October 21st, 2018 2:26 PM
—“I am questioning the existence of Man (with a great M), and whether or not this history you speak of is in actuality histories (plural) of (particular – not universal) men (with a lower M). Does Man exist, or is he just an abstraction that exists as a universal category concocted in the heads of enlightenment philosophers? If he does, how can his existence be known or proven? I apologize if I wasn’t clear before. I am positing an anti-humanist critique of universal-Man.”— Josef Kalinin
Well, like any complex phenomenon, we can create a set of descriptions (general rules of arbitrary precision) at every scale (resolution) from MAN down to civilization …. and all the way down to the individual. And we can select some subset of causal narratives to illustrate the general rule we observe. As long as the relations are constant from top to bottom we have not engaged in error, bias, or deceit.
Man exists since we know what is not man. Man is anything he is not. Whether we slice(organize) the loaf(category) of mankind one way or another only serves to limit the complexity of relations to a small enough set of causes that they are open to our perception, cognition, and recall.
Man became ‘man’ in the enlightenment when the similarities of humans around the world became evident. One could (I have) argued we are different species, and that man, like ape is merely a taxonomic category divided by geography, morphology, and behavior but maintaining (some) reproductive capacity. (That is my approach). Because it is how we treat all OTHER animals.
Man possesses an extremely dense neural system which is terribly expensive. He can move and model space like no other creature. He can forecast changes in state, and make tools. He can cooperate (or not). He can make language. He can negotiate. He can make narratives. And he can possess more or less agency. And strangely enough he can create other systems of calculation besides ordinary language.
This is a terribly unique set of properties – and we have literally killed off most of (not all) of our competing species (previous generations of man) and probably would have had we not evolved our knowledge so quickly under agrarianism.
So I don’t know what anti-humanist means. And I don’t know what else to tell you. But homo-sapiens-sapiens exists. Whether you want to classify man as we do say, Pan, into different chimps vs bonobos, or pretend man is NOT like chimps, where whites and east asians are bonobos (further evolved) is a function of ends you want to accomplish.
From my part we are different species and it’s obvious, and man is a category of life forms among the great apes. And the races and subraces of man are species. And I see nothing to argue against that other than to lie for political reasons.