Comment on the following sentence concerning Naturalism in The Vortex: “Human condition is put to the test in one of the fascinating physical environments in the world: Amazonia.”
In the book “The Vortex,” the author attempts to build coherently a naturalist ethic that is based on the above statement. The context and nature of the statement are counterintuitive as well as elucidated through the use of simple scientific knowledge about the natural world. In the statement’s context, the world occupies fascinating surrounding. It is through the engaging environment that the human species experience tests, aimed at their survival. Therefore, as people, our external reality has only been made accessible to us only if on the ability we portray to analyze the causal relationships of the aspects of our environment (Jose 16).
As observed from the slides, human beings are prone to any form of self-delusion that exists through constant interaction with the environment. However, as human beings, we are intrinsically limited in our ability to give a proper perception of the external reality (Jose 26). Such observation often leads to complete denial of the naïve realism. The human sensory system can accurately record only the real world, in which the human brain can effectively make accurate models. The only way that our minds contact the reality is through the broad lens of our abstractive beliefs as well as theories. The vortex, therefore, has comprehensively discussed the operation of the human mind about the external surrounding in which it is always subjected to. Therefore, the best qualification of this analogy is the fact that the human mind only experiences the reality only via mediation of the realistic mental images (Jose 44).
A key fact that is shared by Rivera’s (1935) is that our confidence is only reinforced through the utilization of the prescriptive skeptical epistemology. Moreover, it is evident that to concur rationally with the physical environmental reality, we must continually work towards the perceived reality and its relation to our mental ability. Through combining both descriptive observations of the physical environment and the prescriptive societal rules, we can confidently define what can be regarded as reliable knowledge. Jose alludes that the reliability of the knowledge is its usefulness of the acquired knowledge to the perception of the external reality. Therefore, the best we could hope for is a correspondence between the reality and our knowledge.
Explain the author’s social critique and ethnographic interest within The Vortex
Social critique politicizes both knowledge and science. However, there has been a considerable debate concerning how the world views the differences between knowledge, science, and politics. Social critical theorists have constantly shown commitment to excavate the political underpinnings of all modes such as the scientific facts. The author deeply looks at ethnography, a concept that has been amenable to social sciences as well as post-structuralist critique. It is a presentation of a particular critical theory of great sensitivity. Rivera (1935) in his work states that since post-colonial a lot of critiques have been launched on ethnography. Through the crisis of representation, the author has induced deep methodological, epistemological and self-questioning approaches to ethnography (Linstead, 1993). Ethnography, as the author puts, has privileged the body to be a hub of learning through curiosity.
As revealed by the embedded narratives ethnography and social critique are often established by the depth of commitment, risk and length of the time taken in the acquisition of the sociological and cultural understanding. Although the ethnographic field work often privilege the body-based experience, it contributes very little in favor of the abstractive theory and analysis. As observed by many scholars, the recognition of the ethnographic concepts privileges communication; listening, speaking, and action. The postmodern period is marked by the return of common sense, characterized by sensual experiences. Therefore, the modernist ethnographers record observation, forgetting how saying mediates seeing. Some of the scholars like Johannes Fabian focus on the concept of temporality as the most effective strategy for back-bringing of body-in-time approach to ethnographic discourse. Further Pipa provides comprehensive stories of his own escape. Their main line of argument is often that ethnography often manifests itself in schizo- chronic tendencies (Jose 122).
In conclusion, in his book “The Vortex”, Rivera has successfully tackled a lot of issues of sociological as well as communication concerns. He has aggressively touched on the fact that “The human condition is put to the test in one of the fascinating physical environments in the world.” Such a remark has not only formed the basis for innumerable insights, but has also gone a long way in promoting and appreciating observation as a way of learning and communication (Jose 123). Additionally, ethnography and social critique are often established by the depth of commitment, risk and length of the time taken in the acquisition of the sociological and cultural understanding.
Linstead, S. (1993). From Postmodern Anthropology to Deconstructive Ethnography. Human Relations, 46(1), 97-120.
Jose Austacio Rivera. The Vortex; Putman`s Sons New York print 1935. pp. 13-219