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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: February ::
Re: The Human Condition
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0090.  Friday, 4 February 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Al Cacicedo <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Feb 1994 23:32:28 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0084  Re: The Human Condition
 
(2)     From:   Richard Jordan <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Feb 1994 23:49:53 +1100 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0082  Re: The Human Condition
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Cacicedo <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Feb 1994 23:32:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0084  Re: The Human Condition
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0084  Re: The Human Condition
 
Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.
 
Good night, ladies and gents,
Al Cacicedo (
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Albright College
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Jordan <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Feb 1994 23:49:53 +1100 (EST)
Subject: 5.0082  Re: The Human Condition
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0082  Re: The Human Condition
 
Terence Hawkes <
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 > writes:
 
"What you call 'hunger' is such a complex, variable, politically and
religiously sensitive entity that it's surely unwise to assign a simple
and universal 'meaning' to it."
 
The grounds of this debate have now been shifted in a rather deceptive
way.  Mr. Hawkes original claim was that there were no universal human
experiences and that to claim otherwise was to ignore " history".  In
the face of several claims based on the universality of  human
biological necessities (all of which have social and individual
consequences), Mr. Hawkes now speaks only of his objections to
assigning universal "meanings" to such experiences.
 
To say that there are universal human experiences, and to say that
individuals and societies attribute different meanings to these
experiences, is to say two different things which are not necessarily
contradictory.  Beyond that, the acknowledgement that there are SOCIAL
meanings of experiences admits the possibility of the majority of
individuals in a given society not only sharing  experiences, but also
placing the same significance on those experiences. It is also
possible, and even demonstrable, that one society can in some cases see
the same meaning in a human experience as its neighbor, in spite of
other cultural differences between them. In other words, there ARE
universal human experiences AND  there can be a concensus about the
significance of these experiences within and between different social
groups.  That such a concensus may not be universal is quite true, but
this particular truth does not therefore discredit the study of that
which is universal and shared in history and society. At best, it
cautions us against making unqualified generalizations.
 

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