The German sociologist Max Weber wrote: “Reality is chaotic. It is therefore all the more important that we formulate sharply defined concepts.”
I think he got a point: without clearly defined concepts and terms no scientific discussion is possible. Science depends on clear definitions. We need concepts to provide intellectual order to empirical reality. Concepts are the tools with which we understand empirical reality.
During the Middle Ages, a scientific dispute raged at European universities. The dispute was about the nature of our general concepts (universalia).
There were three major positions:
The third position became the basis for modern science, which distinguishes between concrete or abstract objects and the concepts and terms we define for them.
We depend on clearly defined concepts and terms not only for scientific discourse but also for every-day conversation. Without them, we would not be able to communicate effectively. We easily miscommunicate when we use ambiguous concepts, or when we define concepts too widely or too narrowly.
In order to communicate effectively, the structure of our concepts needs to mirror the structure of empirical reality as closely as possible. For example, if we subsume ‘mules’ under the concept of ‘horse’ how would you know what to do if you were ordered to ‘take the horse out of the stable’ when the stable contains both horses and mules? To know what to do, separate terms would need to be used for the two types of animals. The same confusion would result if we used the same term for ‘apples’ and ‘pears’, for ‘trucks’ and ‘cars’, or if we had no terms to distinguish between trees and bushes, automobiles and horse-drawn coaches etc. You get the drift.
Inevitably then, the concepts we define and use determine how we perceive and understand reality and what order or structure we give it. Our conceptual framework determines how we think about extra-personal reality, abstract objects, and ourselves. This means that if you control the concepts that people use and the terms they use to communicate, you also control much of their understanding of reality and their minds.
Most collectivist Marxists know that. Most constitutional Conservatives don’t.
We have more flexibility when defining abstract concepts or concepts of abstract objects as compared to defining objectively existing reality. Objectively existing reality is all reality that can be examined intersubjectively, using our senses or scientific instruments. ‘tree’, ‘rock’, ‘dog’, ‘egg’ or ‘lake’ would be examples for objectively existing objects. They can be examined and mostly also measured by any normal human and the definition of their terms or concepts can be verified against reality.
Examples for abstract objects would be ‘neurosis’, ‘religiousness’, ‘intelligence’, or ‘wisdom’. We cannot observe or measure ‘religiousness’ directly. We need to first define it e.g. as ‘devoutly believing in and living by the rules of a religion’. Yet, we could still not measure religiousness, i.e. determine whether a person is more or less religious. This would require the introduction of measurable indicators or parameters of ‘religiousness’.
For example, we could consider a person more religious who goes to church frequently than a person who goes to church less frequently. Frequency of praying or participation in other church activities could also be considered measurable parameters. However, there is an element of arbitrariness in this that is absent when we define concepts of objectively existing concrete objects. This is also the reason why science becomes less and less concise and clear as it ventures into realms that defy direct observation, as is the case with the macro cosmos and the micro cosmos.
As a rule, we define concepts of concrete objects based on essence and normality. When you define the concept of ‘horse’ for example, you would focus on those characteristics of the animal that capture the essence of what it normally is and what distinguishes it from other animals as opposed to accidental characteristics like size, color, or capabilities, which could, however be used to define sub-types of horses.
We do not define a real object based on non-standard or exceptional characteristics. Horses have normally four legs, one head, one tail etc. And even though there are exceptions to these normal features, we do not use them to define a concrete object, since such a definition would not be reflective of reality and hence useless. Just because some humans are born with more than two arms or fewer, we do not define ‘human’ as a being with a variable number of arms. Our definition is based on functional and statistic normality, because the concepts we develop should create clarity, not confusion. If our concepts do not reflect reality correctly, we will end up in error about what is real. Any discrepancy between objective reality and our image of it is not helpful for individual and collective survival.
Webster's Dictionary defines concepts and terms. Until recently, its definition of ‘female’ was:
(Emphases by me)
The term ‘sex’ used to refer to the biological makeup of humans. The term ‘gender’ has been sequestered by liberal political activists from linguistics, where it refers to a phenomenon that exists in English only among pronouns: he, she, it; him, her, his. In other languages, e.g. German, nouns are male, female or neutral, which characteristic can
obviously not be called ‘sex’ and was therefore called ‘gender’. There is no underlying rhyme or reason in the gender structure of languages. The Germans for example have three words for “box”: Kiste, Kasten and Kästchen. The difference between them is just size or shape. But ‘Kiste’ is feminine, ‘Kasten’ is masculine, and Kästchen is neutral. In French, the moon is feminine, in German masculine. In French the sun is masculine, in German feminine.
Liberal social engineers are using the linguistic concept of ‘gender’ to refer to the sexual social role a person plays or wants to play based entirely on the person’s imagined sex. (One wonders why they only adopted the term ‘gender’ and not also ‘feminine’ and masculine’ instead of ‘female’ and ‘male’.)
In psychiatry, if you believe to be Napoleon or an elephant or Jesus Christ, or something else you are verifiably not, you are considered mentally ill.
But things are not that simple with mistaken sex identity. In biology, a distinction is made between a human’s ‘genotype’ and ‘phenotype’. The former term refers to a person’s hormonal makeup (and should therefore actually be changed to ‘hormotype’) while the latter refers to a person’s physical makeup. A person can indeed have all the characteristics of a man, penis, scrotum, beard, deep voice and yet have the dominant hormonal makeup of a woman. This is essentially an emotional female trapped in a male body. Inversely, a person can have the body of a woman, vagina, ovaries, breasts, high voice, menstruation and yet have the dominant hormonal makeup of a man. This is essentially an emotional male trapped in a female body. The emotional female with the male body would be attracted to men, not women. The emotional male with the female body would be attracted to females, not males. And then there is true hermaphroditism, a person with both male and female
sexual organs and features and a mixed hormonal makeup that could trend either way.
All three phenomena are rare disorders. They are not normal, neither functionally nor statistically. Even though many men and women who suffer from this sex and gender identity disorder enjoy happy heterosexual relationships, it is easy to see and understand that people with these disorders might be confused about their sexual identity and the gender role they should or would like to play in society. They need empathy and help, but they also need to understand that their condition is NOT within the standard definition of female or male sex. Almost all other forms of sexual identity and/or gender confusion are of a psychological nature, the result of social or psychological circumstances or of juvenile developmental problems and could be corrected with appropriate therapy.
But our liberal fighters for a new world order are dead set to destroy our current society and culture. One way to achieve this is to tear down and dissolve all traditional values and social-psychological structures. They are trying to destroy the traditional family, traditional social roles of men and women, the father role, the mother role, and replace the parents with government educational institutions that impregnate the young with the new collectively desired values and forms of behavior.
This is why they are making an effort to make as many people as possible uncertain about their sex and gender role and to proclaim this uncertainty the human norm. They want us to think that biological men who want play a male gender role, are attracted to women and want to be husbands and fathers are sick and mentally deranged and that biological women, who want to play a female gender role, are attracted to men and want to be wives and mothers are retro sickos. Webster caved to this woke social engineering and changed its definition of
‘female’ to include persons who only believe to be female even if they are demonstrably not. But exceptions to a rule do not invalidate the rule. They confirm it.
We, - our education system, our media, our government - are on the way to systematically generate a new type of humans who sincerely believe that reality is what they believe it to be. This means that we are on a collision path of mind with reality.
Merriam Webster may water down the concepts all they want. Woke is broke and my money is on reality.
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