valkyr at att.net
Thu Dec 27 23:37:28 PST 2012
"So far as I know, philosophy, and, intellectual history, has done little with orality studies. Philosophy and all the sciences and 'arts' (analytic studies, such as _Art of Rhetoric_) depend for their existence on writing, which is to say they are produced not by the unaided human mind but by the mind making use of a technology that has been deeply interiorized, incorporated into mental processes themselves. The mind interacts with the material world around it more profoundly and creatively than has hitherto been thought. Philosophy, it seems, should be reflectively aware of itself as a technological product --- which is to say a special kind of very human product. Logic itself emerges from the technology of writing.
"Analytic explicatory thought has grown out of the oral wisdom only gradually, and perhaps is still divesting itself of oral residue as we accommodate our conceptualizations to the computer age. Haveloch (1978a) has shown how a concept such as Platonic justice develops under the influence of writing out of archaic evaluation accounts of human operations (oral 'situational thinking') innocent of the concept of 'justice' as such. Further comparative --- literacy studies would be illuminating in philosophy.
"In sum, if philosophy is reflective about its own nature, what is it to make of the fact that philosophical thinking cannot be carried on by the unaided human mind but only by the human mind that has familiarized itself with and deeply interiorized the technology of writing? What does this precisely intellectual need for technology have to say about the relationship of consciousness to the external universe? ..."
(Ong, Walter J., 'Orality and Literacy', pp. 169-170)
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