Systematic functionalism

(Copyright © 1994, 1995 Carolyn L Burke)

I'd like to introduce this more politely, but I'm excited about my ideas so find here only an academic's introduction.



[Sorry about the LaTeX, but what can you do these days without a markup language! And here I have 2 of them now.]

\title{The essence of communication in a society.}


Communicative systems consist minimally of a method of symbolic representation. Such systems of representation normally allow for or have at least referring and non-referring terms, relations between terms which also may or may not refer. As well, normally such systems are not constructed unless there is an intended interpretation.

Some systems arise naturally, although all known cases of such are within the scope of human history. This places a scope limitation on this theory as no matter how complex the mental gymnastics performed, humans will work on this theory, a truism effecting all of our works.

\section{Can a society support more than one structure of communication system (css)?}\label{s1}

\subsection{What is the functional unit element of meaning?}\label{ss1.1}
\subsubsection{The psychlogical unit}\label{sss1.1.1}
\subsubsection{The sociological unit}\label{sss1.1.2}

\subsection{What sort of communicative system emerges?}\label{ss1.2}
\subsubsection{The psychlogical or feature-recognition system}\label{sss1.2.1}

All possible feature systems - natural kinds or arbitary definitions
Societally chosen feature system(s)
Set theoretic description

\subsubsection{The sociological or relational system}\label{sss1.2.2}

All possible classes - individualism or package deal collectivism
Societally chosen class distinctions
Categorization theoretic description

\subsubsection{A combination}

\section{What counts as a person in each system?\label{s2}

The collection of sufficent and necessary features
The possibly not unique intersection of societally recognized classes

\section{Are the two css functionally equivalent: can all and only the same things be said / meant in both?}\label{s4}

Set theory and categorization theoy are provably equivalent
Are the two css best described mathematically?
If not, what aspects are not equivalent / isomorphic / fully translatable?

The essence of language: Aristotle's claim that it is categorical.
Choosing between the subject and predicate as the unit of meaning.
the subject language - psychological?
the predicate langauge - sociological?
Can one sociey spport both? Can it fail to?
Emphasis: what is easier to say in which css?
At least the emphasis of the 2 css are different - what follows from this?
Comunicatory problems which result.
Possible solutions: the translater, bilingualism, lets choose one

Open questions:

Why have both arisen?
Empirical methods of recognizing which css is used
Likely effects on psychological and social development in children of choosing one over the other
Strengths of each css
Weak points of each css
Can anyone speak without both css given that language itself is an interpersonal phenomenon?

(Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996 Carolyn L Burke)

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