Very particular debate and question: about us, you, me… it is about being human.

Nature vs. Nurture: are we born the way we are, with character, morality, love, hate; were we born the way we are or are we products of our experiences, backgrounds, family.

What about mass murderer? Are they born evil? Or was it a product of their childhood?


What we did last week – learn about semiotics and myths and that is nurture.

Are we born with morality or we learn it?

If we assume that we are products of nature and we are born with character, morality, knowledge what is love and hate. Then if we imagine for a moment that we are born in different kind of universe where for example everything is just the opposite – then we are born the same but learn different things that we believe are right and wrong.


The basic instincts we are born with – breathing/ self-preservation, eating, sleeping, pooping…

  • Does morality exist in babies?
  • When children understand certain things?
  • How we understand child development in their mind?

Cognitive development – how we learn. Critical periods – learn certain thing at a certain time.



Jaques Lacan

  • The unconscious is structured like a language
  • Claude Levi-Strauss is structuralist anthropological writing during the 1950’s

The unconsciousness mind is doing things that we cannot control.

Lacan made connections between Freud and structuralists, how world around us work and why he works this way.

Anthropology looks back and tries to explain different aspects of our live – rituals for example. There are similarities in different cultures and civilisations – every group of people all over the world and they perceive the world according binary opposites, every culture has good and bad.pyramid.JPG

* for ex. the fear of fire is not nature, it is subconscious as something repressed


Claude Levi-Strauss

  • The Savage Mind
  • ‘Man obeys laws that are inherent in the brain’
  • Myths are not made by individuals but by the collective human consciousness
  • The ‘savage mind’ had the same structures as the ‘civilized mind’
  • The human is the same everywhere – in relation to the centralization of structure
  • ‘bricolage’ – the characteristic patterns of mythological thought
  • Re-use available materials in order to solve new problems


Structure comes first. We structure everything we do. There are patterns in our lives.


Linguistic signs are not merely terms which define ‘things in the world’ but instead have their meanings within the whole interdependent complex of other linguistic signs, and that it is the distinctions and relationships between these signs that provide their ‘definitions’.

The conscious mind is a structure. The desire for structure is nature. Without it we do not understand the world, we cannot function.

The crossing of linguistic theory and psychology. Existentialism – puts human and feelings in centre. Structuralism – puts language ad discourse in the centre.



Everyone were trying to answer one question: ‘of what nature is the self’?

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