?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Posted as a comment to Ozarque's Journal

Original thread: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ozarque/189530.html

ozarque asked, "Do they, in actual fact, think in different ways? Do they, in actual fact, perceive the world differently?"

I'm reminded of two books that I read a few years back which made a strong impression on me. Both books address the idea that phonetic alphabets change the way humans experience, think about, and interact with the world. The first, The Spell of the Sensuous : Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram describes the ways in which attending exclusively to the denotative meanings of words takes us out of the animistic mindset of the non-literate aboriginal peoples of the world which imbues the landscape with non-human intelligences. Here's a brief excerpt:
And indeed, it is only when a culture shifts its participation to these printed letters that the stones fall silent. Only as our senses transfer their animating magic to the written word do the trees become mute, the other animals dumb.


More quotations from David Abram:

http://www.c-realm.com/totd/search_s.cgi?query=Abram


The second book, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess : The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain details the notion that the shift from image to abstract alphabetic characters leads to violent intolerance of the feminine and so initiates the shift from so-called partnership societies to so-called dominator societies. Neither book descends into the sort of wholesale Western-civ bashing that this topic seems to invite.

Here is a link to a 1998 NPR interview with Dr. Shlain:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1000139

Leonard Shlain quotes:

http://www.c-realm.com/totd/search_s.cgi?query=shlain

Latest Month

August 2017
S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Ideacodes