter) to be a theory or perhaps an assumption.    I do not
>take it to be an established fact.


  I won't barge in on this over every point; I just can't resist saying 
something when I see "fact"  being held up as a standard of judgement for 
all spheres of experience. What I would suggest is that there are "things" 
in existence that are unique, that cannot be duplicated or tested, and that 
trying to hold these essentially non-thingy "things" to a standard of fact 
is the same as trying to reduce them to a lower order of existence. There 
is no way to demonstrate that the duplicative way to knowledge---so-called 
fact---should be the standard against which all truths must be held. It is 
only, to use your word, an assumption (granted, an appealing and popular 
one in our culture), and one that does not hold up to logical analysis. It 
is not that I am trying to take facts out of the equation; I am trying to 
point out that there is no equation. Science is temporary; we're looking 
for what is not bound by time.

  Symbols as representation are symbols as signs, i.e. not really symbols. 
An understanding of "symbol" that does not include in the nature of symbols 
that they participate in what they "mean" misses symbolic function 
entirely. Symbols as signs, denatured symbols, can be appropriated to dogs, 
monkeys, etc. But symbols as symbols have no place in any but the human 
world. In the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds, there is no film at 11.

Ken Armstrong
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