By Roy Harris
This e-book re-examines the outdated debate in regards to the dating among rationality and literacy. Does writing "restructure consciousness?" Do preliterate societies have a distinct "mind-set" from literate societies? Is cause "built in" to the way in which we predict? How is literacy relating to numeracy? Is the "logical shape" that Western philosophers realize whatever greater than an extrapolation from the constitution of the written sentence? Is good judgment, as built officially in Western schooling, intrinsically past the achieve of the preliterate brain? What mild, if any, do the findings of up to date neuroscience throw on such concerns? Roy Harris demanding situations the acquired mainstream opinion that cause is an intrinsic estate of the human brain, and argues that the full Western perception of rational inspiration, from Classical Greece right down to glossy symbolic common sense, is a derivative of how literacy built in eu cultures.
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Extra info for Rationality and the Literate Mind
C. Scott Littleton, in ‘Lucien Lévy-Bruhl and the concept of cognitive relativity’ (1985), observes that the most vocal opposition to Lévy-Bruhl’s contentions came from ‘cognitive relativists’ (where cognitive relativity is defined as ‘the notion that the logic we bring to bear in our descriptions of the world is not universal, but rather a function of our immediate technoenvironmental circumstances and our particular linguistic and ideological heritage, and that no one logic is superior to any other logic’).
Cassirer 1944:81) < previous page page_34 next page > < previous page page_35 next page > Page 35 So there is, after all, such a thing as ‘primitive thought’! And the more fully Cassirer describes it, the more it begins to sound as if it conformed to Lévy-Bruhl’s ‘law of participation’. If scientific thought wishes to describe and explain reality it is bound to use its general method, which is that of classification and systematization. Life is divided into separate provinces that are sharply distinguished from each other.
They also claim to be able to distinguish a ‘strong’ and a ‘weak’ sense of ‘rationality’ (Jarvie and Agassi 1970:173). e. e. definition of words). This is a familiar scriptist confusion in the Western tradition, and dates back to Aristotle (Robinson 1954:149–92). In its modern versions, it is compounded by the existence of dictionaries which purport to be able to ‘define’ all the words they list. What emerges from all this is that the debate about the primitive mind became less concerned with elucidating the characteristics of the primitive mind than with defending the use in anthropological publications of such terms as rational and logical .