Tag Archives: Gender

The Edge Challenge 2017: What scientific concepts deserve to be more widely known?

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I recently purchased a copy of Sam Harris’ book Letter to a Christian Nation. I had intended to purchase his book Free Will but changed my mind.

I could say: “Sam Harris is wrong.” But why? Why would-should I? What value can I offer my readers, Mr. Harris readers, The Edge contributors etc., by critiquing an argument I’ve not read, predicated on the logical progression of a ‘related argument’ by the same author? Would I be begging the question the author also begged? Would doing so implicate me in a formal or informal fallacy of logic? Why might a distinction between formal and informal be a barometer of sorts?

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I was interested in his assertion that Free Will is an illusion, and I wanted to listen to a nuanced discussion of solipsism, by someone educated enough to not just know and understand what “begging the question” IS, but also someone rhetorically able to debate and teach. Someone able to frame the limitations imposed by any beliefs that “beg the question,” regardless of the paradigm.

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I then proceeded to observe my navel and inadvertently created circumstances that support his argument. I wanted to buy his treatise on “reductionism.” I knew that my checking account was depleted. I knew that it was likely I would deplete it to danger level before my next pay day, and that should my insecure guilt catch up to me, any purchase I made thru Amazon’s used book market place, would obligate me to pay for return postage. And I bought the book I didn’t want, anyway. I bought other things. All on sale etc,.etc. And here I sit. One week till my next pay day, short on the weekly bus pass to get to work beginning tomorrow and just as shameful, I’m now short of the Uber/Lyft cab fare necessary to get TO CLASS where I’m working on my paralegal associates to compliment my undergraduate degree.

The name of this blog is Borderlands of Health and Wellness. Just in case you’ve forgot.

My fellow Americans, I am a biological member of a family that votes Republican. I currently live in Tennessee, just North of God’s Country, known to fellow Americans and expatriates as The Grid Iron Throne. Alabama.

On my mother’s nuclear family side, the only member SUSPECTED of voting for a member of the Democratic party in the last 65 years (because we are too estranged a unit to discuss such matters unless we intend to SHORTEN a visit, conversation, or FUTURE family get togethers) passed away on All Souls Day, 2012. The “suspect” before returning to The United States for hospice care, was an MD who worked in mental health abroad. On those visits he did make to the U.S.A. before his passing, his daughter always came first, as she should. His other family, (sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces etc. never were guaranteed a visit and got a phone call occasionally, if we were privileged.)

On my father’s side, the LAST purported Democrat, who voted for ROOSEVELT people, was the youngest son of a second wife, a progenitor who graduated from Samford University (a Baptist college affiliated with Birmingham Southern)in Birmingham Alabama and married again after his first wife’s death. What capital, assets, this progenitor possessed, paid for University educations for each of his children until his money was exhausted. My paternal grandfather, saw his father’s assets provide such boons for his siblings and knew, all that would remain for him, would be family land. So he only completed his education thru the 6th grade if I’m not mistaken, and chose to became a farmer.

Why did I begin this post with a clear appeal to scientific literacy, insinuate to the reader that the public intellectual who also promotes the results of The Edge Challenge on his website may be
a) wrong
b) leaving out information
and
c) run the risk of annoying and loosing my readers with a personal anecdote that clearly is moving in a somewhat aposterori direction?

Here’s why.

Historical mimesis. Aristotle coined the term and concept more than 2,000 years ago. There are numerous terms that describe the same phenomenon concentrated in a diverse array of subject matter. I’m choosing this term to essentially “dial down” from the clear and present concerns presented by the first 100 days of the current presidential administration. I can’t speak with complete certainty for anyone but myself, but meta narratives caught many Americans off guard since 2000 A.D. at the very least. Author Sam Harris I wager in his book, Letter to a Christian Nation has predicated his letter-tome on the premise of natural philosophy and mimesis. His argument is aesthetically dependant on begging his own question and I will wager in the paragraphs to follow that at no point, does his book, Letter to a Christian Nation bring up “Universal History.” Sam Harris could and can run circles around me, but it doesn’t change the fact that he has a red ball under a nutshell and is doing a magic trick that makes use of observer bias. It also doesn’t negate his views.

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Regardless of who your family voted for in the 2016 election, Donald Trump has won. Regardless of the origins of The Tea Party phenomenon, it caught fire on both coasts of The United States and burned right to the center. Regardless of how ethnically diverse either political party is in fact, portrayed as, or rhetorically marketed to be, the premise any health care system is based on, operates on the scientific law that human beings have a limited shelf life. We catch fire, we wear out, burn out, burn down.

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I dropped the ball for myself and my family (if idealism is a scientific law) buying Sam Harris book. The review I read gave me a false impression of the content to be found between its covers. Its not without value don’t get me wrong.

But when I am ready to write “The End of History and The Last Woman” I will. And not before. Consider this statement dear academics and fellow writers as my claim to this book, paper and treatise. Don’t touch my book title Mary Shelley.

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I dropped the ball the moment I walked into the Macy’s at The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville and walked to the jewelry clearance rack and purchased Ralph Lauren, Lora and Lilly and INC, item(s.) I got great deals on the prices. I can accept cash tips that MAY allow me to cover my self imposed shortfall before my next pay day. But I’m NOT guaranteed CASH TIPS. EVER. No wellness employer hands out cash to employees at the end of each shift in advance of tips left on credit or debit cards. I just essentially GAMBLED big time for the wrong reasons. Or did I?

Free Will. Free Will? Free. Free? Will. Etc,.

Where is intentionality now? Where is the individual? Am I alone in a forest listening for a falling tree, or am I listening to the delicate sounds of Sturm and Drang? Is it a fallacy of equivocation on my part or let’s say Mr. Harris himself, if he contacted me to state correctly, that to berate myself for my actions would be a morally baseless and abusive action ONLY if I had failed to calculate the odds of receiving cash tips alongside the intervals of time between the point of purchase, number of work days and my departure for my next class?

REDUX

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Moral. Not Mortal. Moral. I will now make a bet with my readers. I will wager a guest blogger article hosted on both this blog and my personal blog, Ashley M. Heidi Carter, that in his book Letter to a Christian Nation, author Sam Harris AT NO TIME draws a Direct dual link between ontology, either theological or philosophical and aesthetics. I wager he never mentions Avveroes (Ibn Rushid’s) The Double Truth. I also wager, he never calls Universal History by that name. To do so…

I know I can and believe many of my readers could, choose a variety of substitute concepts to replace the innate diversity of aesthetics, and still communicate the notion that although human reason can demonstrably exist apart and independent of a divine creator, the idea of ‘natural law’ is bifurcated to include the unknown variable.

Manifest Destiny. Destiny made manifest?

Civics 101 ladies and gents! The Bill of Rights is not a legally binding document. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying the document “Is a REBUKE.” In America we have inalienable rights. The Bill of Rights famously includes a fallacy of equivocation that HAS BEEN USED TO CREATE THE ILLUSION OF MANIFEST DESTINY IN PERPETUITY. Historically, NO GOVERNMENT can legislate the ontological ACCORDING TO GENRE…and law. Are you sure about that Free Will fallacy Sam? Can I trust your judgement Sam? How far can any of “US” trust you with a Free Will argument today, The 30th of January, 2016. The day the Associate Attorney General of The United States resigned or was fired? Free Will?

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Averroes. Ibn Rushid. The Double Truth. Former President Obama and current POTUS Trump DID NOT EXCHANGE SPOUSES. Let’s ALL REMEMBER NOT TO BEG THE QUESTION (s) of sociology, cultural arrogance and aesthetics. Let’s all remember that axiology is the step child of epistemology and proceed accordingly to our better judgment:Even though none other than Ronald Regan himself was once PURPORTED to have called Osama Bin Laden a “Freedom Fighter.” I think that “quote” deserves a “Fact Check.” If Idolatry is “the problem” why should Sam Harris get a pass for a “IDEOlogical fallacy” rather than a “white lie?”

Absolute Values Part Three: Language and Professionalism in Context

*This is the third installment of a four-part series on Professional Development for Spa Therapists. The series utilizes the terms Masseur, Masseuse and Massage Therapist as a Touchstone.

What does the structure of language have to do with Professional Development for Spa Therapists/Technicians?

What is the difference between an adjective, a metaphor and a simile? Are they synonyms for one another and if they are not, what makes them distinct and discreetly different? Why does it matter what anyone calls themselves as long as they give a ‘good’ massage?

adjective noun

An adjective is a word that describes a noun and can include the words Masseur and Masseuse.

  • The red car.
  • I am tired of dating him.
  • He is too idealistic.
  • He is a self motivated professional.
  • The name of the book is Stone Soup.

metaphor-diagram

 

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase compares two very different objects, concepts, ideas, or feelings to provide a clearer description.

  • He is the black sheep of our family.
  • You ain’t nothing but a hound dog. – Elvis Presley
  • A blanket of snow fell today.
  • I have a half-baked idea in mind.
  • “Why I am a little black rain cloud of course!” – Winnie the Pooh

Giraffe Similie

Metaphors are different from similes. A simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of two different things and 9 times out of 10 will incorporate the words “like” or “as.” Because simile’s AND metaphors serve the purpose of enhancing a description they are both considered literary devices. More precisely, the true distinction between a metaphor and a simile is that a simile makes an explicit comparison, while a metaphor makes an implicit one.

BUT WAIT!!! What does this have to do with Professional development?

PLENTY! And here is WHY: As you may have already noticed, the definitions above OVERLAP. What one person will call an adjective may be further categorized as a metaphor or in some instances as a simile depending on the usage. These definitions underscore both the creativity and subjectivity involved in personal self-expression.

Massage Therapist: Tenor or Vehicle?

I’m not talking about music or cars! So what do Professionals mean when asking the question above?  Metaphors can be described by several means and methods. Tenor and Vehicle are terms that were coined by I.A. Richards in the early 20th century.

  • The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the terms this way: “tenor and vehicle, the components of a metaphor, with the tenor referring to the concept, object, or person meant, and the vehicle being the image that carries the weight of the comparison.” This is not the only way to define the terms.

Here is a broader definition.

An academic source from Carson Newman College’s English Department affords tenor and vehicle more liberal definitions: “In common usage, tenor refers to the course of thought, meaning or emotion in anything written or spoken.”  

“A modern theory would object, first, that in many of the most important uses of metaphor, the co-presence of the vehicle and the tenor results in a meaning (to be clearly distinguished from the tenor) which is not attainable without their interaction. That the vehicle is not normally a mere embellishment of a tenor which is otherwise unchanged by it but that vehicle and tenor in co-operation give a meaning of more varied powers that can be ascribed to either. And a modern theory would go on to point out that with different metaphors the relative importance of the contributions of vehicle and tenor to this resultant meaning varies immensely. At one extreme the vehicle may become almost a mere decoration or coloring of the tenor, at the other extreme, the tenor may become almost a mere excuse for the introduction of the vehicle, and so no longer be ‘the principal subject.’ And the degree to which the tenor is imagined ‘to be that very thing which it only resembles’ also varies immensely.” (I.A. Richards, The Philosophy of Rhetoric. Oxford Univ. Press, 1936)

Philosophically speaking, the witty amongst us will have already noted that Richards describes a “modern theory” and thereby indicates that he has a basis for making a distinction between tenor and vehicle that avoids the solipsism he is describing!

Richard’s may have had an agenda of sorts or not. Regardless of his own views of what constituted “modernism” or even his private politics, by categorizing “modern” rhetoric as having “relative” meaning Richards accomplished or obscured two important historical developments of his era. Richards wrote the passage above in 1936, prior to Hitler, Hiroshima and the Holocaust. As previously noted in this series, logical positivism was reaching it’s zenith in Europe in the 1940’s as the discovery of the atom bomb illustrated. The taxonomy Richards created and “embellished” beyond rhetoric and into literature as a whole stream of thought, rather than the nuts and bolts of language structure allows us to note that the solipsism he describes is a feature of both logical positivism AND relativism which facilitates the unspoken “POST MODERN” label predicated on Richard’s own definitions which imply reflexivity.  This occurred at least 40 years prior to the supposed advent of the term in the 1970’s according to art historians.

The relationship between logical positivism and language as we have noted in prior installments of this series was carried forward by Ludwig Wittgenstein and his contributions to logic and language. Popper and Kuhn built on this existing legacy and made contributions to the philosophy of science that form the basis of many massage education curriculums today.

Professional Foundations and the Individual: Why and Where does gender matter in professional communication?

Let’s revisit the second post in this series to provide a starting point and context from which to answer the question above.

“Logical Positivism was supposedly abandoned because it was revealed that empirical PHILOSOPHICAL claims which were presumed to undergird scientific endeavors cannot be VERIFIED to be UNIVERSALLY true and that this revelation placed limits on how much we can know. This “revelation” (a form of knowledge itself) filtered into common parlance (language) in phrases such as “the linguistic turn” cited above. It is also another way to describe phrases such as “asymmetrical information” which are frequently floated to describe a variety of imbalances in power implied by terms such as “Balkanization” and resulting abuses.”

Awareness of how the growth of modern views on language and linguistics fits into the history of science can shed more light on WHY the professional massage, spa, wellness and allied CAM community has agreed by general consensus to uphold the term “massage therapist” as the most appropriate term for professional use by bodyworkers.

“Masseur” and “masseuse” are descriptive stand alone words. With such gendered terminology as a starting point, who is the observer and who is the subject?

Massage Therapist is not a metaphor any more than Masseur or Masseuse: therefore it is illogical to ask what is the tenor and what or whom is the vehicle in this word phrase.

One of the facts of professional practice for LMT’s in the 21st century is that the massage profession will never be able to replace the scientifically mainstream profession of physical therapy. Due to this impasse, the massage profession is viewed by some within the industry as ‘struggling’ against everything from health care politics and monied vested interests, to conspiracy theories of every stripe and even with private matters for individuals such as religion, faith and sexuality.

Choosing the term “Massage Therapist” is in many respects a discretionary decision. Many LMT’s make this choice because it is what they were taught. Other’s make this distinction predicated on axiology and value judgments. Yet others if asked will say that they find the decision to utilize the professional designation “Massage Therapist” because they are supporting the growth of the profession and of the wellness industry as a whole.

Regardless of the reasons one has for choosing to ‘follow the crowd’ there are still more reasons than we have yet discussed for chosing to adhere to the term “Massage Therapist” as a professional designation.

We will touch on some of those reasons in the final installment in this series. Until next time!