We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We are witnessing the second great era of speech repression in academia, the first coming during the “culture wars” of the late 1980s and early ’90s. One force behind the new wave is a theory of truth, or a picture of reality, developed the first time around. This theory, which we might call “linguistic constructivism,” holds that we don’t merely describe or represent the world in language; language creates the world and ourselves. A favorite slogan of our moment, “Words have power,” reflects that view.
Yes, it is interesting. I remember dorm room bull sessions, often pot-smoke- filled, on such topics. Also, beer cans, pizza boxes, Haagen Dasz. Very difficult to separate the social construction of reality from propaganda.
Anyway, this is all kid stuff. Reality is when you stub your toe on a rock and enlightenment occurs.
The post modernists believe reality is just a social construction. You can change reality by changing the words. For instance, if you call a slum a ghetto, that changes the reality. The slum is no longer a slum.
This is nothing but the homeopathy (magic words) discussed in Tylor's Primative Culture back in 1871 - "primitive man, having come to associate in thought those things which he found by experience to be connected in fact, proceeded erroneously to invert this action...."
Except from the moment when the human voice produces sounds in an ordered sequence to create abstract meaning through speech (or, by extension, represents this meaning in written form), all linguistics is merely theory.
then shouldn't you be able to end racism and oppression by refusing to utter the words?
Another guy named Dan
I recall the 2am conclusion of a freshman bull session, when one Deep Thinker summed up that we really had no solid basis for believing in any reality. The offensive linesman smirked "But you still have to go piss, don't you?"
Hard to argue with that, really.
Assistant Village Idiot