• Paine
    1.9k

    Since language must be a component of the 'natural' society you distinguish from the 'abstract', sharing a language must be natural to some degree. So, the question applies at least to the point where you would place language outside of what a community shares. The burden of explanation falls upon your theory.
  • Paine
    1.9k

    Oppenheimer aside, Rousseau's view of 'natural' man challenges your view of the boundary between natural and 'idealized' commonalities.
  • NOS4A2
    8.2k


    Since language must be a component of the 'natural' society you distinguish from the 'abstract', sharing a language must be natural to some degree. So, the question applies at least to the point where you would place language outside of what a community shares. The burden of explanation falls upon your theory.

    I don’t understand what you wish I would explain.

    Everything is natural to me, including abstraction. I only seek to understand where the referent is. If it is concrete, he is concerned with people and their movements. That there is society, concern for others. If it is abstract, he is concerned with an idea. That there is anti-society, self-concern.

    Oppenheimer aside, Rousseau's view of 'natural' man challenges your view of the boundary between natural and 'idealized' commonalities.

    How so?
  • Moliere
    3.9k
    This is what I meant by "history", I think, the culmination of our interactions with one another. That is the extent of our relationship.

    Only these types of interactions, in combination with the accounts of those involved, can determine what kind of relationship
    NOS4A2

    Hrm -- I'm reading you as going back to your original post, then, whereas before I was reading you as allowing that marriage is real.

    So a marriage is the entire list of interactions between two people, and these interactions in combination with accounts from the two people involved in the marriage determines that they are interacting in marriage-wise ways, but they have no bond or connection with one another (except for the children who had an umbilical cord when they are born) and the marriage itself is not real. "Marriage" is just shorthand for a long list of interactions between two people.

    By this then even ownership can't be real, I'd say: that was the point of my example, along with the obvious bit that they're a collective. When a marriage dissolves what's at stake is who owns what. Before a marriage is dissolved you have an example of collective ownership. But if the only real things are interactions between individuals, then I'd say there's no such thing as property because it's only acted upon by individuals. The house is not flesh-and-blood, after all, and property rights are only established by law (which doesn't exist in your accounting).

    Or, at least, this is where my mind goes with what you've said so far. I'm not sure if it's something you'd avoid or accept.
  • NOS4A2
    8.2k


    I appreciate the reduction to the absurd, but you could just describe married people and be done with it. You could describe the visible and recognizable things instead of referring to your abstract idea of what marriage means. At some point it must refer to the world or else you’re left compounding abstract nouns.

    What is marriage to you?
  • Moliere
    3.9k
    What is marriage to you?NOS4A2

    To me personally? The most current, but clearly inadequate, means for our society to answer the question "By Whom and how are these children going to be taken care of?" -- it's a legal entity for the economics of the family home which gets interpreted in various ways in their particular instances.

    For purposes of this discussion I'd just focus in on the legal aspects, which will vary depending on where we're at, but the specifics shouldn't matter here. In focusing in on what can be seen, and on individuals, your account is very vague when it comes to one of the most important social realities we live with: property. Even individuals own property, but only by law -- which cannot be seen, is not flesh-and-blood, is seemingly abstract and yet seems causal in that the reason people act in such-and-such ways is because of how property is treated within the legal system.
  • NOS4A2
    8.2k


    A legal entity is another abstraction. I am left to abandon marriage in the world and to read about it in laws, all of which vary according to jurisdiction.

    I find something sinister in the legal account of marriage and property. If the law were to abolish one or the other tomorrow I could not see the property and marriages of my own and everyone I know null and void. This is because people, not laws, recognize the validity of both.

    I don’t have a fully fleshed out theory of property, but it is probably Lockean in character. If I was walking in the woods and found someone had built a dwelling on state land and was working on it to survive, I would recognize it as that person’s property and leave it alone. The initial just acquisition, the occupation, the labor, would lead me to recognize it as that person’s property, while the law would have no justification save for its own claim to authority. In holding up the real people, the labor, the thing and land up against the law’s words on paper, I would side with one long before I would the other.
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