Applied Philosophy

Saturday, 25 May 2002


i know why i like an­thro­pol­o­gy so much. i think i have fi­nal­ly un­der­stood the holism of an­thro­pol­o­gy. an­thro­pol­o­gy is ap­plied phi­los­o­phy. i’ve read so many things that de­scribe types of be­hav­ior and dis­cus­sions of what de­fines re­al­i­ty, etc that seem to­tal­ly un­aware that an­thro­pol­o­gists deal with these con­cepts as a mat­ter of course, not on­ly meta­phys­i­cal, but doc­u­ment­ed and ob­served in a va­ri­ety of cul­tures. i was dis­cussing with Hani the oth­er day about con­cep­tions of re­al­i­ty and this man named Rorty says every­one has their own re­al­i­ty, some­thing sim­i­lar is posit­ed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. i heard/​read these things and thought…of course! the re­al­i­ty i know is struc­tured from the so­ci­ety and mythos i am sur­round­ed by. my re­la­tion­ship as sub­ject to ob­ject, “Quality” in the book, is de­ter­mined by the as­so­ci­a­tions learned and ex­pe­ri­enced by ex­is­tence. those who are termed ‘in­sane’ are those whose learn­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence have formed ana­logues that are sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent from the so­ci­etal norm. their re­al­i­ty is not invalid…just dif­fer­ent. the con­flict aris­es be­cause the re­al­i­ties can­not co­ex­ist and re­main in har­mo­ny.

af­ter that di­gres­sion i will at­tempt to be suc­cinct.

i think when­ev­er a new philo­soph­i­cal ar­gu­ment aris­es, the per­son who comes up with it should head to their lo­cal an­thro­pol­o­gist to find out if there is doc­u­men­ta­tion of the be­lief sys­tem in the re­al­ly re­al world.

chances are there is.

the more i shuf­fle my an­thro­po­log­i­cal knowl­edge and sup­ple­ment it with oth­er forms, the more i un­der­stand what the hell hu­mans are.