Self-Tagging “Your Ideal Field” Meme

I discovered my favorite intellectual question at age three: is language necessary to thought, that is, must one have language in order to have thought, or can thought precede language? I wanted to believe that thought came first, but my observations indicated that language so strongly informed thought, that what preceded language might not be classifiable as thought but as sensation and intuition.

I went into literature because this was the university curriculum which would permit me to advance the furthest in language acquisition. I have sometimes wondered whether this is the right field for me, given my practical skills, my activist bent, and my logical and sociological orientation. I have decided that it is because I get to live in departments where people can think metaphorically, whereas in other departments many people cannot.


4 thoughts on “Self-Tagging “Your Ideal Field” Meme

  1. Yes — the thinking metaphorically is a bonus in English departments. My interest is similar to yours. I’m intrigued by the way that cultures form the way that we think to the point that what is deeply culturally specific behaviour is taken by the subjects as being universal, logical and valid everywhere. (It seems that once we are used to thinking in a certain way, we cannot imagine not thinking in that way — and by extension we cannot imagine anyone else not thinking in this way, either.)

    So that is what interests me. Tying into this, I’m also interesting in the cultural construction of femininity, since it is something I simply cannot relate to from the inside. I’ve learned to recognise all these things (the nativisation of culturally entrenched assumptions) as well as the expectations of femininity, here or there. What I don’t know is specifically how these things got into people, rather than something else.

    Linked to all of the above is the study of madness and how a discourse concerning madness versus sanity is used subtly mostly — but sometimes overtly — to reinforce social norms and entrench their internalisations through guilt. “Mad” people seem to speak more freely and more accurately about power relations. There is something to that.

  2. “’Mad’ people seem to speak more freely and more accurately about power relations.”

    There used to be this very entertaining and articulate paranoid schizophrenic who would entertain anyone who would listen outside the university library. It was said she had been a professor of Philosophy but had had to leave when she went insane.

    She said that all the buildings in the university were connected via underground tunnels, and that the authorities had installed VCRs in everyone’s brain, right behind our eyes, so that we could only see what we were expected to see.

    There are in fact some underground tunnels. And the VCRs behind our eyes, well it is at least a great metaphor.

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