The thinking of others

A friend sent me this. Picasso It chimes with the thoughts I found whilst reading the extract below.  I struggled with the language with the dictionary ever present but found myself thinking that there is a nugget of gold hidden in these words.

They come from:

The Meanings of late Neolithic Stamp Seals in North Mesopotamia

A thesis submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities, 2013 by Simon Denham

Personhood is what it is to be a person in a society and derives from the recognition that the bounded, closed ‘individual’ is a product of western modernity and is 218

not indiscriminately appropriate to past cultures (Fowler 2004). Fowler introduced a contrasting concept of dividual identity. Dividual identity is “a state of being in which the person is recognised as composite and multiply-authored. People are composed of social relations with others to the degree that they owe parts of themselves to others” (Fowler 2004: 8). The theory relates to how people perceive their identity within any social context. This makes identifying identities on the individual to dividual spectrum difficult as the theory relates to internalised semantic perception. The over-arching point is very important however, as it recognises that the ‘western’ individual is a product of modernity and is not equivalent to an agent. Persons have agency in a doxic relationship with structure regardless of if they are individuals or dividuals.

Within personhood theory objects can be important. Fowler identifies a type of dividual identity he calls partibility where it is suggested that parts of a person “can be extracted and given to another person to whom it is owed” (Fowler 2004: 9) in the form of objects. This type of relational personhood is closely associated with the notion of inalienability. An inalienable object is one which has been “imbued with affective qualities that are expressions of the value an object has when it is kept by its owners and inherited within the same family or descent group” (Weiner 1985: 210). More generally the theory illustrates that aspects of one’s personhood can originate outside of the person providing an arena for objects to be efficacious, without merely passively reflecting imposed meanings. Objects, places, smells, persons, communities, etc. can all be givers and receivers of aspects of personhood in different social contexts. The very ambiguity of this theory provides a notion or frame of how society functions that partly circumvents our lack of understanding of late Neolithic society.

Then I got sent thithe thinking of others

About caerhendre

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