BadgerJelly » December 27th, 2016, 11:31 pm wrote:Serpent -
Don't promise, just promise to try please :) If you think something is unclear then before you assume anything more ask for clarity. That would help me a great deal.
When I don't understand, I say so. When it seems clear, I respond to what it seems to mean.
I guess the best and simpliest way I can put it is that the theoretical attitude is only concerned with theory wholly detached from the practical life-world. The thematic of theory becomes an interest within itself rather than as taken on as a technique directed at practical matters.
Well, that's fine. But this attitude and approach must be the property of a very small part of the population of any age - a few guys who can afford to inhabit ivory towers. To what extent do you think they influence or define the culture in which they don't participate? I imagine the influence of scholars depends very much on the attitude of the ruling class. When princes and bankers are curious, science makes great strides. When bishops and kings are conservative, it's stifled. Most of the people are not affected either way - but the next generation might be.
Also, beign illiterate in a literate world is not a fair comparison to being illiterate in an illiterate world. Do you see why?
I merely used that example to illustrate that the members of a society are not all imbued with the same capability or interests or opportunities or attainments. Plucking a random specimen out of 12,000 BC or 2016 AD, might have an equal chance of yielding an artist, a philosopher, a fisherman, a gambler, a criminal or a dunce. What I object to is a blanket characterization of whole ages or nations of people as thinking in certain ways or having certain attributes.
Also, "prescientific" is not a reference to modern scientific method in the way I have been expressing it.
Well, I asked, but you never clarified what you mean by modern science, or 'science in the modern sense'
I said, a few posts back, that "science" is inclusive of chemistry, biology, psychology, philosophy, etc.,.
And I would definitely exclude philosophy and put psychiatry on the soft outer edge. But you did exclude tool-making, even though all our modern tools are the fruits of scientific research.
So, no I am most definitively not saying prescientific man waa incapable of reason of problem solving. Neither would I say they were incapable of learning to read and write or do anything that you or I or anyone else today can do (that is my assumption amd I even said what could possibily contradict such as assumption).
So, then, what sets him apart from science-era man? I've been saying there is no big, sudden change in the nature or thinking ability of humans. What's on the post side of pre-science?
What I meant by groups of people sitting around was that if in lesuire time someone decided to invent writing and take such a task and no one paid any interest then it would fail to survive. If we had a community of people all possessing a theoretical attitude (non-practical) then a they would begin to lay down the ground for a scientific attitude.
By making a list of sacks of barley? Before writing, the storehouse foreman made hash-marks on the wall as the barley was carried in. Then a very bright foreman makes the marks in a damp clay tablet and impresses a pattern of barley ears next to them. Then some other guy says, Hey, cool! and impresses a fish shape next to the number of dried cod being hung up in the loft.
Nobody decides to invent writing - it's a gradual, collaborative, cumulative effort. Nothing to do with Science or theory: all about practical application; efficient resource allocation.
What happened in ancient Greece happened around the globe at about the same time, but the extent of theoretical use was not the same elsewhere due to various political factors. What seems to have propelled Greek thought forwards is how it was institutionalised by large and differing bodies of thought all taking on a theoretical attitude (an interest in the theory for theories sake not for a direct practical use - meaning doing math for the sake of doing math not with an intentiom of putting it to practical worldly use).
Cloistered scholarship. We covered this early on. What I'm contesting is that it makes any significant difference to the development of civilization. Civilization had already happened: it's what created the conditions for a class with the leisure and physical security to indulge itself in this way. (By using the labour of a far more numerous class - or three - that would never have a chance at such institutions or leisure.)
One of the significant things that happens here is that you quite severely diminish the pool of intellectual productivity. But it's soon made up for by a population explosion: lots of surplus people.
The point beinf when I talk about "prescientific man" I am not assuming no singular person could take up a theoretcial attitude. What I am.saying is that if their attitude was not communalised enough it would gain no social purchase and fall away.
Unless it resulted in a technological advancement, or other advantage to the community. When it did, that community was far more likely to survive than one that didn't contain a scientific thinker.
Writing would ssem to be an obvious hurdle to bridge this gap an literacy and exchnage of thoughts on a larger communal level would also suggets this (not to mention in regard to linguistics and semantics how this would allow people to more directly, and literally, view language itself apart from is daiky usage and as a subject matter unto itself, as a theoretcical pursuit).
It would - eventually. But for the first 5000 years, it was limited to a quite small segment of any population and didn't come anywhere close to including the whole nation, let alone the whole species. It still doesn't.
What it did do was preserve knowledge for later people to build on. The other important thing it did was liberate a lot of brain-capacity: you no longer had to memorize all the pre-existing facts of your subject, which left you free to think new thoughts. That's the biggie.