Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley and is the author of The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby.

In the October, 2015 edition of The Atlantic, she offers an Essay entitled David Hume and the Buddha: How my search for the Eastern roots of the Western Enlightenment may have solved a philosophical mystery -- and ended my midlife crisis.

Gopnik, identifying with the writings of David Hume and the tenets of Buddhism, describes her own "self" as being generated by her interactions with people and life experiences.

Thus, when her children were grown, her marriage had disintegrated and her writing seemed complete she did not know who/what she was and found that she was bereft of any sense of future - leading to depression.

Then, researching possible sources of some of the ideas in Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature,  she found herself involved with a new purpose and its associated self and future.

The concept of a self not being free-standing but contingent on and constituted by interactions with the psychosocial environment is reminiscent of Mark Johnson's theory (The Meaning of the Body - cf. POST #XXIII) that an organism has no free-standing mind but, beginning as a neonate, engages in a process of body-mind self-structuring and self-programing as it notices (i) how its body moves and feels and (ii) how interactions with other people and objects in its environment work.

But both Johnson and Gopnik fail to take into account that a male organism and a female organism have differing, albeit complementary, sexual bodies (regardless of gender).

Thus, a male and female infant (again, regardless of gender) will unavoidably notice and feel somewhat different physical aspects of their bodies and environment;  and maturing and mature organisms will 'tune in' to differing aspects of their psychosocial environments and tend to develop differing SELVES including the possibility of gender inversion - whether fashionable of not.

Now, what does an organism pay attention to (ie., notice) after its needs for food and shelter are met? What does it want?  And does the latter become its SELF?

Freud is quoted as saying: "The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'"  Regardless of the accuracy of this quotation, it is a theme on the minds of many contemporary men.  Also, Freud's concept of a female envying a male's sexuality suggests that he thought that a woman ought to want him.

The present writer submits that a woman wants to give birth;  and what she has conceived and given birth to becomes her SELF.

She doesn't want the man but needs male participation -- and the male to want her as his SELF.

A female gives birth to more than babies.  She also conceives and 'gives birth to' such things as a career, a home, a week-end rendez-vous, a relationship, etc., etc. and, indeed, a future.

On the other hand, the one thing that a man must want is the woman - and she becomes his SELF.  If a man does not want a woman as she is, he must leave her - without complaint or criticism.

When a man fails to respect and appreciate his wife as constituting his psychosocial SELF - and, in addition, psychosocially 'kidnaps'  their children as being his SELF (SELVES), he has engineered a dereliction of the marriage.

When a man pays more attention to things like sports, cars, and his 'buddies', such become his SELF - and the woman's relationship with him, ie, her SELF, withers and dies.

In summary, a man's SELF is his woman and a woman's SELF is her off-spring.  Of course, a man's/boy's first SELF is his mother.  An immature female, a girl, may initially be her own free-standing SELF.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Historically, the verb 'to discriminate' has meant (OED) "Make or recognize a distinction, esp. a fine one; provide or serve as a distinction; exercise discernment."

If I correctly understand the concept, such discernment is a prerequisite for Critical Thinking.

However, since the Civil Rights Movement in America, the verb 'to discriminate' has come to mean (OED) "Make a distinction in the treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. unjustly or prejudicially against people on grounds of race, colour, sex, social status, age, etc."

It seems that as the two meanings have become conflated, Critical Thinking has come to be seen as 'old-fashioned' and obsolete.

The latter has been aggravated by some genres of psychotherapy that focus on how a distressed person "feels" rather than on how he/she "thinks".

For my part, sexist that I am, I have taken it upon myself to formulate the present careful discrimination (albeit complementary) between procreative (as distinct from 'creative' and 'mere reproductive') male and female interaction without discriminating against either male or female.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The essence of my Philosophy/Theory of Heterosexuality is that whatever can be observed and said about the microscopic interaction between a sperm cell and an egg cell can also be observed and said regarding the macroscopic anatomical interaction between a male body and a female body and the psycho-social interaction between a male personality and a female personality.

Thus, the microscopic male-female interaction serves as a natural and reasonable MODEL for understanding male-female procreative (as distinct from 'creative' or merely 'reproductive') interaction generally.


Yes, I, a male, function as a spermatocyte writ large.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Mr. Trump's disparaging description of Ms. Megyn Kelly and her careful questions during the August 6th, 2015 Republican Primary Debate do not demonstrate "Political Incorrectness" as he suggests;  rather, mere ignorance on his part.

Evidently, Mr. Trump shares Freud's view that there is only one sex - male;  and that a woman is simply a defective man (e.g., lacking male genitalia and bleeding every month).

Mr. Trump and his ignorance give 'Political Incorrectness' a bad name.


While Mr. Trump prides himself on being "Politically Incorrect", his pattern of verbally combating a woman as though she were simply another man is reminiscent of the sameness doctrine of 'Political Correctness' that teaches that there is no difference between male and female;  and no call on a man to function as a Gentleman who respects a Woman as being something special and different than him.

Logically, Mr. Trump and his on-line acolytes can be seen as disciples of the asexual or mono-sexual culture of 'Political Correctness'.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


 Google and oakes.ucsc.edu offer the definition:  "Social construction is how society groups people and how it privileges certain groups over others.  For example, you are a woman or a man because society tells you that you are, not because you choose to be.  Simple as that.  Just like it tells you what race you're classified as and what social class you belong in."

While the definition contrasts the individual MIND (the "you" of the definition) with a collection of MINDS ("society"), both the "you" and the "society" present as free-standing mental/MIND phenomena unrelated to any BODY.

Prima facie, Social Construction countenances the MIND and ignores, as best it can, the BODY.

In Mark Johnson's The Meaning of the Body (cf., my POST # XXIII) his omission of a body's genitalia from his consideration of the meaning of the body - if applied to both the "you" and the "society" of the definition - is compatible with Social Construction theory (that, in any event, tries to pretend away the whole body);  but invites disqualification of his thesis.

Society, as an omnipotent Social Constructor, seems to have become a kind of disembodied Deity in a quasi-theology underlying the contemporary cult of 'Political Correctness';  and such an entity is very reminiscent of the traditional omnipotent disembodied God of 'Christendom'.

As with religions in general, for both belief systems (ie, Social Construction and Christianity) the reality of the human BODY and male-female physical procreative interaction is/was a problem to be ignored, pretended away or otherwise dealt with (e.g., historically, 'burning the body at the stake').

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


      In The Meaning of the Body (University of Chicago Press, 2008), Mark Johnson, explicitly following on Dewey, James, Damasio and his earlier co-author, George Lakoff, cogently describes the process of a neonate engaging in a process of body-mind self-structuring and self-programming as it notices (i) how its body moves and feels and (ii) how interactions with other people and objects in its environment work.

     Johnson ingeniously explains how non-propositional 'analogies' (my term) or "schemas"  (his term) are perceived and 'computed' (my term) by the living and interacting BODY of the organism - resulting in what we think of as MIND.

     Yet in the index of The Meaning of the Body, there is no listing for "sex", "heterosexual interaction" or "procreation". It would seem that Johnson's neonate lacks genitalia as part of its embodied mind to use to understand and interact with the world - either presently or in the future!

      Such omission is reminiscent of the Pope who ordered that the genitalia of the Vatican statuary be chipped away.

     Apparently, Johnson (and Damasio) are in thrall to the sameness doctrine of 'Political Correctness' which teaches that there is no such thing as "sexual" difference related to physical anatomical differences between male and female - only "gender" related to a free-standing (disembodied ?) mind.

     But without heterosexual anatomical interaction between male and female bodies (or heroic modern medical techniques), one must fall back on the Stork Theory of an infant's provenance.