Welt 3 – II

This is no academic lecture, just some thoughts. I read Popper’s Three Worlds (Tanner Lecture on Human Values, delivered at The University of Michigan, April 7th 1978), where he defends his view against Monists and Dualists. I think that is a good introduction into his thinking and he notes further areas in his writings where he developed one or another thought. As I see it now, there is no comprehensive depiction of his ideas, a kind of reader – and especially not in the German or European “Kulturwissenschaft”. Scharfe, whom I mentioned earlier and who started all this, would have found and discussed such a feedback, but Popper’s Three Worlds seemingly had no further impact on the academic discussion about “culture” here.

Popper distinguishes three “worlds” (sphaerai?). World 1 is the area of the Physical, the Material, the world of things and bodies and their laws: Rays, waves, atoms, magnetic fields, currents, dust, stars, rivers, houses – you get the idea.
World 2 is the area of the subject (und des Subjektiven!), the cognitive and inner-soul processes and feelings, thinking, consciousness and un-consciousness, anger, hate, greed, happiness, resignation, melancholia, dreaming also the area of concentration, rememberance, knowing and forgetting, comparing etc.
World 3 is the area of those things that emerge from the bodily and intellectual activities of man, seperate from him and then live their own life: The spoken word, the written word, stories, images, pictures, thoughts, plans, theories (right AND wrong), art, myth, science, arguments (NOT argumentation, that is World 2), rules, structures.
That is culture.
All three worlds are real and pretty autonomous. Chemical or other processes in world 1 simply happen. World 2 is also relatively autonomous: I hear a tune again – the physical and chemical processes are the same, but added is the memory, my memory, it happens in my brain. But the tune, be it a folk song or Beethoven’s Fifth, IS. Whether I hear it or not. It exists. All three worlds do interact with each other. World 2 creates Welt 3: Humans write texts, find problems, think. Welt 3 Makes Humans: Without language, rules and structure and knowledge we can not exist. And via world 2 Welt 3 changes world 1: Mathematical formulae, technology for concrete building and atomic reactors – it is all there, stored, usable and gets used: Welt 3 objects become tools to change world 1 via the subjective world 2, for example an engeneer’s head.
It has interesting consequences for the method (Methodologie) and general idea about culture, cultural objects (Objektivationen) in the area I call my science (Volkskunde, I insist on this Begriff, call me old-fashioned). And, as mentioned above, except Scharfe seemingly no one thought about this in the last 40 years at one of those institutes. All the ideas about museums, the “cult” around objects, the sheer nonsense and the plain boredom you can encounter in these sacred spaces of – what? What IS there? In the last 30 years or so the discussion always was about “the human”, the “structures”, the “relations” – generally the question what “culture” is or at least could mean was circumnavigated and replaced by theatrical presentations, by teacheresque showings or – and that happened a lot – by ideological discussions, or better: argument-throwing.
No further details here. Read Sir Karl’s lecture and think for yourself.

Two citations (later thrown in, sorry):

Mention should also be made of the close relationship between
what I call world 3 and what the anthropologists call ‘culture’.
The two are very nearly the same. Both can be described as the
world of the products of the human mind; and the term ‘cultural
evolution’ covers very much the same as I should call ‘world 3
However, the anthropologists are inclined not to distinguish
the world 1 embodiments of world 3 objects from the world 3
objects themselves. This leads to a great difference between their
outlook and mine, and between our two views of the universe.

The feedback effect between world 3 and world 2 is of particular
importance. Our minds are the creators of world 3; but
world 3 in its turn not only informs our minds, but largely creates
them. The very idea of a self depends on world 3 theories, especially upon a theory of time which underlies the identity of the self, the self of yesterday, of today, and of tomorrow. The learning of a language, which is a world 3 object, is itself partly a creative act and partly a feedback effect; and the full consciousness of self is anchored in our human language.
Our relationship to our work is a feedback relationship: our
work grows through us, and we grow through our work.
This growth, this self-transcendence, has a rational side and a
non-rational side. The creation of new ideas, of new theories, is
partly non-rational. It is a matter of what is called ‘intuition’ or
‘imagination’. But intuition is fallible, as is everything human.
Intuition must be controlled through rational criticism, which is
the most important product of human language. This control
through criticism is the rational aspect of the growth of knowledge and of our personal growth. It is one of the three most important things that make us human. The other two are compassion,
and the consciousness of our fallibility.

I slept the last days, read nothing and wrote no letters. Slowly I become a human again as the cold creeps back. My sleeping patterns are really mixed up, I need another job: My days are lost to sleep or I am busy trying to get my things on, the nights are spent awake, my mind-setting changes in a no-good way, and after all it’s not enough cash to come out of dept. It is good enough to keep me afloat but it is not good enough for much longer, the personal cost is too high. I have two weeks to find something better.

18 thoughts on “Welt 3 – II

  1. World 1 really gets in the way I’ve found but is an important part if you stop to learn and notice what is around you, it sinks into world 2 and comes out in world 3 bringing the memories of the experience, all a circle it seems.Good luck on the job hunting, one without a uniform hopefully.

  2. ProximaI hope you do!SavannahAch … *blush*AmandaA bottle of Mueller-Thurgau does the trick …Say, did one of my comments get lost because I used the nasty “F”-word? Bist Du in einem Zeugenschutzprogramm? :))One weekend to go, then I am five days off – payed free time, Urlaub, dass ich das noch erleben darf …

  3. Love this post! Throws me through a loop though. I thought reality was subjective…and life but a dream. I’ll be back to read again.Glad you’re feeling better. I hope you’re able to get some good rest. I personally am not one who can go without sleep so I empathize. Good luck on the hunt! Have faith the right one will come along.

  4. I think that every individual creates his own reality. We all share world 1, but world 2 IS subjective. But Welt 3 IS also, exists. The three worlds interact and the interesting thing is the subject, the individual in its double role as the one who “is created” and creates by itself. So the focus can be on the interactions, the areas of border or interlaping, transition.Where does the self find itself? In the language I think.

  5. I left a comment here, it disappeared, maybe in the rightness of things.Yes, I had commented on the interconnectedness of the three worlds. Yet strange how time makes a difference. Yesterday on TV we watched a documentary abt the unearthing of the Egyptian treasures where a young Tutankhamen is married off to his own sister at fourteen. And the strange case of the young schoolkid at the same age or close , who had sired a child in Britain, the hullabaloo that has been raised.Good luck on the work front, Herr Mago.

  6. AmandaSekt, champagne, prosecco … one glass for me, thank you, that’s enough. A nice red, Dornfelder is not too heavy, is it? I am simply careful with that stuff. Regent is a nice wine too, but only one Viertel for me please.AustereYes I will write about the connections. A fourteen year old father? Well, how old is the mother?Mrs. PouncerThere is nothing else then Eigeninitiative. Die Lage ist besch-eiden: Unemployment rate may be the same as some months before, I do not care: I am a self employed mid-forty academic who simply needs a job. I will try to get something as teacher for history in Hassia or Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Bavaria it is not possible. Or grab nearly anything else that allows me a regular course of sleep and wake – I simply loose too much time with that actual irregular day, night and what-not-shifts.

  7. This is awesome..I loved tunneling down into the mindshaft.The thing about us Humans is that we adore complicating things. If we had any brains at all, we’d pour all of our resources into understanding how electro-chemical reactions in the 3 pounds of jello separating our ears can create thoughts, music, and emotions.Wonderful stroll into the brainosphere.Mrs. Pouncer is right about money and happiness, as always, but having a lot of both is a problem that I would love to tackle.If I wasn’t a solipsist I would have sworn that you are real!

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