Tag Archives: science

4 March 1988 Personal Correspondence on Alchemy and the History of Science

The enclosed article by Evelyn Fox Keller talks about the

Battle of the Sexes in which Alchemy as Feminine lost to Male-
Mechanist Physics. The battle took place in England 1650-1670.

Since then Alchemy became “superstition”. That Newton

(1642-1727 ) was a secret practitioner of Alchemy meant that

Alchemy went “underground”. But Newton invented the “Gold

Standard” and became the Director of Coinage. Perhaps, he

understood the magical power of Gold over people better than any

As to why Alchemy was considered “Female” and even

dangerous, please see Jack Lindsay; The Origins Of Alchemy In

Greco-Roman Egypt. [QD13 L54l Sample pages are included.

Another interesting source is C. G. Jung. ALCHEMICAL

STUDIES. (Collective Works vol. 13. Princeton U Press. 1967.)

It is noted that European Science was not much “advanced”.

It was from a religious reason that Atomism and Mechanism came

out. Even after Newton, European scientists could not understand

“Fire” (Heat, Energy) well. It was after 1850 that they came to

realize “Fire” is not a substance. Energy concept emerged in

1850s. That is to say, Marx did not know “Energy”.

I saw a transcript of a speech by Russell Means made at

Black Hills in 1980. In the speech, apparently aimed at Marxists

(and perhaps also for the political need of AIM to say he is not

a communist), Means says (if Indians follow) “We will all be

Industrialized Science-Addicts in a Marxist society”.

In one sense, I am sympathetic to Means and understand why

he said that. But I think Means overestimated the Intellectual

Power of Europeans. Germany, in the time of Marx, was barely out

of the “tribal culture”. They had a hell of a time adjusting to

“invasions” by “science”, “rationality”, “intellectualism” etc.

from the “west”. What Europeans and Means call “Rationality” is

not “rational” at all — it was an illusion, conceit,

superstition, arrogance —. Or at its best, it is a Language

It may be disrespectful to say this. But Means was fooled

by Europeans. He did not see through the superficial veneer of

“rationality”, “science” etc. It amounted to “surrendering before

the fight”. If Indians have such a weak intelligence that mere

contact with Marxism or Science makes them “Industrial Science

Addicts”, perhaps there is no point in fighting. The “Feminine

Scientists” have better guts in their declaration that they will

Of course, I do not know what was the context of the

circumstance in which Means’ polemics emerged. But I wonder if

such is the pervasive attitude of Indian Braves. And if so, Pam

The point is that every “Culture” is tribal. There is

nothing superior about euro American tribes relative to others.

If a Haida need not fear an Oneida, there is no reason for a

Lakota to fear a Marxist or a Scientist. Means could have said

that he can beat Europeans at their games, “intellectual games”

Interestingly, even P1ato distinguished “Noesis”

(intuition, intelligence ) and “Dianoia” (Rationality, Reason).

European Science is not “Intelligent”. And if you ask for

“Wisdom”, you would be disappointed even by Plato — Socrates

was not “Wise”, he was a skillful player of a fashionable

Intellectual Game of Greece of his time —.

The trouble is that, for survival, Native Americans need

something beyond the level of collective intelligence that the

European tribes have. For that, I would imagine every mistake

European Science made is a good lesson for Natives to learn.

Instead of being victims to the mistakes, Natives can become

“healers” of the mistakes. This difference in “posture” would

make a difference in the “overview” (Worldview). You might say

you are not the savior of the World. I don’t ask that. But,


Sam K.

Excerpt from “The Social Brain”; Chapter “On the Inevitability of Religious Beliefs”;

Pp. 166-167. Underlining and red italics are notes by Sam Kounosu.

In religious beliefs, as with any other belief we again see the

left-brain interpreter seeking an explanation for a series of life experiences. Just as it is

charged with delivering a running explanation of’ the behaviors of all of our independent

modules, it is similarly, charged with explaining real-life events and circumstances

existing in the culture. It is seeking consistency, and the left-brain interpreter module,

linked as it is to the special human inference system, works hard to construct theories

about the causes of perceived events, That our brains accept the theories this system

But how did the idea of religion start? Why did our species generate the idea of

deities? The nature and origins of religious beliefs has an intriguing and, I think,

interpretable history that underscores the centrality of the brain-based psychological

mechanism I have been describing. I will argue that religious beliefs were inevitable and

had to start once the left-brain interpreter was fully in place and reflexively active in

seeking consistency and understanding. Explanations were generated and institutions

created to manage and deal with the issues of human existence and cosmic origin. Once

launched, such institutions, given their intense coercive power, have a way of staying.

Alternative views like the ones now readily available from modern science and

those made available by Aristotle have played and continue to play a subordinate role to

beliefs involving revealed truths. And, in an effort to explain this fact, I will also argue

that the acceptance of these not-of-this-world beliefs is due to another special capacity of

the human brain, the capacity for magical thinking. Let me explain.

There is a region of the human brain that, when tampered with, causes profound

changes in the human psyche. A lesion in that region, which can come about for a

number of reasons, tends to cause a change in three behaviors. This “temporal lobe

syndrome” was first described in detail by the late Norman

Implication is that “Intellectualism” is a brain malfunction.

Geschwind of Harvard Medical School. I would have been most skeptical of his account

if I had not seen a case that exactly matched his description. This syndrome now has been

reported several times. In its basic form, the brain injury causes a deepening of religious

conviction, a desire to write extensively (hypergraphia), and the performance of bizarre

sexual activity. There is no a priori reason I know of why affecting one of these behaviors

The reality of the syndrome is not amusing. Of interest here is the religious

behavior aspect of the syndrome. Not only is conviction deepened, but the form it takes

becomes erratic and the person switches from one belief to another rapidly and without

apparent cause. The brain process that allows for nonrational and magical interpretations

of events that are usually implicit in stories of religious creation is readier than ever. It

seemingly doesn’t matter which belief is plugged into this process. In a way, the brain

lesion frees the patients from their personal histories and prepares them for any set of

beliefs. These clinical phenomena suggest that a dynamic equilibrium can be set up in the

brain between systems that generate hypotheses and systems that accept such

explanations as meeting rational criteria. The normal state allows for a certain degree of

nonrational and magical beliefs. The diseased and disinhibited state so lowers the criteria

for acceptance that rapidly accepting and changing beliefs become the rule.

If there are brain networks in our modern brains that do tilt us toward magical

beliefs, it would follow that there should be evidence for religious behavior in primitive

humans, at least in all humans who possessed the same brains as those we possess. That

means we could examine the prehistorical record back to approximately forty to sixty

thousand years ago and, if clever enough, find evidence of religious practice. It turns out

1 September 1988 Personal Correspondence on Cross-cultural Science Translation

Sept. 1, ’88.

REf. Native Science Conf.

Dear Pam

Here is my suggestion for the “Frame” for the Native Science Conference. There is nothing I can say to you that you do not already know. I only attempt to write out some ideas that might make you feel assured. You are honoring me by taking the posture of asking for help. Whether I could help or not, I have to respond.

I gave you a picture of the Matrix. So this time I shall explain the Matrix and add notes. The picture is simple, but it has to be so. Once you get into discussions, however, the picture turns quite complex. Perhaps, it may be better explained in several “Levels”. As to the trick of “Simplicity” which constitutes the backbone of European “Science”, there are several philosophical problems. But I shall explain them later (see Appendix A).

Level I. Nominal Comparison

Imagine average North American White Male University students, and consider a task of explaining Native Science in contrast to European Science, such as;

(1) That Native Science is not “alienated” from its practice.

(2) Native Science/Counseling is more “Supportive” than “Clinical”

(3) Native Science is an integral part of Communal Living, not Individualistic Assertion of Knowledge. There is no Intellectual Hero in Native Science.

Having such a task in our mind, let us look at a “Comparison Table” (Map) such as below, and think about what questions the simple map might generate.

The basic idea here is to trace 4 items in relation, not just pairing comparison of 2 in antagonism. Dialectics of conflicts must be presented, but at the same time if we can shift our attention to the relational dynamics in looking at 4 items, that would be nice. I am trying “Quadra-lectics”.


[Table 1]

European Native American



Therapy Medicine

Ritual Healing



Medical Science Clinical


Medicine ( ? )

Social Sciences Social Works Community

Participation /


( ? )

– – – – – – –

I–1. The Question on the Existence of Native Science.

The first reaction of the students is to question “Does Native Science Exist?” They might say, “Science” has to be “documented” knowledge (book knowledge). Therefore, (in the nominal sense) Native Science does not exist.”

You have gone through the question thousands of times, and you even feel angry about the ignorance of the students. [Besides, for the participants of the planes conference, the answer is already clear. There is no need to go back to the rudimentary question.] But, be patient. The question is not trivial.

Let us look at possible questions/debates the table might generate. i.e.

a. “What example of Native Science do we have?”

b. “Where and how can one find Native Science?”

c. “What use does it serve to find Native Science?”

d. “Why do we need to elaborate/document on Native Science?”

“Does it help anybody?”

e. Do not Natives have/want “Wisdom”, not “Book Knowledge” sense of “Science”? Do they wish to be “Scientific” in the sense “Technical” or “Intellectual”?

If “Science” means “to reduce anything into simple mechanical routines”, is it not reducing Wisdom/Spirit into Machine?

f. “Suppose there is a set of basic ideas, guiding principles, metaphysics, or world-view, for the Native Praxis. Can we call it “Science” without modifying, correcting, or enlarging the European notion of Science?” “If so, on what ground can we justify the change?” “Is the change necessary?” “Does the change help anybody”? “Why do we need alternative sense of Science?”.


I-2. Questions on European Science.

But then, there are questions about European Science. The advantage of Quadra-lectics is that it makes easy to see there also exists conflicts/problems/antagonism/tension inside European Science. One has to look at every combination (there are 6 of them) of the 4 in relation.

a. There are problems in asserting that (European) Psychoanalysis is a “Science”.

European “Medicine” may be more of an Art than a Science.

How Scientific are the Sciences, such as Social Sciences or Physics?

b. What is the relation/connection between “Science” (Theory/Knowledge) and Practices?

What good does Theoretical Science provide to the Praxis? (What roles does “Theology” play in Religions as social/psychological phenomena?)

Is the theoretical sense of science only for edifying?

c. How relevant are “Social Sciences” to “Social Works”?

How useful is it to elaborate “Theory” for the people who practice routines which are nominally associated (subjugated) to the Theory?

What does the science of Economy say about the bureaucratic system/technique/procedure of the Social Work/Service/Welfare?

To be sure, it is reasonable to question if the Economics that we have in our academia today is a “Science”. It is sometimes said to be “Dismal Science”, but it may not be a “Science” at all.

Interestingly, by some strict definition, Physics is not a Science. Some physicists even “proudly” say that they are “Artists”.

d. What is wrong with being a “Non-Scientist”? Why should every good thing be a “science”? Is not being a “Humanitarian” enough?

Those questions have to be asked to make a comparative match with questions in I-1.

[See for the problems of European Medicine; Charles E. Rosenberg in The Care of Strangers, Basic Books 1987, talks of the inconsistency of “Vocation” and “Stewardship” which are nonetheless made into a “marriage of convenience” between Healers and Hospital. Illich, Foucault, et al likewise criticized the Medical Profession/Institution. And even our conservative governments are aware of some of the problems, because it costs too much.

I suspect the institutions of “Clinical Social Work” have similar problems with “Medicine”. The “Success” of Institutionalization/Professionalization always brings problems.

And, this leads to the question of the Social Cost (Pollution, Entropy) of the Mechanical Thinking that is worshiped as “Scientific”.]

I-3. Why bother making a comparison?

You might say; “I have made comparisons. So what?” In fact, you showed me many articles which are written on comparisons. Ones which attack European Science always carry some comparisons as the basis of attack.

On the basis of comparisons, one can go to

(i) Assimilation (Surrender) to European Science,

(ii) Rejection of Science without assertion of an alternative.

(iii) Rejection of Science, with assertion of Pure Humanism, Spiritualism, or Wisdom.

(iv) Compromise, Reconciliation, Integration.

(v) Construction of Strategy to deal with the Conflicts/Problems.

(vi) Emergence of Alternative Science, with a creative vision of World Community.

In terms of questions, students might ask

a. Is it not a step in assimilating Natives inot the Domination by European Intellect?

Just because European Culture/Civilization has a distinct fragment called “Science”, why should Natives have it?

b. Is not the show of difference a device to “demonstrate” the Intellectual inferiority of Natives?

c. When European Science itself is having troubles, if not in crisis, why should Natives look for “Science” to copy the troubles?

d. What are we going to do with the differences? Are we to eliminate the differences, say by making one of them extinct?

e. Are we not interested in Native Science, because we have troubles with our European Science? [Turning Point, et al]

II. Level II Case Studies at Level I

Here, we consider Graduate School level of talking/thinking. They presumably had exposure to the level I questions, at least some of them. You are a Professor supervising young Ph.D. candidates who are working on Native Science. What would you tell them?

 For Master’s Thesis, an articulation/elaboration on the Level I questions is a good exercise. They must do one. They must read and know a body of materials (book knowledge) and do at least one “Field Work” to see what the written materials are talking about. I point out here that even if one does work on one aspect, having awareness of the overall picture is helpful. That is the Table I is worth looking at repeatedly. The Map tells where one is.

This level of work is publishable in academic journals. In fact, many are published. But they are “academic” in that they are not intended to help people.

One might select a thesis that Native Communities (Culture) ought to reject European Science in totality and live in an “Ideal Isolation”. I concede that this might be a possible and viable strategy for some nations. When an African Economist proposed it as an answer to the problem of Economic Colonialism, I agreed. The Burmese Socialist Government, which is talked about in News Media today, tried this. Pol Pot Communists went to the extreme of even eliminating “science” along with “Intellectuals”. [Mao’s Red Guard was anti-intellectual, but respected “Science”. What Mao might have thought or hoped of “Science” — that is, there is a dialectics of “Destructive Technology/Constructive Science — may be a topic at Level III.]

I acknowledge the value of Warning Statements, pointing out problems of European Science. But I wonder what the writers are thinking as to what to do about the problems that they saw.

One can write and talk about “Rejection of European Science” and “Back to Traditional Native Medicine”. However, the comparison to European Science is there. Even if the comparison is rhetorically avoided, such works can hardly escape from being a “Reaction” to European Science.

What is worse, by the “angry rejection”, they may be taken as implicit acknowledgement that they cannot overcome European Science — i.e. acknowledgement of unquestionable superior “rationality”, “intelligence”, “power”, etc. of European Science. Saying “I cannot help Europeans from going down to Hell with their Science” may be taken as an equivalent of saying Native Wisdom has no capability to help.

That leads us into Level III. (Critical Reflection), and IV. (Creation of Alternative Science).

III. Critical Reflection

III-1. Supportive Counseling versus Clinical Operation.

As an example, let us take up the differences between “Clinical Therapy” and “supportive Counseling”. Native Healing is “Supportive”. It is not done in the sense of “putting a totally incapacitated patient, knocked unconscious, on a table to operate on it”. (The pardigmatic Metaphor of European Medical Science). Native Medicine often involve Family and Community. It was not done on an Individual basis. All powers (love relations and functions) are solicited for help. Medicine men/women are “Mediums” and “Facilitators” for the power to come together, not power itself.

In the beginning, I said “North American White Male Students”. Female students are excluded, because in the “Macho Science”, they may not talk/think/behave in the “typical” ways. There is usually considered to be a weakness and “unscientific” tendency in Females. they do not like to play the role of (Male) God in cutting up people on the operation table, even if the ultimate aim is to help the guy. Females tend to see “People” being sick or in trouble, rather than entertain the glorious mission of fighting a War against Disease (Evil) as Male Doctors often do. Male Doctors do acknowledge “Will To Live” in patients, but such “help” is solicited in “their” Fight against Disease. “Conquer the Disease” is the main paradigm of Male Medical profession. “Care of person” is the job of nurses, not doctors.

It is not that Females are dysfunctional in Clinical situations. In fact many are engaged in Clinical Social Works — except that they tend to take a posture of either (i) “being told” what to do, alienating them from personal involvement/responsibility, or (ii) like the case of the Big Nurse, identifying themselves with the Power Structure. they are more at home with “Supportive Counseling”, if not merely “Comforting”.

That makes interesting “observation” what Native Healing (Medicine, Science) is “Feminine”. Calling upon the help of the Power Spirit is not the same thing as having a sense of Power within oneself.

In the context of Social Works, what are the role/function of the workers? And what kind of Science would be helpful for them?

For the Clinical works, there Power Science justifies, and even what they do is a false sense of compelling workers to do.

Is there any “Science” behind supportive Counseling?

Evidently, the Support is needed, appreciated, and recognized as effective. But “Science”?

European Science came from “Fighting”. Humans, faced With Fear, either get aggressive or regress into inability. In that “Science” is “empowering” — to make humans assertive, aggressive, active —. “Love Play” has always been in Science, particularly in creative works, but it has always been “subservient”, “secondary”, “helping side” of the Power side. There have been many talks by great scientists about “Love” in science, but texts in Science do not intend to “teach” about that.

I would imagine even Clinical Social Works is motivated by “Love/Care”. But “Love/Care” is not the main “Operational Principle” of the Clinical Social Work, but the “Power of Technical Routines” is the main concern. Having or seeing Problems, the Clinical Operation set itself up as the means to Fight — the “War” to eliminate the problem —.

“Supportive Counseling” may be seen as “weak”; some might perceive it as “ineffective”, if they do not know the performance, say in terms of quantified “Success Rate”. This is because the Support gives an impression that it leaves the problem unresolved. It is not attacking the problem directly, but merely caring for the person.

The separation/dichotomy of “Being” and “Problem” is a heritage from Ancient Atomism. Being is a Dynamics and Problem is a Dynamics. Although the “level” of Dynamics may be different they are both Dynamics (Interaction). The Mechanical Science whch sees “Beings” as “Objects” is totally inadequate. There exists the awareness of such an inadequacy in some sciences, but it is far away from the “Science” of the Clinical Social Works. And because the majority in Social Works is Clinical, the Social Works as a whole has not yet come to construct “Science” for the “supportive counseling”. It is left for a few brave (or rather bleeding) souls to practice on ad hoc basis.

It is not only Native Science that is unrecognized and repressed, but all “Love Sciences” are.

This is a topic for the Level III works.

III-2. The Difficulty of Translation

Another possible topic at Level III is that of “Translation”, “Cross Cultural Understanding”, “Bridging”, “Interfacing”.

It is understandable that the Native Community entertains an Ideology of Separation/Rejection. After all, it has been European Culture that separated, rejected Natives. European Domination accepts only total Surrender of Natives, territory, culture, bodies, souls, and even history.

Therefore, naturally any attempt in the direction of “understanding” is suspected or viewed as “Compromise”, “Betrayal”, “Sell Out”, “Contamination”.

In many Colonized countries, a certain portion of natives became “Translators” for the European Power. They enjoyed somewhat privileged positions in the power structure, while others were mercilessly exploited, oppressed, killed and even sold as slaves. East Indians were often imported into other colonies to serve as lower class officers for European Administrators. Even after these colonies gained independence, the “Class Distinction” remained. [Japan narrowly escaped that owing to the late coming of Europeans to the Far East.] Native Americans have never developed such a “Class Distinction”, but nonetheless there are resentments against those who sell services to Europeans.

Eber Hampton in “The Sweat Lodge and Modern Society” mentions the destruction of Native Agriculture, which David Riesman missed in his Harvard lecture. Indeed, that is a “deliberately forgotten history” (The Big Brother erased it). But many Natives themselves seem to have erased the history when they refer to “Traditional Fur Trade”. The Fur Trade, when Iroquois Nations became addicted, destroyed their Agriculture and Community Craft Industry that they had. Hunting to provide for their own community needs is Traditional. Hunting to sell furs is not. I say this not as an accusation, but as an example of how easy it is for History to be destroyed by “Translators”.

And one thing which caught my attention is that Eber Hampton appears to be proud of “Indian English”, but it is strange for a guy like me who never learned English enough to develop “my own English”. I only manage to read an write in English as a “Foreign Language”. To me Indian English is not a Native Language. However, that betrays a tragic reality of Native Life today. Namely, without Translation into Academic English, Eber could have gotten nowhere.

You might say “Live with Native Language!” That is easy to say, as long as one is not going to do it in real life. Even without European Languages, what will Natives today do? What about the rifles that they use in their hunting? What about power boats? TVs, refrigerators, Trucks, Supermarket, Hospitals and Alcohol? The pens and papers used to apply for European Welfare? They are not “Languages” in the formal sense, but, they are the kind of idioms and vocabulary by which Native Living is spelled out.

There are millions of “Non-Reserve Indians” whose homes are on the streets of Whitemen’s Cities. Thousands of Native children were adopted by European families. Even if “Pure Blood Indians” opted for total separation in some Indian Territories (Nations, Reserves), there would be millions who will be “Outsiders”.

And what will the pure-blood Nations do about dealings with the rest of the World? A Closed State in political rhetoric is easy, but the problems of actually Living Life cannot be wiped off by the inflated hot rhetoric. Much as I admire and sympathize with the sentiment which might say, “Fuck European Science”, I cannot imagine any other way but to come to terms with European Science in one way or another.

And to come to terms with the other Science, one needs to have one’s own Science, or equivalent thereof. Ideally, the Native Science is so much better in that it can understand European Science, including its limitations, weaknesses, and faults, as well as strength and power. One cannot get that by closing the door and watching T.V. while drinking beer and liquor from European stores.

Let David Riesman be alone. He can rot in his ignorance. As far as he is concerned, he is doing very well without knowing about Natives. Even if he happened to know about Natives, he is not obliged to restore Native Farming for Education. Therefore criticizing David Riesman is a waste of time. It can only be done by Natives.

The atrocities, sufferings and pains inflicted on Natives, pureblood or otherwise, inside reserves or outside, are Real. They are there, whether one likes it or not. They cannot be ignored. Europeans imposed them on Natives, but if Natives do not remove them, Europeans would not. That makes dealing with European Science unavoidable. There, Translators have very important roles to play. If European Science is the Enemy, one has to know it to fight it. One might even think about the possibility of “Beating the Enemy at his own Game”.

Righteous indignation is natural, and there ought to be more of it. That is the Passion needed. I would venture to say that is the Fire Way. However, sooner or later, one has to come to the question of “What To Do About The Problems?”

To face the question of “What To Do About the Problems?” is a Science. Describing the problems, so that many people come to know the problems and can start building basis of co-operation, is the important first step in the Science. But one cannot let one’s passion be exhausted by that. There is a next step, which is harder.

If we attempt Science, we need

(1) The “Science of knowing what problems are, and

(2) The Science of knowing what to do about them.

The second step has to be persistent. I would characterize it as the Water Way.

[There is the Earth Way to make things concrete, and the Wind Way has to help with Creativity needed. Then must come the Tree Way to Integrate and gently embrace the whole. But that is the topic of Level IV.]

Let me try here my armchair psychoanalysis. Natives are brave, and they are not afraid of European Science. What they Fear is not that. They are not “running away” from European Science under the disguise of righteous indignation — though European Science is indeed horrible —. The psychological trouble is that any Learning involves Love. Learning of Science is “Erotic”. Traditionalists may indeed Fear this “Love Affair”. They are afraid of “Seduction” by European Science.

Education can be “Sweet”. Yet my grandfather rioted against the Japanese Government when it imposed the school system on his village. He said, “It is bad enough that peasants are forced to pay high Tax, but now the Government is taking our children away”. He appeared to stand against Education. That is strange for one who learned to read and write on his own. He was not afraid of Science, but eagerly read and learned. Besides, he often took care of “troublesome kids” from villages around, and was known as a great educator (Therapist/Counselor). But his sense of Education was not “School Education”. Being a peasant himself, he knew what was needed to be learned. He never lost his Peasant Spirit. I have known a Scholar in the same village who was reading works of French Linguist in 1945 when most Japanese did not have any more than one pair of shoes, in the aftermath of WWII. In 1945, the life of Japanese was worse than that in, say, Nigeria then, a lot less than “Bushmen” in Canada. He did not become a Frenchman but stayed as a Peasant even after he became the president of a college. He was entirely self-taught. It is unfortunate that Japanese Peasants are not well known as “Samurais” who constituted less than 10% of the Japanese population.

I am not saying the Japanese are any better in comparison with Native Americans. They have a lot of problems. But the point is that learning European Science without selling our souls is possible. One jus has to remember that accumulation of “knowledge” is not of any value, but how much help one can offer to others in community is the measure of Science.

Level IV. Tree Science

This is Pam’s Science. I am not qualified to talk about it. The Conference hopefully comes to the Vision of it. Or better yet, Pam will bring a Prophecy. I am merely guessing at your dream. By introducing “Quadra-lectics”, you are overcoming the antagonistic paradigm in European Dialectics and introducing “relational science” which is a better Format for Healing/Love. You suggested the idea of 4-in-Relations not by so much words, but by dream-pictures.

I imagine you would talk about concrete, real, direct and personal experiences in Community Counseling. It is always good that talk is made “concrete”. But, You are “Counseling” the World Community by the same talk. If you can help the Healing of a Native Community, the very same Science can heal the World Community.

You might talk about your Science that you are raising.

There was one thing You said that was something to the effect of “in some cases there may not be a cure”. I do not know what you were referring to. Therefore I may be totally off the mark. But if you mean by “cure” in the “Clinical” sense, there is no cure for any case. The community has to recognize its own problem. The community has to do its own healing. Agencies from outside can only be helpers. Suppose the agencies of the dominant culture find a situation in some native community is a “problem”, then it is likely that the “problem” is, by a large measure, caused by the dominant culture. [If a child is behaving badly, it is likely that the family is in trouble.] And if so, then Clinical Therapy ought to be applied to the dominant culture, first of all.

If the Clinical Therapy is either not workable or not acceptable to the dominant culture, it is silly to expect the same would work for, or be acceptable to, the Native Community in question. One cannot apply the Principle of “Do as I tell you, not do as I do”. Science ought, at least, to be honest.

One of the advantages you have is that you are in a position to practice the therapy of the dominant culture, though yours is not the “clinical” kind. If you remember, that is where I met you, namely in Peace Research which is a science for “counseling” the World, in particular the most powerful of European Nations. It is what I might call “Social Therapy”.

Here, I like to tell you that Newtonian Mechanics was a very powerful “Therapy” (Brainwashing) which “empowered” Europeans to Industrialize. Yet, Newtonian Mechanics is made of nothing but “Words” and “Metaphors”.

You might think about why the “Story” called Newtonian Mechanics was so effective, so powerful. If you were in the Europe of the 16th century, you might have said that there was no “cure”. Germany did not come into the “Scientific Revolution” until the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, Russians and Italians were no more ahead of the Japanese who started to learn European Science some 20 years before that time. And the learning of European Science in any country came at a horrendous cost.

Your Native Science (or Tree Science) may appear powerless. Because the only thing you can do at this moment is just make up “stories”. You may not foresee the consequences of what you are making up, any more than Galileo, Descartes and Newton did about their “Stories”. But, that does not mean there is no consequence, no effect. You might get a big surprise. It is not defending the traditional Native Culture that I am concerned about, but rather I am interested in Native Science as a Creation of Alternative Science which works for the World. It is a gift from Native Culture.

That brings me to say a few things about “Science”. “Science” is not an object of Archeological Study of some Dead Knowledge. It has a life, dynamic, development, creativity. At least, Science responds to the problems of community of the time. Or rather, Science is created and manifested as the response of Community to its problems. Just as Love takes a particular form of expression in a particular relationship, Science is particular to the situation; The Vision that one seeks is particular to the one who is in the particular circumstance. I respect ancient Wisdom. but Wisdom is wisdom, only if it is alive in the minds and souls of people today and functioning. That is why the learning of wisdom takes creativity. And I hope all the suffering Natives have had to go through was not vain.


This is incomplete, but I send this to you for now. The Appendix A shall follow.


Sam K.

P.S. Thank Chyna for me. I appreciated her patience. She is an impressively well-behaved, happy child. Her mother must be a very loving person. I wonder if I am wrong in saying “Looking at a Child is looking at Parents”.

The Need of Sensitivity in Science: As the foundation of Cross-Cultural Science Education

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 1



—As the foundation of

Cross-Cultural Science Education—

“Science sets forth this formative process in all its detail and

necessity, exposing the mature configuration of everything which

has been reduced to a moment and property of Spirit. The goal is

Spirit’s insight into what knowing is. ”

[Hegel: Phenomenology Of Spirit. 1807.]

1. That what we usually think as “Science” is “Power Science”

and lacks Sensitivity.

The image of Powerful Science bulldozing through problems

and resistances to get things done is very strong in our mind.

And, therefore, it is hard to talk about “Sensitivity” as an

important element in Science.

Occasionally we do talk about beauty, poetry in science,

such as Fabre’s The Diary of Insects, and Einstein’s Cosmic

Vision. But, I am afraid, we tell such stories as “diversions”

from the main instructional materials. Perhaps we tell more jokes

of dubious value to entertain students more frequently than

telling about the “sensitive” tender elements in Science.

By and large we treat the sensitivity in Science as of

secondary importance. As a consequence, teaching practices of

Science tend to be that of imposing the Powerful Science on the

minds of students. We may not be conscious of us doing that. But

if we step back and look at our practices, it appears that we are

teaching Power side of Science almost exclusively and neglecting

I think it is unfortunate, for the creative thinking, the

sensitivity is essential. Even if the majority of human

population has to perform mechanical routines to make a living,

our children deserve an educational period where they are treated

with the delicacy of the Sensitive Science. For that reason, I

would try here a “scientific explanation” of

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 2

the Sensitivity, is a rational to stress the importance of it in

Science. I hope, my explanation is sufficiently general to

encourage Sensitivity in human life in general.

And, I have a feeling that what I meant by Sensitivity also

has some meaning to the Cross Cultural Education. Since I am not

familiar with the Cross Cultural Education that experts here are

engaged, I do not make a claim. Rather, I would like to ask you

if what I am going to discuss here has any relevance to the Cross

Cultural Education. I would be grateful if you kindly give me

back responses and reactions to what I said.

2. Where can Sensitivity be located in our Intelligence?

In order to introduce the Sensitivity, let me talk briefly

about “Science” in general. To save time, I present a simplified

archeological diagram here.

Science is a part of human intelligence to use the

faculties of our brain/mind.

(i) The first level of intelligence on the surface is Object

Recognition level. This is what Atomism does. We recognize

objects and identify them. We sometimes decide to ignore things

as well at this level.

(ii) The second level is Relation Recognition level. There we

think of relations between Objects. Statistical Correlations,

Causal linkages may be recognized and identified. Basically, the

relations recognized are of the “Linear” kind. [*See Subnote 1.]

(iii) The third level is Utility Recognition level. We sense what

we can do with the objects and relations we recognized.

(iv) The fourth level is Strategic Construction. This is often

referred to as “Problem Solving” intelligence. We take the

situation at hand as the starting point, and see the desired

state as the final point. If we find “The Means” to connect these

two points, we call it “The Solution” of the problem.

As such, the fourth level resembles the second level,

except that the “Connection” (Relation) is imposed by us. And,

often times, the task of finding the “means” to connect the two

points is accomplished by ignoring and cutting off relations that

existed. The image for this “problem

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 3

solving” is Alexander The Great cutting a knotted ball of string

with a sword in one blow. The sword is the imposed connection

cutting through all pre-existing relations. Unfortunately, this

happened too many times when a powerful dominant Culture met

In these 4 levels, there is no need of the Sensitivity.

Rather, we would think of the “Minimum” that is necessary for

what is desired. We deem that is “Efficient” and “Rational”

within the contexts considered.

For example, we recognize two towns on both sides of a

mountain. That is at the Object Recognition level. We see people

going back and forth between the two towns. This is the Relation

Recognition level of thinking. We see the Utility of the

exchanges. And we Bulldoze to make a Highway between them and

think that the problem is solved.

The “Science” in our ordinary sense is an organized and

formalized “knowledge” at the above 4 levels of intelligence. It

empowers people in that sense. Let me call this Power Science. It

lets us do things. But there are levels below this, if we dig

into our minds deeper.

(v) Although we seldom think any deeper than the Power Science

levels, we occasionally do “Think Twice”. We ask whether or not

the construction of the Highway was a good thing. Let me call

this 5th level intelligence as the “Reflective Level”.

We do have this intellectual capacity to “Think Twice”

about what we have done, and also sometimes what we are about to

do. That is where the Sensitivity comes in. Although we have the

Power to do and to get a certain thing that we desire, we ask

ourselves if doing so might not hurt someone. We exercise a care

to protect other’s safety, interests, wellbeing. This takes a

fair amount of imagination as to the situations that we are about

This requires thinking of the whole system of things in a

complex web of relations. It is different from the kind of

thinking of Power science which can be metaphored as that of

“Drawing a line from a point A to a point B”. For, in the complex

web of relations, there are lines from the point B to the other

point C, which in turn relates to other points. All linked in

that sense, the circle of the linkage most likely comes back to

the initial point A. That complicates the situation. A

straightforward thinking is only applicable

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 4

to linking nearby points. The whole circle of relation is not

“straightforward”, but rather “Non-Linear”. That makes thinking

[Linear/ Non-Linear distinction is explained in Subnote 1.]

But the strange thing is that Humans do have an intuitive

sense by which they can “Feel” the harmony or disharmony of the

whole system. Even in highly theoretical works, physicists often

came to “Feel” the whole thing and said it is a “Poetical

Beauty”, or “Poetical Unity”.

That is the “Care” that one exercises to understand the

whole of the cyclic relationships and the “Beauty” that one feels

about the whole are related.

I think it is highly desirable that children are given the

opportunity to experience the “Care” and “Beauty”. It requires

Sensitivity to experience it. But the Sensitivity cannot be

developed without experiencing it. I think this is a great

challenge of Science Education.

I would like to suggest that Science Education has to aim

at the caring level of intelligence. And I think it is possible

to lead students to that level by asking them to “Think Twice” as

often as possible. The Science Education has to contain exercises

for saying “I can do this But on the other hand…” Such exercises

are training for Sensitivity.

We might call this “The Sensitivity Science Education”, in

a contrast to the “Power Science Education” that we have been

And I hope that they enjoy seeing the “Beauty” attained

after many exercises of “Thinking Twice”.

3. The Sensitivity Science is a “Pragmatic” necessity for

Human Survival, and Cross Cultural Science Education is a

beautiful way of the Sensitivity Science Education.

In view of what we are doing nowadays to our Environment

and to our fellow Human beings, I would say that without

Sensitivity, we will not survive the 21st century. For the

sensitive eyes, the bad consequences of the Power Science are

visible almost everywhere. Even if we do not want to see them,

things such as Acid Rains descend

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 5

upon us. Incidences such as Chernobyl happens and force us to

know what we are doing to ourselves.

In the line-like thinking of Power Science, we do not see

the remote consequences of our actions. But the fruits of our

deeds loop around and come back on ourselves.

In that, I am not a Romantic Idealist to advocate the

Sensitivity Science. I have a “Pragmatic” concern about the

future of the World in which our children live or die. Either we

educate ourselves and change to become Caring Beings, or we

annihilate ourselves. It is not possible to evade the choice.

Fortunately, however, we have a marvelous educational

opportunity called Cross Cultural Education.

It gives very good opportunity to Think Twice about the

Power Science that our dominant Culture has been practicing up to

The Cross Cultural Education is one way of giving our

children the opportunity, and a beautiful way of doing the

Sensitivity Science Education. Here, remarkably, we have a

consistency of the means and the aim. We have the way of studying

which cal1s for Sensitivity. And we have the aim that is the

I look upon Cross Cultural Education to be not a “Tokenism”

to satisfy disgruntled minority races, or “Window Dressing” to

soothe the “Guilt” from the colonial oppressions and the racial

discrimination in the historical past. But I consider it as a

Golden Opportunity for every one to learn the way of Survival and

at the same time the way of constructing a beautifu1 Future.

Beyond that, I would like to stress here that this is not a

subject of “social studies”, but of “Science”.

I am not saying this because I am a scientist and wanted to

externalize the power of science. You must realize that I am a

“scientist” only in the Power Science. Among other things it was

the prejudice of the “Power Science” that used to say that Euro

Americans have the Science.

And, I have to learn Cross Cultural Science for my own

sake. And people here are great help to me. I wish I could go

back to school again and experience beautiful education that you

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 6

– – – – – – – –

I add one, perhaps, “Bad” example for the advocacy of Cross

Cultural Science Education. It is from General Relativity.

General Relativity can be viewed as an “art” of how to

connect a small local Linear way of thinking (analogous to making

a short sentence) to the next. The connections of many small

Linear descriptions (analogous to a whole “story” made of many

sentences) make up a Global Geometry which may be “Non-linear”.

General Relativity is concerned with the Whole of the Global

Connections. Needless to say, to make a comprehensible coherent

picture is not a trivial task. Some constructions are beautiful,

The “connected whole” is a “World View”. And among many

ways to make up the “connected whole(s)”, we can study how to

compare various ways of making “connected wholes”. In this sense,

General Relativity is interesting. It resembles “Cross Cultural”

However, as I said before, General Relativity is “perhaps a

bad example”. The trouble with this example from modern physics

is that it is by and large inaccessible to the general public.

There are “popular books” such as The Turning Point by F.

Capra etc. However, ordinary Science Education does not come

anywhere near to the “Way of Thinking” contained in those modern

developments in science. Schools, perhaps unconsciously, teach

the 300 year old physics and waste time in “beating the

established mechanical routines into blank minds of children”

under the name of Science Education. It so happens that the Old

Science also carries the Authoritarian Ideology of that

It also represents the “Alienated” mentality of the 19th

century European Intellectuals. [see] M. Berman. The

Reenchantment of The World.] That Science emerged in the 17th

century as a “Liberation of Thinking” is largely forgotten and

perverted, under the disguise of “Rigorous”, “Exact”, discipline.

Psychoanalysts ought to examine why so many scientists and

science teachers today still maintain the illusion of “rigorous,

exact science” as if they have never heard of the Uncertainty

Principle or Godel’s proof of Incompleteness of Mathematics.

Their quasi-religious belief may be within the Freedom of Belief

allowed by the Constitution, but the Authoritarian posture of

scientists talking down to the

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 7

public, as if they are the guardians of the Absolute Truth, is a

pedagogical disaster in barring the majority population from

access to the modern science.

That I have a considerable difficulty in talking about

fruits of the modern science in terms of “Ways of Thinking”

attests to the failure in Physics Education for which we

physicists are collectively responsible. We have spent Hundreds

of Billion Dollars of tax money, but we have not helped society

with cultural developments in terms of the Ways of Thinking. The

public money is used to edify a small group of specialists and

widen the gap of thinking inequality, not mentioning the North-
South disparity in science-technology and wealth. We ought to

think, for example, why we do not use science to make rudimental

water supply systems available to the poor half of Humanity. It

could be done at a fraction of the cost of sending a school

teacher to Space and getting killed in a Show of National

Superiority. I do not think it is excusable.

One very inexpensive way of introducing New Way of Thinking

to general public is to do Cross Cultural Science. Since most of

the “Sciences” from different cultures are accessible through

non-technical expressions, they are better suited for general

Education. (I fancy that “Hopi Relativity” is just as good in

conveying the main idea as General Relativity which is accessible

only through complicated mathematical manipulations.) That is to

say, we have discovered a mountain of treasures in the Native

Science. I recommend school teachers to seriously look into

Native Science and take advantages of the treasure.

(However, I would caution the teachers to pay proper respect in

exchange, lest be accused of stealing the last and the most

precious treasures of the Natives after taking everything away

from them. One way of expressing respect is to invite Native

Scientists and let them speak, rather than giving an

“Interpretation” to students as if that is genuine Native

Science. And if possible, let students learn from the way the

Natives live with the “Science in their actual life, rather than

substituting an “intellectualized version” for it.)

– – – – – – – –

My story here was perhaps tedious and technical and it was

from the background of the Power Science. But I hope it is of

Thank you for your patient listening.

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 8

[Subnote 1. On Linearity.

“Linear” means “line-like”. When relations between pairs of

two quantities, such as “Input and Output” plotted on a graph

paper appear like lines, the relations are called Linear.

Most relations in Reality, however, are not Linear. Why,

then, do we favor Linearity? The most theories in science are

Linear ones. Economists use Linearized models; Political

Scientists and Politicians talk and think in Linear Language. We

usually think Linear, such as if something is good, then more of

it is better. It is not rare that sick people take more pills,

thinking that the more pills he or she takes, the faster the cure

is, then ends up with an Overdose. Or a man who makes hundred

thousand dollars a year thinking that he would be a twice bigger

man if he could make $200,000 etc.

But, the worship of Linearity is not just silly

superstition in numbers. There is a definite advantage in

Linearity. I cite an example.

Suppose a psychologist or social scientist is faced with an

unknown entity or system named, say, G. How will the scientist go

about knowing what G is?

The first principle of Science is the Principle of “Do

something and see what will happen”.

So the scientist does something, which in psychologist’s

jargon is called “Stimulus”. Sociologists might call it “Input”.

Something happens in Response (X) to the Stimulus (x), or Output

corresponding to the Input. By this, the scientist gets a data

(X) = {G} (x) or x → X

Of course this one data point is not enough for the

scientist to claim “Knowledge” on the entity. The scientists have

to try more Inputs and get Outputs. But if the entity (or system)

is Linear, it is easier to know what Response would be for any

Stimulus. For example, the Linear Entity G would produce a

Response 2X for Stimulus 2x, and 3X for 3x, and so on, i.e.;

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 9

What is more, provided the Entity (System) G is Linear, the

scientist can predict what the Response (Output) would be for an

arbitrary combination of various kinds of Stimulus, say like

(3X + 2Y – Z) = {G} (3x + 2y – z).

This predictability is an enormous savings in the cost of

the research to construct the Knowledge about the Entity (System)

Having this sense of Linearity in mind, one looks into

texts in Physics, Engineering, Economics, etc. One would find

that the majority of Theories are about Linear entities or linear

systems. Texts in Psychology, Sociology, Political Science,

Anthropology etc. are not explicit in what they mean by

“knowledge”. But when they do imply “knowledge”, they are usually

an implicit assumption of Linearity.

Most economic-politico-social policy recommendations from

the Power Science are of the Patch-work type which in effect says

“Granting that all other things stay constant, do x to get the

result X”. This is only justifiable on Linearity Assumption. The

characteristic of Linear Thinking is that it neglects all

complications. It only sees the starting point (the problem as

the initial state) and the desired end point, and finds the means

to connect the two points. It is like drawing a line between two

points without looking at other points around. Perhaps, it is

analogous to shooting an arrow at a target. As such, the

concentration of attention is necessary and it is not a bad thing

In real systems, however, when one thing is changed, all

others change. There would always be the second, third, fourth

order effects, like the ripples created by a stone dropped in a

lake. Linear Assumption is simple and convenient, but it is a bad

“superstition”, if it is worshiped as The Best Science. Yet the

Insensitivity of the Power Science neglects the higher order

Another trick of the Power Science is that, when the

uncertainties in the higher order effects are visible, it goes

for “Short Term” projections and makes decisions on that basis.

It is hoped that the higher order effects would not manifest in a

short time scale taken as the reference frame of the thinking.

Unfortunately, the neglected higher order effects do not

disappear; they “disappear” only in the short-term thinking.

People have to pay for them eventually. A funny thing about this

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 10

is “scientific”. That is the Power Science; it provides an

edifying cover not only for the negligence, arrogance, and

insensitivity, but for the stupidity. I would think that the

Native Science which thinks on a long-term scale would be good

“medicine” for the Power Science.

Non-linear entities or systems are that which cannot be

treated by Linear Theory. That is the definition. Non-linear

entities and systems are nasty, for they defy the simple

“predictability” of the kind illustrated above.

Non-linear systems are “Unpredictable”, which means there

is no possibility of doing the “science” which usually means

“predicting power”. Of course, we can do a modified sense of

“science”. In fact, non-linear physics is now getting

fashionable, where things like “Catastrophe Phenomena” are

What is so-called “Ecology” in biology and geology is

largely confined to Linear cases. Some Biologists and Geologists

are aware that Nature is Non-linear and Catastrophic Instability

— such as mass extinction — is expected. But the prejudice

(or rather “superstition”) of majority of the scientists

demanding “Predictability” for “science” on some emotional ground

does not make the study of Non-Linearity in Nature popular.

As to knowledge in social and Humane areas, their implicit

Linear “Rhetoric” are yet to be recognized. “Causal Relation” is

often nothing more than a Linearized Expression. As a

consequence, people do not know they are assuming Linearity.

Hence, Linear Thinking is prevalent.

I do not think the “Linguistic Philosophers” are even aware

of Non-linearity, except perhaps in Logical Paradoxes. (The

“Paradox of Self-Reference” has a “loop structure” and as such it

is Non-linear. “Circular Argument” is also Non-linear. They

reject it. But interestingly the most “definitions” in sciences

are “circular”. Newton’s Laws of Motion and Darwin’s famous

statement “Survival of the Fittest” are well known examples.

Perhaps, because of these bad cases, philosophers do not like

Non-Linearity, But, their dislike prevents them from serious

studies of Non-Linearity. This is unfortunate.)

However, the Philosophy of Dialectics is a Non-linear one. [See

Thorn cited below] But I doubt Dialecticians themselves such as

Marx — are aware of the Non-linearity.

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science

As to Mathematics of Non-Linearity, see Rene Thom: Structural

Stability and Morphogenesis. Benjamin. 1972. (Thom also had an

interesting thing to say about Math Education, Science 1972.)

Also, there are several texts on Non-Linear Physics. What

is called “Solution” is an unusually stable wave produced by Non-
Linearity. It is to be noted that “Stability” can be a

manifestation of Non-linearity. Non-linearity is not always

unstable and catastrophic. I suspect almost all biological and

social systems (such as human life) is “stable” because of Non-
linearity. They “die”, however, because of the Non-linearity that

maintained them to be stable for a while (quasi-stable).

The escalation of Nuclear Arms race which goes in a

“vicious circle” is an example of bad Non-linear Dynamics. On the

other hand, the “positive enforcement” effects in Education etc.

are also Non-linear Dynamics.

These examples show that Non-Linearity is important and

interesting. But here again, it is too technical to be taught

directly in schools. I would appreciate very much if you could

suggest to me some ways of bringing “awareness” of Non-Linearity

into school science education. Interestingly “Sensitivity” is a

highly Non-Linear Phenomenon. I wish some psychologists would

write about “Non-Linear Dynamics of Mind”. Hegel came close to

doing that, but his intellectual snobbism is too much for popular

reading. Perhaps, Native Science might have good stories to tell

Oct.18, ’87. S. Kounosu Phys. Dept. U. of L.

20 August 1988 Personal Correspondence on Community Culture Healing, Spirit and Science

Aug. 20, ’88.

Dear Pam

I write to you again. For your laugh, I quote a joke.

“A famous physicist worried about Library space projected

that, at the present rate of increase in the number of articles

published in Physical Review, they will soon reach a rate which

will have to fill library shelves with the Speed exceeding that

of Light. However, this does not violate the Principle of

Relativity, for the journals contain no Information.

[Physics Today Aug. ’88. P. 9.]

– – – – – – – – –

I have a proposal to make, and I would like to discuss the

matter. How about writing a paper on European and Native

Community/Culture Healing as a Therapy/Medicine? I know I am

trying to push you to do an Academic thing. But, now that you

moved, there is nothing much I can do anyway. So perhaps it is

safe to make a proposal. Besides, I do not know how “Community/

Culture Healing” would fit with what you do on the job. Please

let me know the situation.

The idea came from reading an article by William K. Powers

“Alternatives To Western Psychotherapy: Modern-Day Medicine Man”

mentioned before [In Beyond The Vision U. of Oklahoma Press 1987.

Psychotherapy has Psychoanalysis as a theoretical part, though

the relation of “Theory” and “Practice” contains problems.

Likewise, Native Medicine has Native Science, though the relation

between them may be different from that in European system. But

the Science ought to be relevant and helpful to practice of the

Medicine. In fact, we have been deciphering Native Science from

the Medicine in the traditional culture, as the Science existed

there to deal with problems in life.

The comparison of the complex of science-therapy in Western

Culture to one in another Culture is interesting enough. But I am

not just proposing to make a comparison. Something new is added.

Native Community/Culture is facing new problems stemming from its

encounter with Western Ideology and Technology. The new problems

require new responses. It means more trouble, but that also means

a new development in Science for both sides. As a “Wisdom”,

Native Science needs not to change, but its expressions have to

reflect the changed environment in order to be helpful to the

people. You have been on that task. But if you wish to elaborate

on Native Science at higher and deeper level of

Native Science, working out “practical applications” is one of

the ways to do that. Comparison is a mere entry device.

As “Spirit” is revealed through manifestations, the Science

is learnable through “working it out” (praxis). Writing a paper

is a way of helping people who face up to the problems and

looking for ways of healing. The paper may look “theoretical”,

but it is (i) a report on experiences, and/or (ii) elaboration of

“strategy”. It is not “Wisdom” itself, but it is an intermediate

“translation” in a sense of being an “approach to”, or a “way

to”. Just as we cannot prescribe “Vision”, we cannot describe

“Wisdom”. We can, however, talk about experiences or the

procedure leading up to it.

And, to the extent the problems are brought by “European”

things, what we write have to contain “European” things. That is

the necessity of the circumstance, and also from the work being

“translation”, “interface”, and “praxis in the present world”.

There is an element of “Beating European Intellect at its

own Game”. We might say “If Europeans brought Guns to Natives,

Native Science can shoot the same guns better”, or “If Christians

talk of Love, Native Science does it better”. It is not that

competition is the aim, but the pains and suffering of the people

under “European Power Science” is real — unfortunately we in

bourgeoisie academy do not immediately experience them — and a

way of Medicine/Therapy must be proposed now.

Actually, for this, it probably matters little if it is

called “Native Science”, “Marxism”, or “Born-Again Christianity”.

There are “Natives” colonized all over the World, even in Europe.

In some degree, I have a special interest in Japanese affairs

which do contain “Native Problems”, and you have “Native

Americans’ in the center of your heart, and in that we are

“Racists”. But I do have something beyond that, which has to do

with “People”, “Humans,”, not “Race”. I am not helping Native

Americans as a Race. It makes me feel sad to think, but I stand

outside “Native American Science” — She is your baby. I adore

her, but that is all I can —. At least, I try to avoid becoming

a “Fake Indian”. [I saw an NFB film on Long Lance: “Chief Buffalo


It does give me a pain of being an “Outsider”, forever

segregated and cast away from the happy community of people whom

I care, but I hope I have a spiritual strength to withstand the

alienation. The danger of the alienation becoming a bitterness

and then intellectua1 arrogance is great. But that is where

devices, strategies such as Participatory Research come in. It is

an intellectual thing to do, and as such, it perhaps is not quite


satisfying. If Alcoholism is a problem, Intellectualism is also a


However, I think that there is a “meaning” in both

Alcoholism and Intellectualism. Rejecting or rather pretending

that one is staying clear out of the problems, with righteous

contempt, is not an answer. I would much rather have you drinking

and suffering than being like an angel. For the pain can also be

source of creative energy. The period of Colonialism is not yet

over, and if we are comfortable in the World as it is today,

there is no reason for us to do anything about it. At least, in

that way I can talk with you.

I said the above, because if you are “Perfect Indian”,

“Noble Savage Philosopher”, you would not play with an academic

game like writing intellectual paper. A Japanese proverb has it

that “Great Man is a Useless Man” — nobody can use him, nor

does he use anybody —. But, I would like to drag you down to a

lesser being who suffers pain like “ordinary” people do and

could, at the best, be “useful” to people as such. If there is no

problem, pain, malaise, there can be no Science. Both

Intellectualism and Alcoholism are product/expression of

suffering. I would dare further to say that Spiritualizing is a

“moral equivalent” of Alcoholism.

Now, that has been my excuse to you to make a proposal. For

you to judge whether it is helpful or not, you would ask what it

involves. So I shall explain.

One important thing Powers missed in the article is that

Native Medicine is done as “Communal Affair”, if not “Ceremony”,

whereas Western Psychotherapy is highly individualistic ritual.

That stems from Psychoanalysis being an analysis (theoretical

construct) about the Individual. Freud’s paradigm is to “adjust”

deviant individuals to the given Civilization (*1). C.G. Jung saw

this defect/limitation in Freud’s works. He went to “Collective

Unconscious” etc. to correct the ignorance/ignoring, and made

“Psychoanalysis” useful in “Social Psychology”, “Anthropology”

and “Linguistics”. Jung’s works were closer to Hegelian Field

Dynamics, as a contrast to Newton-Kantian Mechanics of Freud. And

it opened a way to “Cultural Analysis”, supplementing “Social

Analysis/Criticism” of Marx et al. You might say it is

“Environmental Science” in contrast to Individualistic/Atomistic

Science of a single Tree.

(*1) [To be sure, Freud did write Der Zukunft einer Illusion

1927, Das Unbehagen in der Kultur 1930. It is interesting

to note that the English translation of the second book is

“Civilization and Its Discontents”. Freud knew better than


Civilization with Culture. But the title was approved by

Freud. The reason become clear if one reads the book. The

“culture” of Europe in the 20th century is nothing but a

“Civilization” — i.e. Technopolis —. Freud, in his zeal

to establish his science to be an Eternal Truth, totally

ignored History of European Social Technology. (Jung failed

in this respect as well.) It is surprising to see this in

an intellectual circle in which Hegel and Marx were well

known. Perhaps, it was Newton-Kantian blindness to History.

Or, it is because European chemistry (Atomism) was A-
Historical (Non-Dynamical).

It is also interesting to note that, the term “Unbehagen”

is equivalent of French “malaise”, that is more like

“disease”. “Discontent” came from the first title Freud

gave, which was “Das Ungluck”. The translation of the title

is not quite right, but from the content of the book the

English title is just right. That is, Freud failed to treat

the “Disease” of the modern European Civilization in which

he was a part. European Science has had this peculiar

posture of as if God was looking at problems from outside.

Scholars talked as if they themselves had no problem of

their own. A.A. made one progress in this respect in that

they talk of “My problem”. What I like to see is a Science

of “Our problem”.]

However, even Jung did not come to think of “Therapy on

Community”. Social Psychology, Anthropology, or for that matter,

Sociology, Economics, did not think of practice of “Therapy” in

relation to them as “Science”. Marx, Keynes were exceptions. It

was not that Social Scientists did not attempt to influence

Social Policies, or Psychologists did not interfere with

Educational Policies. The relation between these Sciences and

Practices were not only obscured by pretended “Scientific

Objectivity”, or “Value Neutrality”, but also ignored, perhaps,

from their “Static-ism” (inactivism), if not incompetence. They

did not have the degree of relation that physics had with

Industrial applications, and Medical Science had with Clinical


I imagine “Social Work/Welfare” uses existing Social

Sciences as its theoretical grounds (metaphysical axioms and

Rhetoric-Jargons). Yet, I wonder if the relation is clear at all.

Suppose an Economist proved that in a pluralistic society, “the

Value Maximum does not exist”, what change then social

work/welfare as a discipline of practice would undergo? In fact

the proof was given by Arrow in 1940’s (*2), but I am afraid

Scholars in Social Work/Welfare behave as if they are totally

ignorant of implications of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, just

as the

most Natural Scientists are oblivious to Godel’s Incompleteness

Proof. If the Science means anything, one would expect certain

effects from changes in the science to changes in the practice,

at least something comparable to that from Medical Science to

Clinical Practice.

I am not saying every “theory” has to have direct and

immediate effects on practices in therapy/healing. For the case

of Native Communities, even the identification of problems is a

problem for itself , let alone talking of Healing. But then, I

would expect that Native Science is relevant and useful in the

identification (diagnosis/analysis). I also expect the Science to

provide a “Language” by which the problems can be described,

communicated, and efficiently understood, so that people can make

an effective co-operation.

Now, I am quite aware that there are difficulties, say in

the relation between Western Sciences and their therapeutic

practices. There exists no such thing as “Sociotherapy”, so that

I cannot comment on what Social Science does. Incidentally,

Gellner mentioned before [The Psychoanalytic Movement. Paldin

1985.] discussed the problems in Psychoanalysis/therapy.

Gellner, however, took a rhetorical posture of comparing

“Psychoanalysis” to other Sciences, and pretended that other

Sciences, particularly Natural Science, have no such problem. It

is false. There is no “Science” that is free from troubles. Every

one of them has one degree of trouble or another. In fact,

Natural Science escapes the trouble by ignoring — only deals

with simple linearized models —. Even our “Logic” has troubles

when it tries to deal with “dynamics”, beyond its traditional

“static” and “atomistic” territory. [Russell’s Paradox, etc. see

The Mathematical Experience. P.J. Davis, R. Hersh. Penguin 1984

for example.] It appears that Gellner is ignorant about these

problems in Western Science. Unfortunately, this ignorance, or

rather ignoring, about Logical foundation is rather universal

among English speaking “philosophers of science”.

[I picked up from the New book section of our library a

book; Philosophy, Science And Social Inquiry, by D.C.

Philips. It is a neat summary of “British-American

Philosophy Of Science”. There is no mention of the problems

in Logic. It has a chapter on “Neo-Hegelian Critique”, but

there is no discussion of Hegel’s “Logic of Science”.

On the other hand, if we read, say, Paul Ricoeur’s Lectures

On Ideology And Utopia, the whole 19th century German

Philosophy, covered by Marx’s German Ideology, was a

struggle on “Science”. But it is

not recognized by British-American Academia. It appears

that there was an implicit censorship by those who were in

the academic “Empire Building”. They appear to be no

different from Racists and Colonialists.]

What is interesting, however, in Gellner’s book is that

despite his implicit rhetorical assumption, the troubles of

Natural Science come out. His criticisms against Psychoanalysis

being not a science are applicable to Natural Science just as

well. That is why it is worth reading

Of course, Freud failed to achieve his ambitious goal.

Rather, he went back to the level of Newtonian Mechanics, and

treated “Civilization” to be a “State of Technology” in a

society. His therapy was a technology of adapting individuals to

the society dominated by the Technology. It did not come to

Therapy on the Technology itself. Besides, he was a self-centered

S.O.B., of which many books had been written. That was very

common, Ego-Inflating effect of the Competitive Intellectualism

that we are under. I hope efforts such as Participatory Research

would take care of the problem of Intellectual imperialism (or

rather Judeo-Christian Superiority-Persecution Complex) in


In this respect, it is interesting to note that Powers

reports on “Abdication” (p.137 point 7). European way of seeing

this is “Loss of Power”. But, I suspect rather it means “retiring

from responsibility obligation”. “Power” in Native lingo probably

means “Function”. One who “has” a Power is obliged to perform the

function. I wonder, in this sense, what “power” university

professors have.

I ought to mention here that Marx also failed in reaching a

“Science” — Marx had never come to elaborate what he meant by

his “Science”, though he was very proud of saying “Scientific

Socialism”, “Proletariat shall have Science to Liberate

themselves”, etc. —. Marx failed to do “Philosophy of

Technology”, but did only “Mechanics of Power”, and consequently

failed to help the construction of the “Science” that was

expected for the Oppressed to develop.

What you want to do in the name of Native Science is what

Marx, Freud, Jung et al. failed to achieve. Therefore, if you

make mistakes here and there, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Mistakes will hurt you, but that is all. The important thing is

that you pointed the direction, a Vision/Dream/Prophecy.

[You might think I am unduly hard on you, but

actually it is you who picked such a difficult task. It is

as if you are saying you like to jump into a volcano. I

push you over the cliff, because you are standing at the

edge. Afterwards, I and friends of yours will erect a

gravestone there, inscribed as “Here once stood a brave


I would go on further to say Native Science is a way to

“Wisdom”, not the “science” of the European sense. And if it is

“Wisdom”, it has to be in a Community/Culture, not property of

one individual, however genius you are. It can only be developed

by “History”. All we can do is the task of Midwife. And you need

co-operation of many people, and communities (Participatory

Research?). What I am proposing you to write is not Native

Science itself , but merely one among many “about Native Science

— something like “Comparison of What Native and European

Sciences would say about Community Healing/Therapy.” —.

Richard Gwyn, writing on the crushed “Prague Spring” 20

years ago, says: “The real cost of that smashing of a mailed fist

into a gentle smiling face has been an intangible one. The

Czechoslovak sickness of today is neither economic nor political

but is psychological; it can only be described as

institutionalized immorality”. [Leth. Herald. Aug 23.] If one

says this about Czechoslovakia, what must one say about The First

Nations of America? Is it Institutionalized Immorality? And if

so, how does one go about Healing it?


Sam K.

(*2) As to K.J. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, see Social Choice

And Individual Value. John Wiley 1951. Cowles Foundation

Monographs vol. 12.

My Economist friend referred me to Q. James, Saposnik, and

Ruben. General Equilibrium And Welfare Economics but I have

not read this.

The main point of Arrow’s Theorem is that “Values” cannot

be ordered in a linear hierarchy (in Boolean Lattice). If a

set of propositions does not form a Boolean Lattice, the

Classical Logic cannot be applied. For Non-Boolean set, the

Probability Calculus becomes unworkable, Quantum Logic is

Non-Boolean. It creates linguistic situations where The

Principle of Exclusion of the Middle breaks down


Principle). A Dutch mathematician E. Brouwer talked about

this problem in 1920-30s.

But, as far as I know of, there has been no Social Science

built upon explicit basis of Non-Boolean Logic. There have

been suggestions that Zen philosophy is non-Boolean, but I

have not seen any serious writing about this. There is also

such a thing as “Fuzzy Logic”. But I see no sign of it

applied to Socia1 Sciences.

I would like to ask you, or to Woody, if Quantum Logic

(Non-Boolean Linguistic Structure) can be found in Native

narrations. I am looking for cases where “Either/Or”

propositions get into clear trouble.

As to Quantum Logic, I enclosed some references. But they

perhaps require some more explanations and elaborations to

make it relevant to Cultural talks.


Notes on Power, Love, and Science: From Agony to Max Weber

DRAFT — Handwritten Notes added in Italics

Notes on Power, Love, and Science:

—From Agony to Max Weber —


1. Preliminary Notes: Why dig up Weber this late?

2. Texts by Weber, analysis/interpretation.

[“Religious Rejections of the World And Their Direction” (Gerth and Mill).

“The Relationship of Religion to Politics, Economics, Sexuality, and Art” (Fischoff)

My intention is to read these texts as if they included “Science” in the title “Religion”]

3. Love Science Possible?

—Being Rational and Becoming Wise —


I. Preliminary Notes: Why dig up Weber this late?

1-1. How I came to read “good old” Weber again?

Weber’s works are the classics in sociology. One might say Weber started “Social Science” and presumably all social scientists have read Weber, just as every physicist reads Newtonian Mechanics.

Yet, in listening to social scientists in a North American setting, I used to notice that their works do not seem to reflect their knowing of Weber’s works. By and large, Weber is forgotten or ignored. I knew Marxists do not like Weber. But most of social scientists in North America are not Marxists and would deny that they have an “ideological bias”. So that was not the reason.

I thought perhaps Weber has become obsolete. Sociology in recent times has had sophistication surpassing Weber, particularly in “scientific” methodology. Weber’s works might be thought as belonging to the “pre-science” level of Sociology. For one thing Weber did not take Statistics on questionnaires and thus is “out of style” in the modern Sociology.

[In contrast, every physicist today would say that Newton’s Mechanics was superseded by Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. They even say Newtonian Mechanics is “wrong”. Yet, they do still read and even use it. That it was “proved” to be wrong, does not make Newton “obsolete”. Physics is “co-operative” and “constructive” in that sense. It is built on the works in the past. Even mistakes are not wasted.

The attitude of social scientists seems to be “competitive” and “arrogant” in this respect. They have too much of Oedipus Complex?]

But my friends did not suggest me any reason why they discarded Weber.

I even suspected racial prejudice against Germans. Although British American academics do exhibit anti-continental bias, that did not seem to be sufficient.

I have been puzzled about this curious social phenomenon in sociology. In order to find out what has happened to Weber’s work, I picked up a few books and read a few pages. [1] To my surprise, it was I myself who had forgotten Weber! I found Weber in despair, and defeated into “Power Science”. Yet his yearning and struggle for “Love Science” are evident. To my interest in the possibility of “Love Science”, Weber provides a nice text/material, though his conclusion is negative. I intend to analyze why (how) Weber came to the negative verdict.

[Weber reached his negative conclusion, because he started with an axiomatic proposition that “Rationality” is born out of the World View that basic human relation is conflict/strife. And consequently he would not get out of the world of conflict/strife where Love can only be “irrational”, “insanity”. To overcome the conflict/strife among and enforce any control over irrational fighters, a stronger force (violence) is needed. That leads society to Nation-State which is the ultimate violence. “Rationality” is the justification of the ultimate violence. And European Science is based on “Rationality” as such. I shall discus this further in part 2 and 3.]

[Page not available]

full use of it.]

But, it is “Right that is more popular word/notion among north Americans and Scholars of the time. they were not quite out of the McCarthyism. In the Cold War climate, there was a subtle anxiety as to talking of certain subjects. Not that academics liked McCarthy nor did they necessarily support Cold War Ideology, but they appeared to have exercised “avoiding troubles” and “choosing rewarding topics”. They were,  in general “defensive”. That is how “The Universe of Discourse” among scientists then was formed.

Even today, I sense that North American Social Scientists are “defensive”. They talk of Human Right, but not much about the Dynamics of Power. Talks of Power actually presuppose existence of Power or Power Structure in which “Right” appears as “resistance” and “protection”. But in the rhetoric of talking about “Right”, “Power” is implicit, not direct target of attention. The rhetoric does let people to have a discourse on problems of power in a sense of “reacting to” them, but it avoids directing the discourse to the essence of Power question of how the Power exists and is maintained in the first place. The “Human Right” rhetoric  covertly makes the Power and its violence “acceptable,” say like, “It is there and one cannot do anything about its existence itself” or “Power is a part of the Given Social Condition which cannot easily be changed and hence one ought not to attempt to change. And since one is not going to change it, it ought not be talked about.”

Talks of “Human Right”, (“Property Right”, etc.) do not intend to deny the “Right” of a “Sovereign Nation-State” of exercising its violence such as declaring War, imprisoning and quarantining people. “Right” is technological “moderations — “sugar coating” — of the fundamental violence. It does not intend to eliminate violence, but “justify under conditions”, specify the procedures, and the manner of violence. But, of course, it may be thought as “the best one can”, given that humans are aggressive beasts.

That is not what I am concerned. The problem comes when the technology of “the best one can” becomes the foundation of “Rationality” and hence “Science”. Love is then excluded from Ratinality and Science. That is the problem. And modern social scientists do not question their metaphysical assumption that “humans are fundamentally aggressive,

Weber talked about “Legality” in Wirtschaft and Gesellschaft. Woody might be interested in this. America, our schools in general ignore “Rechtssociologie”.

“Right” refers to what is permitted by and within a given power structure. For Native Americans to be granted the “Right” to hunt and fish is not the same thing as having “Power” to do the same. When we come to consider “Love and Nature” as a part of Native Science, we shall have further complications–you see why I am stuck!

violent”. “Right” is a compromise between fighting beasts.

*See also: Wirtschaft and Gesellschaft for “Law”/ Niklas Luhmann Rechtssociologie

Radical left scholars who followed the orthodox Marxist belief in “Power Struggle” did not wish to talk critically about Power either. They see Power is the instrument to be used by the “Vanguard of the History” (i.e. Communist Elite) for the construction of the Proletariat Utopia. But, at the same time, they appeared to have had a “gut feeling” that Power is fundamentally “Irrational”, despite their rationalization.

Hume said “Reason is, and ought only to be, a Slave to Passion”, If so, then “Science” as something about “The Means” is not competent to deal with the “Passion” (Will, Desire, Value, etc.) that exercises Power. And Scientists and Scholars are, then nothing more than technical “assistants” at their best to the “Sovereign Power Being”. Prostitutes have a better position in that they might touch the Passion of the Sovereign Power Being. By some reason, Scientists and Scholars, at least in their pretense, talked as if dealing with “Passion” is below their intellectual dignity. [Kissinger was merely “honest” in this respect.]

Weber became, in effect, a persona non grata, because of the “defensiveness” of Scientists and Scholars.

1-2. Weber’s personal struggle in Power and Love.

Weber characterizes “Power” as “that which forces people to do what they do not otherwise do”. And it was placed as the fundamental element of every human relation, upon which Social Relations were considered to be built. Weber did recognize “Love/Eros/Affinity” in human relations, but he concluded that they are “irrational” and unfit as foundation of social institutions — may they be “marriage”, “economy”, “legal”, “religions” or “politics” —.

Ironically, Weber’s writings betray an inordinate internal struggle with regard to the question of Power and Love. It is as if Weber wanted some sensitive souls to sense that what he formally announced in his “Science” were quite opposite of his internal feeling. In the name of “Science”, he had to say what he said. But at the same time, he had apparent pain in obeying the “Norm” of Science, which he himself imposed on his works. He advocated “scientific objectivity” and “Rationality” in the strongest argument that he could find. But then he turned around and cried in the pain that “Iron Cage” of science gave him. [See Mitzman. “Iron Cage”.]

It is well known that Weber had difficulties with his “Junker” father and “religious” mother. He could not respect “philistine” father. Nor could he accept “spiritualist” mother. He went to military school and became an army officer. He engaged in “duels” and at one time got his face cut. It is said that his mother slapped him for that. He disliked “stupid” military, but at the same time he took pleasure in displaying “machismo” and was a proud officer. He had an affair with a girl and then married another, which bothered him a great deal later on. He had many nervous breakdowns. He had to fight with his own conditions of mind alternating between “high excitement and deep depression” which were out of his control. In short, Weber was a huge bundle of inner contradictions.

[See the introduction to From Max Weber by H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills. Galaxy Books. 1958. H38 W36.]

His intense search of “Science” (Rational Intelligence) was not just for “academic” interest nor accidental. He was searching for a salvation of his soul in the quest of “Science”. I admire Weber for this. At least, his “Science” was not for “academic prestige/promotion”, “salary increments”, which he advocated in his “Science As A Vocation”. He was dead serious.

1-3. The Inner Conflict/Strife of Modern European Intellectuals.

*+ “Modernity or Modernism? Weber + contemporary social theory in lash.

One can see the same “conflict” in the modern intellectual movements in Germany, say in Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Nietzsche, Goethe, Marx, Freud, Mannheim, Marcuse, Habermas, et al. In the 19th century, the “Peasant” Germany was trying to respond to the “industrial Revolution”, which invaded her. It set a peculiar tradition for German intellectuals. Germans were asking questions to themselves. Adapt “Science” and survive? Resist it? Make it acceptable? Fight and win the race to the modern scientific/intellectual hegemony? They were apprehensive about “Science-Technology” and at the same time they were trying to “Modernize” Germany. To them, “Science” was an enigma and hope.

[as to the “cultural/intellectual” history, see P. Ricoeur Lectures On Ideology And Utopia. Columbia U Press 1986.]

The intellectual turmoil in historical Germany has a good parallel with what Weber had to go through in personal sense. And in European Intellectual Tradition, the sharp, conflict, confrontation, crisis, were the well-spring of intellectual achievements. Marx’s sense of “Dialectics of Class Struggle” and Freud’s sense of “Oedipus Complex” are cases in point. “Strife” is the trademark of European Intellectuality. From the European standard, Oriental “attitudes” such as Zen and Tao are not “Intellectual”, let alone “Scientific”. Marx called it “Asiatic” in a sense of contempt.

I add here that Native Americans and Intelligentsia in “Colonial countries” have the same trouble as Germans had in the 19th century, in their confrontation with invading “European Science/Technology/Rationality”.

[See V. Deloria God Is Red.

E.W. Said Orientalism.

Pantheon Books 1978. DS12 524.

(This is from an Islamic point of view)

Nathan Reigold. Scientific Colonialism.

Smithsonian Inst. Press 1987.]

There is also a parallel in “Feminist Science”.

[See Evelyn Fox Keller. Reflections On Gender And Science.

Yale Univ. Press 1985.

Hilary Rose and Steven Rose. Ideology Of/In The Natural Sciences. G.K. Hall & Co. 1979.

Mary Field Belenky. Women’s Ways of Knowing. Basic Books 1986.]

1-4. The Epistemology of the Oppressed.

I had some interest in “Native Science” that a small group of Native American scholars in my locality was doing. I soon came to realize that the central issue in the research is “Power of Knowledge; European versus Native”.

The “Power of Knowledge” became an important issue, because the overt physical violence used by “Conquistador” was replaced by a more effective means of repression, which is the control by “Science/Knowledge”. We have now “Epistemological Oppression”.

The typical everyday example of “Epistemological Oppression” is that the oppressed people have “no voice”. It is not that the oppressed did not complain. They do. But they are not “heard”. The reason is simple. The intellectuals in the position to effect social scale communication regard the “Voice of the Victims” as not “scientific”, “Objective”, “Rational”, “Inarticulate” etc. That is, the poor people have no “authority” nor “legitimacy” to command listening. They are denied the access to the communication.

[See Bishop Remi De Roo. Cries of Victims, Voice Of God. Novalis. 1986.]

And it is more tragic that the people themselves have the tendency of worshiping “intellectual heroes”. I observed that people, and academics  alike, tend to listen and “believe” big name “scientists” such as Carl Sagan. Suppose a child suggested to them that, say, “Universe may be like an Infinite Series of Images made of two parallel mirrors”, nobody would pay any attention. They have to be told by Big Name Scientists and get “impressed”. Not that they do not know fallacy of “Hero Worship” in Science. In fact they complain against the discrimination. But the statement from a child is not “quotable” in academic communication, whereas the same sentence from a Big Name Scientist has a “quoting value”. And the very people who complain that “nobody listens to me” do not in general listen to children or their own close friends. The discrimination has a “One-Way” hierarchical structure. It is tragic when that happens to ethnic minorities. In a mutual contempt, they deny their own access to the “grassroots support” that their community could provide. “Power Science” enforces such a tendency among the oppressed and silenced.

We note here that “knowing” in the professional sense has little to do with a scholar’s living, other than in the sense of job security and winning the competition for prestige and power positions. If a statement is not “quotable”, it is useless for “publication” on which they depend their life. Their “Knowledge Acquisition” (they call “Knowledge Production” in a megalomaniac conceit) is “Alienated Work”.

It would be quite a different story, if the “knowing” has to do with actual life — say, asking where the bathroom is in an urgent need —. Even a child can be a great help. Scholars and Scientists would appreciate the value and thank the child. But in the formal sense of “knowing” (science), “helpful communication” as such does not count.

The “knowing” in formal, institutional Science is primarily for “Knowledge Claim”, not for “helping people”. And if the Scientists and Scholars wish to have “Immortality” in their Knowledge Claim, they have to “register” the claim. The helpful communication that ordinary people provide for each other is not “Immortal” but “Ephemeral”. It helps and disappears. Scientists and Scholars, as “professionals” in the Knowledge Claim competition could not afford to waste their mind on “insignificant” statements of little children or people with no “authority”.

And even in ordinary conversations, we often engage in “Knowledge Competition”. Whoever utters a “New Knowledge,” say, read from newspapers or new books — win their game. The primary aim of talks as such is “Display of Knowledge” in the “One-Upmanship” game. It matters very little that what was said helps nobody. One tries to sound “smart” and gain”admiration”. Suppose one tries to help one’s friend by offering a comment that touches on an important problem in the friend’s life; it is most likely resented. Unless one is confident in the degree of “intimacy” with the person, one must regard offering a “too personal comment” is unwelcome offense, and it is not good “etiquette”.

We do know the disgusting habit of “righteously superior” people to offer “free advices” unsolicited. They are not “polite”. Even to our own children, we try to control our impulse to offer “free advice”. We should be careful! People could be offended by offer of help. I wonder in what degree even Lovers tolerate mutual help. Rather the game of “news” is relatively innocent.

Weber had something to say about this. He thought that intellectual discourse is fundamentally a “Power Struggle”. He suggested that even Lovers cannot avoid “dominating”, “subjugating” and thereby “exploiting” in mental sense. To him, the propensity of women to submit themselves to the intellectual domination of males and become “willing victims” is “Irrational”, yet that seemed the only “practical” way the Love Relation can be maintained. However, in his despair he did suggest the possibility of “Grace” — he used this word only once in the entire book —, but did not say any more than using the word. [I shall come back to this point later.]

But, that tell us that we do not “communicate”. We do not like to listen, even if it is really helpful. We resent precisely because “helpful communication” is “real”. And we do not wish to know other people’s troubles, because we have our own and we might be embarrassed to realize that we have no ability to help So we stay in “pleasant” exchanges of superficial greeting, such as “good morning”. When we say “How are you?,
we do not really mean to say that we are interested.

In this way, people with low social status are denied of the access to social scale communication. The Native Scientists know that well, for they suffer the very same “discrimination” and they talk about “Silenced People” in the History. Yet, it seems that they are not aware that they themselves do the same to the “Powerless”.

[Subnote 1-4. Example of mutual disrespect among the oppressed.

It is well known that even unionized Laborers vote for the Conservative Politicians. Not that workers trust the politician, but they do not trust themselves. Weber would point out that “Power” could not exist without the “Dependency” of the subjugated.

We might go to a small town and observe how the town council makes decisions, say on the basis of “Expert Recommendation”. There may be oppositions from townspeople and they might make a presentation to the town council. The typical attitude of the councilors is to say “Whose opinion do we believe?” Obviously the councilmen have no ability to “think” for themselves and have to depend on “Experts” from a Consultant Firm in a Big City. The town pays several hundred thousand dollars to the experts and ask for “Scientific Research”. Having paid for it, they cannot now listen to townspeople, who are “obviously” uneducated, ignorant, and, worse, “emotional”. That is to say, the councilmen do not believe that townspeople can be “intelligent”. It is logically understandable. As far as the councilmen are concerned they represent the best of the town’s intelligence otherwise they would not be elected. But since they do not know, they have to believe that nobody in town knows. That is the reason why they asked the Consultants. And that is what Weber discussed under the terms of “Legitimacy” and “Authority”. From that “Ought”, one can easily slip to “Is” of the fact.

It used to be said “If you are so smart, how come you are not rich (and powerful)”. One can sympathize with such sayings and understand that the issue of “Credibility” is important — for the most cases in politics have to do with “unknowns” and the community has to “gamble” on the basis of incomplete set of information —. The real issue is not the “Fact” which belongs to the Past, but “Trust” in the Future sense. We do not make important decisions by opinions of anybody whose past record does not impress us. But that is not because the Past Record is relevant. An opinion at a particular time expressed in a statement is not actually the issue. The issue is “With Whom One Feels Like Risking Life?” Certainly, we do not go into a venture with “Losers”. We look for “Winner/Hero — i.e. Authority, The Power —.

If the National Leader says “Let us fight a War”, you follow. Suppose your wife says do not like War. You say to her and to yourself “That is irrational. I cannot and ought not follow women’s intuition”, Besides, following wife’s instinct is below man’s intellectual dignity. It hurts your pride in “manhood”. That is why we go to wars. Needless to say, there are plenty of “Rational arguments” why you have to fight. In our history, there was no war that was not intellectually “justified” and “rationalized”.

Such cases make us question as to why we “repress” our feelings hinder “intellect – just like colonial officers suppress colonized people and that is the problem of “Power Knowledge” that I would like to discuss in this note.

[See also:

Max Weber. The Sociology of Religion. (19220 (Tr) E. Fishoff. Beacon Press 1956. BL 60 W433.

Arthur Mitzman.  The Iron Cage. A.Knopf 1970. Hm22 G3 W455

S. Lash and S. Whimster (ed) Max Weber, Rationality And Modernity. Alen & Unwin 1987 . JM22 83 W454735.

E.W. Said. “Foucault and the Imagination of Power”. in D.C. Hoy (ed). Foucault: A Critical Leader. Blackwell 1986.]

1-6. Asiatic Sense of Knowing

Weber is a European Scientist. His sense of Knowing and Intellect is distinctively European. There are, however, non-European sense of Knowing and Intellect.

The first thing Confucius said in the Analects — which is the most important text of all Confucian teaching — is that:

“Is it not pleasure to learn and in times recall what one has learned and fondle them. It is like having an old friend visiting from afar. If people around me does not know this pleasure, it is nothing to warm up about. (Pleasure is mine)”.

Of course the above is my translation. When I was taught Confucius, my teachers did not offer such a translation. Rather, my teachers and scholars alike hurriedly passed the first paragraph and went into the “technology” of how to maintain ritual orders etc. I hated Confucius. But by a chance I came to read the text again, I noticed that in the first paragraph Confucius was stating the Purpose of Learning. The purpose was “Pleasure”. One studies in order to know “Friend”. Confucius did care about pragmatics of rituals for the good of society. But “Knowing” was not for the “utilitarian value” nor the “Moral Cords”. It was simply the pleasure of having Friend.

Such “Knowledge”, if it is called knowledge, has nothing what so ever to do with “Power”. Just as it is absurd to “Claim Friend”, the “Knowledge of Friend” is not claimable. In this, Confucius was much like Taoists and Zen Learners.

I mention this as an example of Non-European sense of Knowing. It is a “Sensual Pleasure” that the Knowledge is cherished.

To be sure, even in Europe, there is “Knowing the Sensual Pleasure”. Knowing Art, Music, and Poetry is of that kind. But that is definitely outside the sense of Knowing of European Science. It is not “Rational” from European sense of Epistemology.

We open any European text books on Epistemology, and read a few paragraphs. We would notice that the preoccupation of “Philosophers” in Epistemology is “Justifying the Power/Authority of Claimed Knowledge”.

In the Oriental sense, no Justification is needed.

You say “That is Irrational”? If you say so, I agree. For the term “Rational/Irrational” is defined in the context of having conflicts and power struggles as to knowledge claim. (It came from Religious Inquisition, where “right or wrong,” was a deadly serious matter that People were often burned on stake or stoned. Socrates was pre-Christian. But even then the “Truth” of knowledge Claim was a serious matter in which “wrong” was punishable by death. That is far different from the “Sensual Pleasure” of Tao, Zen or Confucius.

I am interested and proposing to look at Weber from Non-Authoritarian view of Knowing. I note that Weber went into despair because he could not resolve “conflict” even between Lovers. The reason is his European Intellect stood on Power Conflict. Using such an Intellect/Rationality, he naturally could not resolve the Conflict of Sexes.

Confucius would have recommended to have “Proper Ritual of Mutual Respect” between Sexes. That would be “practical”. Weber, however, sensed that Sex (Erotic Relation) has “Religious” significance. That is: Sex (Eros) is something “Sacred” to Weber. Therefore, he would not go along with Confucius. To that I rather take Weber’s side.

Nonetheless, Confucius offers a perspective from which one can see what Weber was thinking/feeling. As such I value Confucius.