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why is proof an insufficient narrative form?

The question is what moves/motivates us ?

The strongest drivers of our behaviour are emotional/affective, even if they can be channelled or oriented by rationality.

If I am a progressive, it's not because I have made a long comparative study between right-wing and left-wing narratives and decided the second ones performed better! This came afterwards. I am a progressive because I place some values like justice and equality above others and because I am moved by the obscene level of injustice of the society in which we live.

Any proof or demonstration only makes sense within a certain set of values.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 06:54:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And all this general narrative comes in a culture where emotions and affectios are given spetial roles. Otherwise you dcould not even think that way.

For example we do not adscribe feelings with state of movements.. or states of objectsa s other people do... or consider humans to be "all  bout emotions".

We also have a strong mythology about humans being necessarily affective which makes by the way any scientific analysis of emotions almost impossible to carry on given the strong cutlrual baggage stating that all emotions are universal..even when they evidently are not.

So I could not agree more with you. It is within a framework about emotions.. and with a way of looking at the world.. and understanding injustice that we are left-wing... and it is this narrative and explanation that drives us... And I am personally proud of it.

Demonstration comes later on.. and absolutely.. and only becasue we value proof if we adquired and assmilated the "scientific imagianry" (which by the way it is clearly not universal in western societies sicne you can live perfectly without understanding science as a mere status generator).

Dead on.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 07:09:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I said "within a certain set of values", I should have said: within a certain set of definitions, values, rules, methods, scales, visions and stories... in other words within a certain paradigm.  

As Thomas S.Kuhn and Edgar Morin pointed it, the only way to make people think/behave in a new narrative/paradigm is to seduce them into adopting it. So, the key word is seduction...


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 07:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The values are, er, rationalised rationally. You're quite right they're not caused by narratives - or reason.

But people still persist in trying to persuade others using pseudo-rational narratives. And sometimes they even succeed.

I think values like justice and equality are already narrative statements. The emotional roots for the soft left probably come down to empathy, curiosity and inclusiveness.

The hard left seems more likely to be driven by jealousy, and a desire for revenge against parental figures.

The right seems to live on a dominance/submission axis, where the prize for dominance and 'success' is the right to live out your instincts with only minimal guilt.

(This is maybe one reason they prefer authoritarian values. They know how dangerous they are - they assume everyone else is just as dangerous and can't be trusted without external control.)

You can't map these root emotions into each other. Left and right narratives make no sense to other side, because they literally lack the emotional make-up that gives them a foundation.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 07:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't map these root emotions into each other. Left and right narratives make no sense to other side, because they literally lack the emotional make-up that gives them a foundation.

In T.S. Kuhn terms : incommensurability

Whereas I share most of your view, I beg to disagree on one essential issue: Apart from a (more or less) small number of fanatics, most of the people share share a certain set of basic human values, but they do not prioritise them in the same order. Example: for some people of the right, individual freedom is the highest value. It is also a value I share, but I don't put it above social justice.

That's the reason why (except for the fanatics), it is possible to discuss and make alliance with people from the right and even seduce them into a progressive narrative (see above).

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 08:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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