Saturday, July 12, 2014

533: A final conclusion

Maybe you didn’t realize, but since May 2013 we have spend all our time on non-Western philosophy. We began with Chinese  philosophy, Yi Ching, Confucianism, Daoism. Buddhism.

The next step was Indian philosophy followed by Islamic philosophy. We then moved to Japan and finally we tried to get in touch with American Indian thinking before Columbus interfered.

The reason for our philosophical journey was among other things, that our philosophy is said to be ethnocentric, ignoring all kinds of non-western wisdom and insights.

The question is, if this is a justified point of view. In the first place, when we look at non-Western philosophy we often get into the position, that we have to ask: is this religion or philosophy?

We often use the term “philosophy" in one familiar nontechnical sense, that is, standing for a complete worldview that could be regarded as providing a fully coherent explanation of everything. 

It may be objected, however, that the existence of such a worldview is not in itself evidence for the existence of philosophy in a more technical sense of that term. 

Philosophy in this latter sense only occurs when we begin to reflect critically upon the traditional explanatory worldview: 

when, for instance, we begin to ask questions about precisely what is explained, how the proffered explanation works, and whether it is superior to rival explanatory candidates. 

The development of Western philosophy is associated with the growth of such a tradition of critical reflection. Arguably, the Indian and Chinese traditions too developed comparable critical traditions of thought to some extend.

If this critical mass is not there, we are primarily dealing with  unquestioned believes, which is the characteristic feature of religion.

In religion believes are not questioned, but explained. Islamic thinking is an extreme example of this: since 632 the Quran is not questioned, in the sense that there might be a better worldview than proposed in that book. It is only explained by imams.

One could question this point of view of course by claiming that here again I approach the problem from a Western dichotomy: philosophy - religion.

But that brings us to my next problem: we have Western and non-Western philosophy. Does it make sense to make that difference?

My answer is: yes, definitely. As I said before, philosophy becomes only real when we begin to question the obvious, when we overtake our believes and go for the new horizon.

And that characteristic is missing in the non-Western philosophies, which we have studied. There is, however, a common ground: ethics. All world views are concerned about good and evil, about the meaning of life.

But they almost all lack that specific feature, which you find in Western philosophy: the fundamentally questioning of all believes and discarding them for other believes, which explain reality in a more complete way.

I mean, what is missing in so many non-Western philosophies is this insatiable pursuit of knowledge, this never ending endeavor to fathom reality until the last elusive higgs particle.

It is this attitude, that has created science and has shaped the face of this earth. I don’t judge here, whether is is right or wrong, good or bad, it is just an observable fact.

All non-Western cultures and their philosophies are forced to coop with it. Most extreme example is the Islamic world, where due to this development, the leading elite of imams is loosing their grip on society.

Then they organize, as an extreme example, a terrorist group with the name “Boko haran”, which seems to mean something like “Western education is sin”.

I leave the book open on your desk, with the list of questions about what to think of Western and non-Western philosophy.

This has been a fruitful and rather exciting year, due to my close encounter with eternity. But it is time to pamper ourselves with a well deserved summer break.

I thank you all for your enthusiasm and participation. In stead of spending hours on studying my literature, I spent hours on making a present for you, which may help you not to forget the Philosophy Class.

Thank you.. ^_^ I’ll be back with a new project in September

The Discussion
[13:16] Daruma Hermine Boa: thank u herman!!!
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:16] herman Bergson: RODNEY ! :-))
[13:16] Bejiita Imako: been great indeed Herman
[13:16] Daruma Hermine Boa: september??##
[13:16] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman..:)
[13:16] Zanicia: We thank you Herman
[13:17] Lizzy Pleides: Thanks a lot Herman!
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:  \o/
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:    ||   Hoooo!
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:   / \
[13:17] Paolo Rousselot: indeed we do
[13:17] herman Bergson: YEs September first or whatever the first Tuesday is in September:-)
[13:17] Paolo Rousselot: you've left everyone with much to ponder - thank you!
[13:17] Alaya Chépaspourquoi: oh its your holliday time, well, take good care of yurself, rest, and have fun, thanks for everything!!!!
[13:17] Daruma Hermine Boa: so long? its may now^^^
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:18] herman Bergsonherman Bergson smiles
[13:18] .: Beertje :.: some people have loooooong vacations
[13:18] Lizzy Pleides: 4. September is the first Thursday
[13:18] Bejiita Imako:
[13:18] herman Bergson: THAT is the privilege of being the boss here Daruma :-)
[13:18] Chantal:
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: heheh
[13:18] Daruma Hermine Boa: ah ha^^
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:18] .: Beertje :.: we have a long vacation too....
[13:18] herman Bergson: And I don’t want to begin a new project and stop after a few lectures
[13:18] Daruma Hermine Boa: sure. understand
[13:19] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje....I do this mainly because I care a lot about you of course :-)
[13:19] .: Beertje :.: omg...
[13:19] Chantal: hehehehhe
[13:19] .: Beertje :.: hahahahah
[13:19] Bejiita Imako:
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone whispers: :)))
[13:19] Lizzy Pleides: you could hold this lecture another time , ... we would come!
[13:19] Paolo Rousselot: ah shucks Beertje - he *likes* you!
[13:19] herman Bergson: This already was the second time Lizzy.....
[13:20] Lizzy Pleides: I know herman
[13:20] herman Bergson: and it contains the seed for my new project
[13:20] .: Beertje :.: i'm afrais so Paolo
[13:20] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot chuckles...
[13:20] Bejiita Imako:
[13:20] herman Bergson: you can be read as plural too Paolo :-)
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: always good to leave a few seeds about
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: yes sir - just poking fun
[13:21] herman Bergson: Next project will be about the philosophy of science....
[13:21] Daruma Hermine Boa: cool
[13:21] Zanicia: Good
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: yay
[13:21] Lizzy Pleides: Hi Rod
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: over *my* head already!
[13:21] herman Bergson: But nevertheless you are right about Beertje and me Paolo ^_^
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: aaa sounds great
[13:21] Rodney Handrick: Hi Lizzy
[13:21] .: Beertje :.: shhhh
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ill catch a higgs boson for you when u get back
[13:22] Bejiita Imako:
[13:22] herman Bergson: Well....when you got the message of this lecture.....
[13:22] herman Bergson: what fascinates me is the question : WHY did European philosophy so fanatically pursue KNOWLEDGE
[13:23] herman Bergson: Plz do Bejiita
[13:23] Bejiita Imako:
[13:23] herman Bergson: I don’t know how you look at it.....
[13:23] herman Bergson: but almost ALL science is the product of Western thinking
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: interesting indeed the difference between our philosophy and non western
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: some difference indeed
[13:24] herman Bergson: Whether it is right or shapes this earth
[13:24] .: Beertje :.: maybe to free us from the medieval thinking
[13:24] herman Bergson: Teh Chinese send a rocket to the moon using American science
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: yes, was nothing they developed by their own at all
[13:25] herman Bergson: And that amazes me...makes me wonder......
[13:25] herman Bergson: Why that drive in those Greeks begin with
[13:25] Chantal:
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: already the old greeks
[13:25] herman Bergson: They had religion too...even amny gods....
[13:25] herman Bergson: But yet Aristotle already overtook them :-)
[13:26] Chantal: Body and mind... ancient Greek speciality
[13:26] herman Bergson: you may notice....there is already a new fire burning:-)
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: obviously the western economy dominates the whole world
[13:26] Bejiita Imako:
[13:26] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:26] Chantal: Looks forward
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: yes,will be nice
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: true lizzy
[13:27] herman Bergson: Well Lizzy....this economy issue is indeed another chapter.....but yet is "us' who do it
[13:28] herman Bergson: and we are not in a position to be proud of that, I would say
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: yes herman
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: hmm its a bit out of control for sure
[13:28] herman Bergson: you could say that, Bejiita ^_^
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: a few that wants everything sort of
[13:29] herman Bergson: But I spent already two projects on that subject :-)
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: leaving nothing to the rest of us
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: ah, was also a big project
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:30] herman Bergson: SO, I guess you all need a good vacation first :-)
[13:30] Lizzy Pleides: Ayn Rand ... our best friend, lol
[13:30] Gemma Allen: OMG!!!
[13:30] Gemma Allen: omg
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: NOT!
[13:30] herman Bergson: Lizzy ! :-))
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hehee
[13:30] Chantal: Thank you Herman
[13:30] Lizzy Pleides: hahaha
[13:30] Gemma Allen: the last name we need to hear before summer
[13:30] BoaDaruma Hermine Boa claps
[13:30] Chantal: Enjoy everyone
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hahaha true
[13:30] .: Beertje :.: true
[13:30] Daruma Hermine Boa: have a greta summer herman
[13:30] Gemma Allen: hopes everyone will enjoy the vacation
[13:31] Daruma Hermine Boa: great
[13:31] herman Bergson: see...I taught Lizzy to curse :-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: loool
[13:31] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot laughs
[13:31] Zanicia: hehe
[13:31] Gemma Allen: hopes to see all at the sl11b
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes that will be fun
[13:31] Bejiita Imako:
[13:31] Gemma Allen: I am sure Herman will send out a notice about this lectures there
[13:31] herman Bergson: Ahh yes....24 and 26 juni I give presentations
[13:31] Gemma Allen: before time
[13:31] Gemma Allen: wht time
[13:31] Gemma Allen: please
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes I will, Gemma
[13:31] Lizzy Pleides: you are a good teacher in that herman
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: Herman, enjoy your well deserved break and thanks again!
[13:32] Zanicia: Ditto
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: yes have a nice rest now Herman
[[13:32] Bejiita Imako: Herman
[13:32] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] .: Beertje :.: what kindof presentations Herman?
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: yes - enjoy herman and everyone
[13:32] herman Bergson: Thank you all again....without your participation the class would not exist
[13:32] Gemma Allen: and we should all wear the philosophy shirts
[13:32] Gemma Allen: hopes the time will be good for us all
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: thank you herman, have a wonderful vacation!
[[13:32] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] Philosophy Class t-shirts closed: T-shirts closed at Wainscot has just been used by Gemma Cleanslate!
[[13:32] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:32] herman Bergson: same time as my usual lecture Gemma....1PM SL-time
[13:33] Gemma Allen: oh great
[13:33] Gemma Allen: good time!!
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:33] herman Bergson: Thank you all again...:-)
[13:33] Gemma Allen: ty\
[13:33] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:33] Gemma Allen: was a good year
[13:33] Daruma Hermine Boa: bye bye until september the latest
[13:33] herman Bergson: thank you Gemma
[13:34] Gemma Allen: see you in between i hope
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: cu then
[13:34] Zanicia: Vye bye everyone until then
[13:34] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:34] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: happyvaccation all
[13:34] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:34] .: Beertje :.: have a nice vacation on Schier to begin with:)
[13:34] Bejiita Imako:
[[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: enjoy everyone
[13:34] Mikki Louise: bye Herman, take care.
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:35] Rodney Handrick: Bye everyone
[13:35] herman Bergson: Bye everyone :-)
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: hugs all
[13:35] Bejiita Imako:
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: and higgs
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:35] herman Bergson: But I'll be around these months....
[13:36] .: Beertje :.: bye for now:)))
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:36] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje :-)
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: bye Beertje
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: beertje
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: night everybody!

[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ok gtg cu all

532: Confronting views....

When we put both world views, the European and the American Indian, next to each other, you hardly can believe that it is the result of the same intellectual abilities.

We always are confronted with the question of WHY did thinking develop in that direction and not in another direction.

On the one hand we could say, that it is the context homo sapiens lived in, that guided his thoughts and when we look at Indian thinking, this might be easy to accept as an explanation.

But when we look at European thinking it becomes more enigmatic and yet it is not a question about right and wrong ways of thinking. It just happened.

The European style of thought was set by the Greeks of classical antiquity. Whatever else it may have come to be, modern science is a continuation and extrapolation of certain concepts originating with the Greeks of the sixth, fifth, and fourth centuries B.C. 

Salient among the originally Greek notions of nature to find its way into modern science is the atomic theory of matter. 

The ancient atomists imagined all material things to be composed of indestructible and internally changeless particles, of which they supposed there were infinitely many.

That the order of nature can be successfully disclosed only by means of a quantitative description is an idea that also originated in sixth-century B.C. Greece and is attributed to Pythagoras.

Then add to this that Descartes separated our mind and soul from the material world and our physical bodies, which were only a kind of machinery,

combine this with the idea from Genesis in which it is said that God created man in his own image to have dominion over nature and to subdue it

and you’ll understand how science could develop and how we can exploit the earth as we do, based on the sacrosanct believe that only economic growth can be our god.

How completely alien is this world view to the American Indians. From their perspective European thinking could just as well have come from another planet.

The Ojibwa, the Sioux, and, if we may safely generalize, most American Indians lived in a world that was peopled not only by human persons but by persons and personalities associated with a natural phenomena. 

In one's practical dealings in such a world it is necessary to one's well-being and that of one's family and tribe to maintain good social relations,

not only with proximate human persons, one's immediate tribal neighbors, but also with the nonhuman persons abounding in the immediate environment.

 The earth, the sky, the winds, rocks, streams, trees, insects, birds, and all other animals therefore had personalities and were thus as fully persons as human beings were. 

In dreams and visions the spirits of things were directly encountered and could become powerful allies to the dreamer or visionary. 

We may therefore say that the Indians' social circle, their community, included all the nonhuman natural entities in their locales as well as their fellow clan and tribe members.

While the American Indian experienced life as living in one big family, tribe as well as evironement where bonds of kinship, mutuality, and reciprocity were guiding principles,

the European homo sapiens had become a kind of spectator and user of a material world, in which he is a kind of alien, which we now call a consumer.

While the concept of “eco-system” was implicitly present in the world view of the American Indian, the post Darwinian Western individual had to rediscover this concept ,

that he is part of nature and that, when he ignores this basic fact, he is destroying his own world. 

That we were created to have dominion over nature and to subdue it, has proven to be a rather destructive belief, but the jesuits unfortunately never listened to the “savages”.

The Discussion

[13:17] herman Bergson: Thank you... ^_^
[13:17] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you herman
[13:18] Bejiita Imako:
[13:18] herman Bergson: If you like...the floor is yours....
[13:18] herman Bergson: What to think about this antagonism between such world views?
[13:18] Lizzy Pleides: there were many tribes in America, did they all have a similar philosophy?
[13:19] Gemma Allen: mostly they do
[13:19] Gemma Allen: tho some war against others over hunting rights etc
[13:19] herman Bergson: IT is hard to put it that way LIzzy.....but in general they lived close to nature yes....
[13:19] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:19] herman Bergson: and they had animistic believes
[13:19] Paolo Rousselot: similar viws Lizzy yes
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: *views
[13:20] herman Bergson: As I said in the fist lecture about this is hard to talk about ONE Indian belief system.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: But nature is a common ground for all of them I guess
[13:21] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:21] herman Bergson: And it is interesting to note how we lost contact with nature in such an early state already
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: indeed
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: today we just want a new iphone every half year
[13:22] herman Bergson: I mean...why had those Greek to think about matter as atoms....who told them that? :-)
[13:22] herman Bergson: How do you get such an their situation?
[13:22] Paolo Rousselot: great question!
[13:22] Gemma Allen: no clue
[13:22] herman Bergson: I really don’t know....
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: hmm already the old greeks you use to say
[13:23] Bejiita Imako:
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: and atom means indivisible in greek
[13:23] herman Bergson: but a fact is that we now live with nuclear physics...which confirm that weird Greek intuition it seems
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:23] Paolo Rousselot: or insight
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: nuclear reactors and particle accelerators as well as natural decay have shown that atoms are not undivideable at all
[13:24] herman Bergson: it was an insight Paolo, yes....but how they got it????
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: but they are the smallest basic parts of an element
[13:24] Areyn Laurasia: did the old Greeks have optics then?
[13:24] Paolo Rousselot: important point usually not seen
[13:24] herman Bergson: No Areyn....
[13:24] JB Hancroft: There are a lot of experiences that people have - modern or tribal - that are not based in science that can be rationally explained.
[13:25] herman Bergson: optics were rudimentary developed in the middle ages and refined in the 16 century
[13:25] herman Bergson: Can you give an example JB?
[13:25] Paolo Rousselot: original people had a much more holistic way of looking at life - perhaps because they lived closer to it?
[13:26] JB Hancroft: Well, I was thinking of things such as telepathy and other "ESP" experiences.
[13:26] JB Hancroft: Science might not be able to fit them into a rational structure or framework... but it doesn't invalidate the experience that people have.
[13:26] herman Bergson: There is a lot of experimenting in that area indeed, but not yet conclusive.....
[13:26] Paolo Rousselot: agreed JB
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: Indeed JB...our paradigms may be incomplete or misleading even to see things in a different way
[13:27] JB Hancroft: *nods* exactly
[13:27] Gemma Allen: true
[13:28] JB Hancroft: so... to think of some "ancient" civilization as if they were not able to access what we "moderns" can... is usually to deny them the possibility that they were perceptive in other-than-scientific ways
[13:28] Paolo Rousselot: and so how that translates to perceptions of the material (spiritual?) world...?
[13:28] JB Hancroft: just a thought :)
[13:29] herman Bergson: I am puzzled by a related thought......
[13:29] Areyn Laurasia: interesting..
[13:29] herman Bergson: take the development of knowledge in European thinking.....
[13:30] Paolo Rousselot: personally I *think* our individual and collective consciousness is getting more fragmented all the time thus removing us from the ability to see precisely what JB illustrated
[13:30] herman Bergson: Put this next to the kind of holistic world view of the American indians.....what knowledge is expected to develop there?
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well we should be careful not to become too esoteric here ^_^
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: going not so far off base as it might appear - collective typology
[13:31] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: but still you ask the question
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: what if the answer is entirely held in esoteric realms?
[13:31] herman Bergson: How would knowledge have developed from the Indian world view?
[13:32] Areyn Laurasia: what good is any knowledge if it can't save them in the end?
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: INFP vs. ESTJ
[13:32] herman Bergson: the Meyer test Paolo?
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: yes
[13:32] herman Bergson: or what is it called
[13:32] Areyn Laurasia: Myers Briggs test :)
[13:32] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:32] Gemma Allen: lol
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: look at the cultural traits with those references
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes that is the correct name...thnx Areyn :-))
[13:33] Areyn Laurasia: you're welcome
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: Germanic is very J & S
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: Native American is thoroughly NF
[13:33] herman Bergson: who is J&S Paolo?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: hmm some sort of personality test it seems
[13:34] herman Bergson: It is Bejiita :-))
[13:34] Paolo Rousselot: J= judgers - S = Sensate
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: looks interesting
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: seems one of the most widely used too
[13:34] Paolo Rousselot: both physical, grounded, able to pay attention only to laws & rules
[13:34] Areyn Laurasia: would be similar to the American Indians animal totem symbolism?
[13:34] Lizzy Pleides: what i understood is that in general the American tribes were more empirical , i think the people of early days in the rest of the world have been too
[13:34] JB Hancroft: interesting
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: NF = Intuitive & Feeling
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: thus more open to the mystical
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes fact it is the first stage of our encounter with nature and selfconsciousness.....we become animistic....
[13:35] herman Bergson: It even appears as a stage in the development of the child's brain.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: It goes through an animistic stage too.....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: But now we are stuck with all our science and thence our world view....
[13:37] herman Bergson: the one of the American Indians is completely lost
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: we dont believe until we see hard fact
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: at least some of us do
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: and most of us are not aware of it
[13:37] herman Bergson: Now we have environmentalists
[13:38] herman Bergson: The new Indians perhaps :-))
[13:38] JB Hancroft: well, that's a different kind of religion ;)
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: aaah
[13:38] Bejiita Imako:
[13:38] herman Bergsonherman Bergson grins at JB
[13:38] Paolo Rousselot: yes, - and scientists - headed toward the same goal
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: hehee
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: to find the higgs boson! lol
[13:38] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: God particle... religion in science?
[13:39] Lizzy Pleides: many of environmentalists are ideologists in another sense too too
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:39] herman Bergson: I have a feeling we are at an open end here....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes environmentalist with solar energy, with produced of solar panels etc etc etc....
[13:40] herman Bergson: Like the wind mill industry.....
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: so the apparent opposites are coming together
[13:40] Lizzy Pleides: yes and they want to make money with it
[13:40] Areyn Laurasia: link animals that flee when they sense an earthquake coming while humans are oblivious
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: because of our lack of appreciation of nature
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot smiles w/ Areyn
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Paolo....eventually the views have to come together.....
[13:41] herman Bergson: and not distorted by commercial longing for profits
[13:41] CONNIE Eichel whispers: I'm sorry, but I got to go... great class, kisses :)
[13:41] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:41] Gemma Allen: connie
[13:41] JB Hancroft: Have a wonderful day, Connie :)
[13:41] CONNIE Eichel whispers: bye :)
[13:41] Paolo Rousselot: the opposites have to agree to their mutual importance - not "either/or" but "both/and"
[13:41] herman Bergson: Bye CONNIE :-))
[13:42] CONNIE Eichel: ;)
[13:42] Paolo Rousselot: by Connie
[13:42] Lizzy Pleides: TC Connie
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: bye conie
[13:42] CONNIE Eichel: bye bye :)
[13:42] .: Beertje :.: i have to go too...have a goodnight and thank you Herman
[13:42] herman Bergson: I guess we wont solve all problems today :-)
[13:42] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:42] Gemma Allen: beertje
[13:42] Areyn Laurasia: :)
[13:42] Paolo Rousselot: later Beettje!
[13:42] herman Bergson: So I thank you all again for your participation....
[13:42] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:42] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje :-)
[13:42] .: Beertje :.: tot later:)
[13:42] Areyn Laurasia: Thanks again for all the insights
[13:43] JB Hancroft: It's philosophy... meaning there is always full employment for considering the problems, right? ;)
[13:43] herman Bergson: Keep an open mind.....
[13:43] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: always
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:

[13:43] Gemma Allen: forever

531: American Indian Philosophy again...

Frank Gouldsmith Speck (1881-1950), the American anthropologist I mentioned in the previous lecture,  found his work was in part a "salvage operation" to try to capture ethnological material about the American Indians.

This is a difficult operation because there are no written sources from the Indians themselves. All is based on oral tradition.

Then In the first place, there is no one thing that can be called the American Indian belief system. The aboriginal peoples of the North American continent lived in environments quite different from one another and culturally adapted to these environments in quite different ways. 

For each tribe there were a cycle of myths and a set of ceremonies, and from these materials one might abstract for each a particular view of nature.

Secondly it may be easier for us to reconstruct the material life of American indians than the cognitive culture of the American Indians prior to their contacts with Europeans.

The American Indian’s philosophy is embedded in an oral tradition, which makes it quite vulnerable to changes through time.

Yet attempts have been made. In 2004 for instance Anne Waters (ed.) published “American Thought: Philosophical Essays.

As Anne Waters notes, her volume is the first published collection of essays on American Indian philosophy written by American Indians with PhDs in philosophy. As such, it is a landmark, a significant juncture in the continual evolution of Native intellectual life.

On the other hand we have the accounts of the North American "savages" by sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century Europeans.

They are, however, invariably distorted by ethnocentrism, which today appears so hopelessly benighted as to be more entertaining than illuminating. 

Because the Indians were no christians they had to be true servants of the devil and the spirits they talked about could come from no other place, according to Jesuit observers.

Yet the reconstruction doesn’t need to be a hopeless enterprise. The oral tradition and conceptual heritage still exists.

Among the best of these nostalgic memoirs is John G. Neihardt's classic, Black Elk Speaks, one of the most important and authentic sources available for the reconstruction of an American Indian attitude toward nature.

“… in the 1930s as the nation was roaring into a new form of industrialism a Nebraska poet named Neihardt traveled northward to the reservation of the Oglala Sioux in search of materials for his classic epic work on the history of the West. 

That their conversations and companionship should produce a religious classic, perhaps the only religious classic of this century, is a testimony indeed to the continuing strength of our species.

“Black Elk Speaks” was originally published in 1932, when people still believed that progress and the assembly line were identical 

and that the Depression was but a temporary interlude in an inevitable march toward the millennium.”, as Vine Deloria Jr. writes in the Foreword of the PDF on the Net.

Vine Victor Deloria, Jr. (March 26, 1933 – November 13, 2005) was an American Indian author, theologian, historian, and activist.

"When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, 'Ours.'"'  

For those of you who are interested in “Black Elk Speaks”, you can find the book at
It is really worth reading…nice homework….

The Discussion

[13:14] herman Bergson: Next lecture I'll present to you is about the contrasting world views of Indians and Europeans....Thank you
[13:14] herman Bergson: .
[13:14] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:15] Chantal: Thank you Herman
[13:15] Gemma Allen: it is a sad situation what has happened to nations here
[13:15] herman Bergson: yes.....
[13:15] Gemma Allen: we took their land which they traveled to live
[13:15] Chantal: cultures you mean Gemma?
[13:15] Gemma Allen: and left little to them
[13:15] Gemma Allen: both
[13:15] herman Bergson: Most painful is how whole cultures aere just wiped out
[13:16] Gemma Allen: their cuture tried to survive even now
[13:16] Gemma Allen: tries
[13:16] Gemma Allen: but is not easy
[13:16] Bejiita Imako: hmm hope it does
[13:16] Gemma Allen: either on the so called reservations we created for them
[13:16] Areyn Laurasia: smallpox wiped out a bit portion of the population..
[13:16] Kip Roffo: The tribes are trying to recruit members of ever-diminishing blood lines ...
[13:16] Gemma Allen: or off these reservations
[13:16] Areyn Laurasia: *big
[13:16] Chantal: really Kip
[13:17] Kip Roffo: Even my mostly Dutch and Irish blood ... is 1/16th Cherokee ...
[13:17] Gemma Allen: well i dont fault that disease problems were not known to either
[13:17] Kip Roffo: enough to qualify for tribal benefits!
[13:17] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:17] Gemma Allen: benefits
[13:17] Kip Roffo: Tho I'd feel like pretender ...
[13:17] Paolo Rousselot: me smiles w/ Kip
[13:17] Chantal:
[13:17] Gemma Allen: and when a group that can trace itself back tries to get recognition is very difficult
[13:17] herman Bergson: It isn’t the most beautiful part of history....:-(
[13:18] Gemma Allen: no is not
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: indeed not
[13:18] herman Bergson: and the main concept.....being part of nature was completely lost on the incoming europeans....
[13:18] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:18] Gemma Allen: oh
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: i guess these wars between natives and immigrants is what we call the wild west
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: that period
[13:18] Areyn Laurasia: do you speak cherokee?
[13:18] herman Bergson: ANd today with all kinds of environmental problems we begin to realize something
[13:18] Chantal: but look at it from a wider view... isn't this just evolution? thinks Neanderthals...
[13:18] Guestboook van tipjar stand: ZANICIA Chau donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:18] Gemma Allen: not really the wild west was really among the white men
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:19] Paolo Rousselot: no Chantal - afraid not
[13:19] Gemma Allen: who went looking for gold
[13:19] Gemma Allen: no these were not neanderthals or anything like it
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: when i think of it i mostly think about saloon fights gambling and duels
[13:19] herman Bergson: The indians didn’t care at all about gold
[13:19] Zanicia: no, Paolo?
[13:19] Chantal: I didn't mean that Gemma
[13:19] Gemma Allen: ah ok
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: i ve read too much lucky Luke i guess
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:20] Chantal: and Neanderthal was intelligent
[13:20] Kip Roffo: Now it's cool to have indian blood ... my earlier family used to think it akin to beastiality and a shameful secret
[13:20] Areyn Laurasia: smiles at Chantal :)
[13:20] Daruma Hermine Boa: rofl bejita
[13:20] Gemma Allen: the south american indians were great nations
[13:20] Gemma Allen: inca
[13:20] Paolo Rousselot: no - not when it was an orchestrated effort at the extinction of an entire race - that hopefully can *never* be called "evolution"
[13:20] Zanicia: good point
[13:20] Chantal: I didn't know that Paolo...
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: :-(
[13:21] herman Bergson: No this is not a matter of evolution, I would say....
[13:21] Gemma Allen: i am not sure that was a goal
[13:21] Gemma Allen: but it happened
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: I was privileged and honored to know Tatonka Ska, Fourht Kepper of Sitting Bull's Pipe
[13:21] Kip Roffo: *social* evolution? (what a horrible misuse of the word 'social')
[13:21] herman Bergson: While evolution has no goal the Europeans who came to America had.....MONEY
[13:21] Paolo Rousselot: *Fourth
[13:22] Kip Roffo: Paolo -- that is a special honor!
[13:22] Paolo Rousselot: Yes Kip
[13:22] Gemma Allen: and Europe's desire to convert all to christianity too
[13:22] Paolo Rousselot: he was a good friend and wonderful, gentle soul
[13:22] Gemma Allen: ah nice
[13:22] Chantal: :( Gemma horror from Europe
[13:22] Gemma Allen: thre are some nice Native american sites in sl
[13:22] Kip Roffo: So much wisdom is still kept and cherished and passed on ...
[13:22] herman Bergson: That pipe is described in "Black Elk Speaks"......
[13:23] Gemma Allen: where you can visit and learn
[13:23] herman Bergson: what it meant
[13:23] Paolo Rousselot: now even his Pipe, one of the few remaining, has nealry been lost to the wasichu - the white man
[13:23] Daruma Hermine Boa: °°
[13:23] herman Bergson: I guess they want it in a museum Paolo?
[13:23] Paolo Rousselot: and so it is with the Lakota culture
[13:24] Paolo Rousselot: no - his wasichu son has it
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: aaa ok
[13:24] Gemma Allen: the story telling culture is alive here too i think still
[13:24] Paolo Rousselot: and doesn't realize or honor it's tradition and value
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is a sad thing.....
[13:24] Chantal: :(
[13:24] Zanicia: what a shame
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: aaaw yes
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: sitting bull is a legend
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: very well known
[13:25] Paolo Rousselot: remember the young man in Dances with Wolves?
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:25] Paolo Rousselot: the one who found the diary in the river?
[13:25] herman Bergson: Read Black Elk about the pipe...he begins his story with describing its meaning
[13:25] Kip Roffo: Yes -- and gave it as a gift at the end ...
[13:25] .: Beertje :.: i already downloaded the book
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: me too
[13:25] Paolo Rousselot: Smiles a Lot was his name in the film
[13:25] Kip Roffo: Yes -- do you know him?
[13:25] Zanicia: lovely film...very moving
[13:26] Paolo Rousselot: the Pipe was intended for him - he now has a drug & alcohol treatment center in LA
[13:26] herman Bergson: Never saw the movie.....
[13:26] Gemma Allen: ah
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: aaa ok
[13:26] Zanicia: please do
[13:26] Kip Roffo: That's an interesting story, Paolo -- do you stay in touch?
[13:26] Gemma Allen: did not know that
[13:26] .: Beertje :.: ah you missed a wonderful movie herman
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: long since i did but have seen it
[13:26] Gemma Allen: you can find it
[13:27] Paolo Rousselot: no - once "Jim" passed much of the family tradition went with him
[13:27] Zanicia: Not like that ghastly Rashomon!!!!
[13:27] Paolo Rousselot: :-(
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: aaw
[13:28] Zanicia: Chalk & cheese, Herman. You see 'Dances with Wolves'!
[13:28] herman Bergson: Nice to have such knowledge here present
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: inded
[13:28] Bejiita Imako:
[13:28] Paolo Rousselot: but yes Herman, it is precisely their view of the natural world that we need now
[13:28] herman Bergson whispers: I will ZANICIA
[13:28] Gemma Allen: is a good one
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes indeed Paolo.....
[13:28] .: Beertje :.: true Paolo
[13:28] Kip Roffo: It's our (my) nation's original 'sin' ... that and slavery. Some things can never be undone ...
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:28] Gemma Allen: I have two native american friends in sl
[13:28] herman Bergson: When you contrast both world views......that really is something....
[13:29] Gemma Allen: on in chicago
[13:29] Paolo Rousselot: but we *can* apologize Kip
[13:29] Gemma Allen: one in western Washington
[13:29] herman Bergson: "ours" and "theirs"
[13:29] Zanicia: Kip and Paolo have made all this come alive!
[13:29] herman Bergson: Hello Qwark :-)
[13:29] Kip Roffo: Yes. Bill Clinton apologized ..
[13:29] Qwark Allen: Hey! hey
[13:29] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•   Helloooooo!  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜  
[13:29] Qwark Allen: :-)))
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: Qwarkieee
[13:29] Bejiita Imako:
[13:29] Daruma Hermine Boa: hey q
[13:29] Paolo Rousselot: Hi Qwark
[13:29] Kip Roffo: It may have helped some
[13:29] Zanicia: Hi there Q
[13:29] Gemma Allen: a bit late
[13:29] .: Beertje :.: hello Qwark
[13:29] Qwark Allen: omg nice to see you all
[13:29] Daruma Hermine Boa: lol
[13:29] herman Bergson: But the damage is already done.....:-(
[13:30] Daruma Hermine Boa: only a bit....
[13:30] Qwark Allen: taking the job of rodney!
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: unfortunately yes, since a long time
[13:30] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:30] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:30] Gemma Allen: OMG!!!
[13:30] Gemma Allen: omg
[13:30] Daruma Hermine Boa: rofl
[13:30] Gemma Allen: no
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:30] Gemma Allen: have not seen rodney in months
[13:30] Kip Roffo: Remorse only counts if it's backed up with changes of heart. I'm not so sure we wouldn't find some way of doing it all over again ...
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hmm indeed not me either
[13:30] Gemma Allen: used to pop in once in a while
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: when I first met these wonderful people I simply *had* to apologize
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: not that I or my ancestors played a role - they didn't
[13:31] Zanicia: aw
[13:31] Chantal: Loves you for that Paolo
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: but I am wasichu
[13:31] Chantal: :0 yes
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: and for that I still carry part of the responsibility
[13:32] Areyn Laurasia: a wasichu who values them
[13:32] Kip Roffo: Well, my 1/16th Cherokee blood tries to forgive the other 15/16ths :o>
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:32] Zanicia: Are we all? Is that the name from all Am Indians?
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: very much Areyn
[13:32] herman Bergson: must be a weird feeling....when you look at history and all what has happend and then face the people themselves
[13:32] Gemma Allen: only one of many tribes
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:32] Gemma Allen: is not a good one for sure
[13:33] Gemma Allen: but i go to powwows sometimes
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: but isn't that the template we need to be thinking of now?
[13:33] Gemma Allen: festivals held by tribes
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: with all the peoples of the world?
[13:33] herman Bergson: With respect to nature eventually the American Indians were right and the wasichu were wrong.....
[13:33] Gemma Allen: dances and costumes
[13:33] Gemma Allen: BEAUTIFUL!!
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: yes Herman
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: sh sounds nice Gemma
[13:34] Bejiita Imako:
[13:34] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:34] herman Bergson: and when we can get those dollar signs out of our eyes maybe all will see it
[13:34] Chantal: but isn't that just the american dream the nightmare of the rest of the world :)
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: afraid so Chantal
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: or all the oligarchs more likely
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes it is no longer the privilege of Americans anymore at present
[13:36] Chantal: so true
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well be for we become all too gloomy and pessimistic ...:-))
[13:36] Paolo Rousselot smiles
[13:36] herman Bergson: Let me than you all for your participation.....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: there is more in the world then money
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: a lot more
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: but some don’t realize that it seems
[13:37] herman Bergson: Next lecture we'll learn what the Indians can teach us still.....
[13:37] Gemma Allen: ah
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: aaa that can be something
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[[13:37] .: Beertje :.: that will be a lot i presume:)
[13:37] Gemma Allen: :-0
[13:37] Gemma Allen: :-)
[13:37] Kip Roffo: Thank you for a interesting session. Herman!
[13:37] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:37] Zanicia: Thank you Herman
[13:37] herman Bergson: My pleasure Kip......
[13:37] Chantal: Likes to thank all natives around the globe, and in this case especially the indians for appreciating and taking care of our planet! (positive enough? )
[13:38] Paolo Rousselot: good to see everyone and thanks Herman!
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: cu soon again all
[13:38] Daruma Hermine Boa: yes thank u
[13:38] Bejiita Imako:
[13:38] herman Bergson: Thank you Chantal....
[13:38] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:38] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: Thanks for all the insight.
[13:38] Kip Roffo: Very sweet parting thought, Chan!
[13:38] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: bye all
[13:38] Gemma Allen: hope to make it Thursday
[13:38] Chantal: Waves

[13:38] .: Beertje :.: bye all..have a goodnight