China, Greece, David Keatley discussed on Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas
And if you said something. The catholic church didn't likes you. Just go to next door to the protestant rulers place in you. Hang up there So there is ability and you know arguably. This was the result of geographical fragmentation. The fact that europe is just chopped up. You know it's got the mediterranean and the south it's Broken up mountains northern china's so the the classic cradle of chinese civilization yellow river ballet Is organized around this river kind of is more like egypt if you wanna take of it that way so you get large scale. Agriculture happening on a massive scale very early Whereas if you look at greece so david keatley. Who's a famous. He's passed away Ago scholar of early china contrasted greece in china and he argued One of the differences is this focus on the individual versus group. So you look at greek. You look at greek pottery. It's portrayals of heroes so this piece of pottery has achilles is recognizably killings. And he's doing this famous thing that achilles did Whereas china and it's anonymous figures performing music or doing ritual as a group scene and he traces back to the fact that greece greece's sucks agriculture. You can't get any kind of decent large-scale agriculture off. The ground so is is fisher. People fishing or hurting goats growing small patches vegetables. It's broken up their trading. Their traveling around the more individualistic china at a very early stage has rice agriculture and in the in the north where. They're not growing rice. They it's very dry and so they're having to irrigate so even if they're not growing a labor intensive crop like right so races super labour-intensive yet flood the fields. And you need really elaborate group cooperation to do that. And even in the north because of the nature of the climate they needed a large scale. Water water control irrigation. Flood control things like that. And so the argument is the chinese state got centralized very early on and economically and agriculturally got organized around a group activities very early on that tended to favor the group of individuals and this may have had something to do with why. There's relatively more individualism in the west but even in china there's a really interesting science article from say like eight years ago Tell him the lead author where he looked at rice versus grain county producing counties in china and looking at them like they're close together so he's controlling for everything except for the style of agriculture that they have these holistic versus analytic thinking tasks that psychologists use people from rice. Growing regions are much more holistic in front. Is the smaller scale week. Growing regions are more analytic. So even within these societies style of life is slightly different. You probably think about the individuals relationship to the group slightly differently it is. I mean it's a combination of irresistible set of ideas and you have to resist pushing them too far. We had joe henry on the show. He talked about the weirdness of the west and so forth. And i love it and that. But you know it's just it's it's too good in some sense to be completely drew so understanding limitations of this These connections is just as important and so in that vein there are. Examples of ancient chinese thinkers doing what we might think of as metaphysics or Abstract thinking and maybe you can tell the audience who doesn't know jones's fav- Famous butterfly dream story which has to do right. Mind body problem yeah. I think it's more about skepticism. Okay so it's you know. he says. I had a dream that i was a butterfly. I was flying around. I was happy and it was wonderful. And then i woke up and i thought oh i just trump. That was a butterfly. But how do. I know that i've not actually really that butterfly and i'm just now dreaming that i'm wrong..