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I think you have to be taught not to accept narrative.

Narrative shorthand pseudo-explanations seem to be the default form of primate social signalling.

Going beyond that to deliberate reality-testing (even to some limited extent) seems to be an optional stage of development.

Effectively it's a meta-narrative ('question what you're told and what you believe') that fills the space that's usually filled up with default signalling.

It's also a question of how safe the surrounding environment is perceived to be. If surroundings are safe, mistakes and exploration are acceptable and you'd expect narrative systems to reflect that.

If the environment is threatening, mistakes are potentially fatal, and narratives are more likely to converge on much simpler ideas of right and wrong.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 05:46:27 PM EST
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