Re: "Reality"

Mancuso, James C. (
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 11:49:20 -0500

John, and other following the "reality" thread:

Your first post (Dec 14, 1996) contains several points which constantly
befuddle us when we try to talk about whatever construction is labelled
by the signifier REALITY.

Your point about adaptation and survival suggests an underlying claim
that survival of the human species somehow represents the survival of
the "fittest," species -- which relates to your point about a "better"
set of knowledge claims. If we allow the assumption that humans are
"the best" product of nature, it would seem to follow that humans have a
"better" system of construing what is "real" otherwise we would not have
survived (!!!) to become the "best" species around.
I REALLY think that the piece by Chiari and Nuzzo, in vol 9, (pp.
163ff) deserves careful study. The do a terrific job of explicating von
Glasersfeld's distinctions between "fittingest" and "best." If I
recall, von Glasersfeld makes his point by suggesting that the single
celled organisms might stand as the "fittest" creatures around --
because they have constantly survived!!! They may be considered the
"fittest" species around -- that is, the "fittingest." They REALLY
Why not think of a construction in the same way -- not "fittest"
meaning "best," but "fittingest?"
Once I have convinced myself that we can neatly discuss construcions in
terms of "fittingest," I have found it much easier to avoid discussion
of "real." I am satisfied if we discuss "fittest" constructons, and I
spend little time on the matter of "real," except when someone asks me
to concern myself with this intimidating, distracting, confusing,
useless construction which has been hung on us by those who want to
decide who should be the philosopher kings, etc.

I look forward to hearing from others who might have a different slant
on this!!!

Jim Mancuso