Re: Asimov, consciousness etc.

(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 17 Oct 1995 20:48:02 -0400 (EDT)


Your soul-baring message did come across the etherwaves!

Some observations -- not quite as heady as yours.
Whether or not you realized it, you were stimulated by one of the
keenest agitators I have encountered. We must nominate Harry Oxley for some
kind of prize. The ability to prompt one to become very serious by egging
him/her on by advising against taking one's self seriously deserves some kind
of special recognition.
Then, we should occassionaly take the time to consider what we are
doing when we engage in these heady exercises. What is the personal worth of
all of this????

Has anyone out there ever read the great social science work, THE POLIS
PEASANT IN EUROPE AND AMERICA? Those who haven't read it should take the time
to search it out, in your local library, and -- at least -- hold it in your
hand. The work was published in 1919 -- and my reading of it allowed me to
conclude that its authors -- Thomas and Znaniecki -- worked from a
constructivist position -- the self identity of the Polish peasant, how he/she
maintained it, etc.
I knew a man who had been a student of Znaniecki. He told me of
Znaniecki having taken an opportunity to explain his view of his identity as a
scholar. Nothing earth shaking, but very clear. He indicated that his life as
a scholar had been gratifying if for no other reason than that he could see his
self as one link in the chain of the great tradition of thinking about
important issues.
I guess that the point of it is: Each of us needs to spend a bit of
time thinking about, and offering open declarations of why we have taken on
this identity?

Jim Mancuso