notes:culture, assumptions, epistemology
–From Cultivate as in agriculture
–Complex relation with “Nature” (itself a highly cultural idea)
the study of how we know what we know
(may put the “we” into question)
•Do our stories make make sense of the world?
•Or do they make a world that makes sense?
(for some people)
•POINT OF VIEW
•WHERE YOU SEE FROM MAY CHANGE WHAT YOU SEE
•WHEN YOU SEE FROM A DIFFERENT POINT YOU MAY CHANGE
Induction - bringing together of separate facts or instances to prove a general statement (also produces
change or response in organism)
Deduction - reason out or conclude from known facts or general principles
Assumption One : that which is taken for granted, the unconscious, unexamined prerequisite for those
identities that appear self-evident, default mode, what goes without saying, “The Rules” (‘culture’)
What happens when you Ass-U-Me?
Yet who (and where) you are is always where you start
Assumption Two false pretenses, an assumed identity is one that is not true, sometimes taken on for
(one day you may wake up to realize a lot of what you thought was true is not)
Assumption Three to take on an identity, to become, as in the ecstatic Virgin Mary's assumption to
heaven, ensconced in her true, eternal identity. Judith Butler says, "Subjection is.
..a power assumed by
the subject, an assumption that constitutes the instrument of that subject's becoming.”
(The Anthropologist Changes)
Some Takes on “Culture”
•Culture is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any
other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society" (Edward B. Tylor, 1871)
•Traits of civilization are property, kings, and firearms. "the idea of property was slowly formed in the
human mind, remaining nascent and feeble thru immense periods of time.
..Its dominance as a passion
over all other passions marks the commencement of civilization."
Lewis Henry Morgan 1877
•“Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun”