When linguists, philosophers, sociologists, and historians of the past three hundred years explain consciousness the issue invariably turns on "the nature of being human." The men who write about our species as “being human” don't present premises upon which the identity of being "human" is based.
Where no premises are present, no refutation or affirmation is forthcoming from a critical examination or analysis of the view taken. The view then, may be a belief or an assumption. This means it may not be fact. Since there is no basic premise, the belief can be tried in the court of reality and logic to find its truth propositions. It is justifiable then, for me to look at the 'name' that we are "human" to examine it for evidence in reality and in logic.
In my view, something is wrong in the name of our species. But unlike seeing what is wrong in the financial sectors or government policies and speaking out about injustices or bad policies like Joseph Stiglitz in The Price of Inequality, 2013, W.W. Norton, and Thomas Picketty, 2014, The Economics of Inequality, Belknap Press, people do not see that injustice and inequality can be enclosed in names. There's a good reason for this.
Language is passed from generation to generation for generations, inherited and accepted-as-is like an heirloom family ring is inherited and accepted as-is. Language comes to all of us (as if) ready-made. Names are learned one at a time in childhood, then assembled in sentences, ready to use. That is, language is received, name by name. Here it is; just use it. Users of language busy with living life do not stop to see if something is wrong in some names. Certainly not to the extent of noticing embedded bias in names they use every day. But something is very wrong in the names specific to our species, to our reality, the reality of being a speech-making-and-using species. And if something is wrong in the speech we use, then it is because making this speech was wrong to begin with. And because we were not in the know that bias was a force in world affairs.
Embedded bias builds belief in false information, information not supported by fact, evidence or sound reasoning. As you will see, bias-in-names is an 11,000-year program in an historical and social progression of names. So, our species can be said to have unknowingly chosen a false definition of our species. As emotional beings we seek affirmation that the false definition is "the way it is." People want certainty. Habituated to the bias people don’t know they’re on false-track certitude.
What are the facts of our reality as a species?
On this life-friendly planet we are a species of, 1, animals of 2, several sexes that evolved with 3, the capabilities to make sounds, give them meanings and then using these sounds as names to communicate. Like bees make honey, beavers make dams, sheep make wool, we make names.
It should not have to be said that the act of making-and-using names reflecting facts and truths seen in reality, is wise action in our own self-interest as a species, as well as in the interest of all life-forms on earth. In the breadth and depth of what names are about, fact, evidence, logic, and law show that nothing can be both Q and not-Q.
We know of no other species on the planet that can make names. We know of no other species that can make a complex communication system like the language we make and use. We, the species that evolved capable of making thousands of names, brought in the development of language. Makings sounds and giving them meaning is not unlike the techniques to make other things, like a car.
We make names. We do not bark, squeal, moo, caw, or peep. We squeak hundreds of different sounds put together in what are thousands of symbols and names.
We did not evolve to make wool, fur, pearls or honey - and no squeak. We evolved to squeak by making and using different sounds. The bottom line is that as animals we evolved with the capabilities to make different sounds to make complex names, like sheep evolved with the capabilities to make wool, bees honey and oysters pearls. That is, as an animal species our capability to make multiple squeaks is also our talent for developing complex language, our major distinction from other animals. Making names to communicate is our way of being what we are as speech-making animals by evolution, like sheep are wool-makers and bees honey-makers by evolution. One squeak like baa-a-a does not a language make.
Name-making however, does not put us above in value to wool-making, honey-making or dam-making animals. Each animal has value for what it does, and contributes to planet earth. We have value as speech-makers-and-users in our own eyes. Non-language animals likely have a whole other opinion on this subject!
Be that as it may, every animal species is different from every other, even within close genetically related species. Every animal species does a distinctly different thing from every other kind of animal because it helped to evolve its own evolutional difference distinguishing it. So, what does difference mean here?
The differences between a giraffe and a kangaroo are enormous. So does one have a higher value than the other because of this difference? I talk a lot about difference in this book. It's important to keep difference in mind and what it does to value as you read this book. Do apple trees have a higher value than orange trees?
Our species evolved as a speech-making one, making names, and by consequence, is a speech-using one, and by further consequence a language developing species. Speech-making/making names to develop language is our distinction in the animal category. The difference between our squeaks and the sounds of all other animals is that we develop our squeaks into a complex system we call language. Does this difference mean we have a higher value than any or all other animals?
All seven-plus billion of us on planet earth have the capabilities to make and use speech to develop language. Giraffes do not talk about delicious leaf salads. Kangaroos do not ask for trampolines.
It is due to evolution that the names we have today didn't come “ready-made” … as given by God to Adam. To make names to use name-makers had to exist like paper-makers have to exist to make paper for paper-users. Due to evolution, we make names, one at a time, according to a need we have to make a name for. Logically, name-users first need name-makers to be name-users at all. Like desk-users first need desk-makers.
The first speaker to utter "Oh!" as an expression of surprise, was the name-maker who put "Oh!" into language to use. The sound /o/ needs a fine throat-tongue-mouth organic arrangement that most animals cannot learn to do.
When our early ancestors saw that a cleaned-out coconut shell made a pretty good container to hold food, they needed a name for this effect. It did not pop out of nowhere, nor from a voice in the sky. After many tries, someone came up with bowl. “Bowl” became the symbol naming ‘a container holding water or soup'. Later, seeing coconuts were not a sure supply of bowls some started to make bowls with what they were standing on, clay. Observation, new sight, imagination and insight went in to invent the idea of making bowls for the obvious reason that many people would be bowl-users. Bowl-makers came into being to supply bowl-users. So too, speech-makers -> speech-users.
Observation, insight, necessity, imagination and creation follow in language like ducklings follow the duck in a row. This is how basic making useful names is. Thus, the technology in making names, like all other technology, has rules and regulations. If name-making is to be at all based in reality and logical in basis to be useful it must follow rules and regulations in a process built on our everyday experiences with the consensus of ordinary people like you and me. Like bowl-makers -> bowl-users, so too name-makers -> name-users.
We see trees in nature, so we say they are natural. We use whatever they offer, shade, lumber, beauty as evidence to consent that they are what we call trees in nature/reality. We give each different tree a name, so, in this way, we can say names are ‘artificial’. The name maple does not make the maple tree exist; the tree we named maple evolved and now exists, and we needed to make the name maple.
1, Existing thing, reality, then 2, name. Not the other way around.
Every name made that we use is first a new logic, neo-logical, the name of a new logic, of what’s seen to exist. Once tree was named, trunk -> pole. One new-logic need named led to another new-logic needing to be named. A law in the technology of making names is using logic to make factual, true-to-reality names.
Trees have been on planet earth for millions of years. The speech-using species, barely a million, and the development of speech 500,000 years. Our species started to develop language long after we evolved on the planet, long after trees had been in existence. What’s the significance in this? We started very late in the evolution that took place on earth. Is our species then as ‘special’ as it has been made out to be? Are we really created by a big divine-male-in-the-sky? Could some divine male have said, "Let there be man! And lo! there was man.” before these existed in reality?
To start the squeaks was no easy task. Pointing, gesturing, shaking the head were likely the first symbols/signs given meaning. It had to take thousands of centuries to go from a mind empty of names to a mind that would see one's self as an organic being that saw -with the mind- that sounds like /o/ and no were useful. At the beginning of civilization tabula rasa was greater than at any time in our story. Making the first names had to be a daunting task. But water had to be named, sooner or later, for obvious reasons.
It's important to remember the principle, name-maker -> name-user, and the relation between these acts as you read this book because the responsibility of name-makers, in view of the right of name-users to have fact-based information and evidence-based names to use and work with, becomes clearer. The responsibilities of name-maker to name-user are like that of car-maker to car-user.
If names made by the name-makers aren't based on evidence or not true to realty, name-users use the errors in these names as if they were not false, simply because having no other names to use, they do not know the names are false.
When car-makers make faulty cars, more car-users die in accidents. The same relation of cause-and-effect applies to name-making. When name-makers make false names for name-users to use they misdirect the mind of name-users making name-users misunderstand the reality they live in. This is where politics, economics and state-rule principles become inexorably interwoven where names carry bias. Biased names carry the philosophy, economics, sociology and politics of the bias embedded in the names, the very heart of patriarchy's ideology.
Just as there are few car-makers and millions of car-users, there are few name-makers, and today, over seven billion name-users.
Name-makers do not live in isolation, they live with all name-users, all other life-forms and all animal species. Our species does not live in isolation from all other life. This has huge implications for our responsibilities in name-making as a species. When a name communicates bias or false information it makes you, the user, use the false name who then applies it to understand the world you live in. Like every car made, every name made has a consequence. This is how important making names in language are. Correct cause-and-effect relationship in reality, so also in name-making.
This book is about how patriarchy during its 11,000-years-of-rule disregarded almost all the rules and regulations governing the making of names. Patriarchy exists to this day because the bias in language has people believe that patriarchy is “the ways it is.”
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