[-empyre-] ethology?

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Nov 15 06:54:52 EST 2014

I read with great interest, Reinhold's post; he states "All living being 
is open, in constant exchange with the world, with persons, other species 
and things around, with what is his Umwelt or his living-world. A newborn 
is in an extremely intense exchange with his environment. Just read what 
Daniel Stern 1985 wrote in his ?The Interpersonal World of the Infant? 
about the vitality affects: Long before there is any experience of an ?I?, 
there is an intense communication of forms of feeling, of affects taking 
place. Or to say it in a more philosophical way: The ?I? always comes 
late, the encounter with the other always already has taken place before 
the ?I? notices it."

I then read the news:

US led strikes hit Islamic State, al-Qaida-linked group in Syria Jerusalem 
Post - 57 minutes ago WASHINGTON - US-led air strikes hit 10 units of 
Islamic State fighters in Syria in recent days, as well as militants with 
the al-Qaida-linked Khorasan Group, US Central Command said in a statement 
on Friday. Islamic State sets sights on Saudi Arabia BBC News - 20 minutes 
ago In a 17-minute audio message, purportedly from its elusive leader Abu 
Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group sets its sights firmly on Saudi Arabia, 
birthplace of Islam and the world's largest oil producer and exporter. 
Militants seize hometown of kidnapped schoolgirls Businessweek - 1 hour 
ago MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) - Islamic extremists in Nigeria have seized 
Chibok, forcing thousands of people to flee the town where insurgents 
kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April, a local official said Friday. 
Student Found Unconscious at WVU Fraternity Dies ABC News - 19 minutes ago 
A West Virginia University student found unconscious and not breathing at 
a fraternity house died Friday, a day after the school ordered a halt to 
all activities at fraternities and sororities, officials said. Capital 
Wired Male Infanticide -- Male Mammals Kill Rival Babies To Endure Own 
Offspring Capital Wired - 18 minutes ago When it comes to the animal 
kingdom, it's the survival of the fittest and his offspring. To endure 
their own offspring, some mammals kills the babies of the rivals. Bullying 
Increases Mating Prospects For Male Chimpanzees [STUDY] ValueWalk - 45 
minutes ago A 17-year study of chimpanzees in Tanzania reports that 
bullying may be of benefit to males of the group. More specifically, males 
that exhibited long-term aggressive behavior towards females, up to and 
including physical assaults, significantly increased.

- And I wonder, why isn't sociobiology on the table here? It seems to me 
that violence is ingrained in being-human; although there are exceptions, 
most of human history seems bathed in blood. For me, part of the question 
does involve empathy - how can we so identify with the other, that the 
torture stops? And almost everything I've read, from Amery through Scarry 
through the Nuremberg War trial transcripts, presents against this 
possibility, that in fact torture has its own perverse logic, its own 
closure. I realize that sociobiology is considered problematic; on the 
other hand, I don't know how other-species evidence can be overlooked 
(even sea anenomes have (for us, slow-motion) wars). Comments appreciated 

Thanks greatly, Alan

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