DOUBTING THE ANCIENTS MADE MODERN MISTAKES

John Perkins.

The categorical splitting between masculine/feminine; head/heart; thinking/feeling; (etc./etc.) is at least interesting for this splitting maneuver being long-standing. It sometimes says more about the splitter. It carries with it the appeal of heartfelt reductions. On the other hand, for me, a useful dichotomy or polarity–and they are a crucial structural aspect of some of my work–requires them to be the ground for a substantial and oft fuzzy and meaningful richness. What’s the overlap between head and heart? …for example.

In terms of favored investigations into the phenomenology of folk psychology, a dichotomy such a head/heart often turns out to be robustly reified in self reports.

However, casting backward upon indigenous peoples contemporary theories of mind as if these peoples were able to psychologize about themselves as moderns do is mistaken. This is an error of reflexivity: our self sense confirms a bias about other, olden selves.

In doing this it is possible to buffer away actual differences. And next to simplify; while at the same time dropping modern tools, tools which could come in very handy in integrating, as it were, head and heart.

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