Tuesday, May 19, 2015
XXIV - 'SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION': A SECULAR THEOLOGY
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
XXIII. A POPE, 'POLITICAL CORRECTNESS' and STORKS: YET WHAT ABOUT EMBODIED HETEROSEXUAL PROCREATION?
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.