We have an embodied view of the world; concepts are not abstract symbols that capture ‘perspective–neutral’ relations between concepts and the sate of affairs that hold in the world. Concepts derive from the world itself, and specifically our egocentric embodied view of the world.*
If you asked me to name a theme for this past decade I’d say consciousness- and more specifically the divide between objectivity and subjectivity. Much ink has been spilled to define subjective experiences; adding to that is not my aim today.
Today I wish to ponder the implications of constraining ourselves to an objective world. Journey with me for a moment; accept that subjectivity isn’t a foreign concept, and that your experiences of the world (how you feel you are processing this information at this very moment) is the experience of the world; more specifically your world, then it follows that objectivity and subjectivity are the same thing.
Ok, I know you must be thinking “she’s just being circular”- but no I am not. The difference between ‘the’ world and ‘your’ world is the same argument that is made to differentiate between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’. We are viewing the same side of the coin at two different angles and calling it two separate sides.
Let me try and explain: we digest the world through narratives, and our narratives stem from the symbols that make up all the various concepts that surround us: family, trust, love, success, capitalism, religion, etc. The lens through which we view the world, and construct our narratives, has a self-bias. And if we naturally process the world though an egocentric framework, then ‘the’ world that we are seeing- is our world.
So now tell me: How can we separate the other from the self? It is in the presence of the ‘other’ that the identity of ‘self’ is defined. There is no ‘them’ versus ‘us’. There is only this world. Our world.
My inspiration to synthesize this piece came from Vyvyan Evan’s, The Language Myth.
*Quote from The Language Myth