#3569. literacy は認知上の決定的な差異をもたらすか? (2)[literacy][anthropology]


 昨日の記事 ([2019-02-02-1]) に引き続き,literacy は人類にとって革新的な「知性の技術」 (= [the] technology of the intellect) であるのか否かという問題を考えよう.
 Foley (433) は,literacy は「知性の技術」であるにしても,定冠詞の付くような唯一絶対のものではなく,歴史によって形成される社会的・文化的な構築物の1つとしての技術にすぎないと考えている.とすると,古典ギリシア的な「知性の技術」は,必然的な終着点ではなく,あくまで古代ギリシアで歴史的に培われた1つの特殊な技術とみるべきだということになる.

Literacy is not a straightforward "technology of the intellect"; technologies, like intellects . . ., are social and cultural constructions, arrived at by particular histories of engaging with the world and each other through various institutions and events. There are as many literacies as there are ways of engaging the world and ourselves through the written word. Those whose lives are deeply embedded in and lived through the written word could expect some cognitive effects as a result of this, but that is simply the result of their particular lived histories, their trajectories of structural coupling and nothing more. And, of course, what those effects might be will be local, specific to the local literacy practices that they have engaged in and whose understanding they embody. There are no certain or universal effects.

 この箇所は,実に読み応えのある批評である.続く Foley (434) の結論部でも,同趣旨で次のようにある.

Cultural practices and beliefs about literacy are highly variable, demonstrating the impossibility of any simple oral/literate divide or monolithic literate technology. Rather, literate practices of each culture reflect the way they engage with the world through the written word, their lived history of structural coupling via a script technology.

 literacy というと,まず個人の認知や学習という側面を考えがちだが,それと同じくらい個々の社会・文化に特有の歴史的構築物だという視点にも注意を払っておきたい.

 ・ Foley, William A. Anthropological Linguistics: An Introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997.

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