March 1 part 1

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1 Apr 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Prof. MacDonald
Aliens in nature
key: the notion of alienation
technical term in psychology and sociology: the notion of separation
in psych it explains deviant behaviour
not being bound by ethical bonds
able to dominate the environment b/c they do not have those same kinds of ethical connections w/it
environment defined as that which lies outside the self
for the individual human being environment is everything else outside the body (what lies outside)
there are other forms of alienation (men to women, etc)
Todays thesis: the notion of power as the notion of separation
the two revolutions
nomadic revolution: for the 1st time began to stay in one place and use agriculture
2nd revolution: everything else since the industrial revolution
the argument is that in the 1st revolution they were not alienated from nature, but from each other. They
lived with no need to dominate
warning note: the notion of an idealized past. There was no racism, class domination or environmental
the caution: life expectancy was short; a brutal existence
there is not a lot of information of that time. We have data but it is incomplete vs. the type of data
we have today
we all have a tendency to romanticize the past: the notion that everything was perfect and we did
something to fall from grace
one of the symptoms of psychological anomaly: the present is so dire that we can only live in our
minds, in the past
of value for prof: the notion that power, in terms of human relationships, did not always exist
idea (treat w/skepticism) that human power did not exist, its not innate in humans.
the kind of power we are seeing today (the power of class: which allows a group to control society for
their own benefits) came into existence - it is a cause b/c it is something new
Defining the concept of power
we must talk about anthropocentrism as an idea with causal force
human power is something which exists and exerts causal force. It is distinct from the notion of an idea
power in the non-human world: inanimate vs animate
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