Rain Man: Western Philosopher?

Autism is really just part of the Western personality. In fact, two of the leading theories of Western philosophy were created by individuals who were diagnosably autistic. Any idea which ones?

(Hint: Think utilitarianism and the categorical imperative.)


5 thoughts on “Rain Man: Western Philosopher?

  1. Pingback: A: The Anniversary of The Big Blog of All the Shit I Know | The Big Blog of All the Shit I Know

  2. Autism is a developmental disorder. People on the autism spectrum range from totally debilitated to extremely high functioning. It really is not part of the Western personality. Characterizing a disorder based on the accomplishments of one who has the disorder is a bit far fetched, don’t you think?

    What are you really trying to say?

    • First, I want to say thanks for reading, and that I appreciate the opportunity to answer a question.

      Modern humans, like all domesticated animals, are essentially developmentally retarded. You’d have to read works like Jean Liedloff’s THE CONTINUUM CONCEPT or J. Zornado’s much more academic INVENTING THE CHILD to fully see what I mean, but the point is that we’re not allowed to develop INSTINCTUALLY like a wolf would in a wild wolf pack, or a human would in a wild tribe. We’re something more like chimps in a zoo.

      It may be that autism and Asperger’s are just extensions of the modern (particularly Western) modality of relating to the rest of the world (especially nature) as if it were entirely SEPERATE from ourselves. Autism is most essentially an inability to connect: an isolated existence. Who among us doesn’t suffer from this?

      • Thank you for the references. I’ll check them out.
        Not to mention the obvious, but retardation is a relative term. To say everyone is retarded means nothing – like Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average. It appears that you mean to compare the relationship of modern man to the natural environment to that same relationship of ancient (or less technological) man. Of course there are differences. In societies with less science and technology, those who develop more slowly are either tolerated or not. Older civilizations were by necessity closer to nature, and members of those who were removed from nature (by withdrawing into themselves) were either helped by their societies or not. A society had to have a connection with nature to survive. How to choose to deal with their members is a measure of their humanity. If their was an autistic wolf pack member, it would perish for not knowing how to feed itself or deal with nature.
        It is interesting, I suppose, to ponder the nature of societies and compare to human medical disorders. Interesting possibilities for metaphor. But it is a metaphor.

        As I said I’ll take a look at the references. Thanks for the reply

        • Awesome: glad to hear it. And good points, all. I’ll only clarify that I DO think us to be effectively socially retarded — literally developmentally retarded — compared to undisturbed tribal primitives (just as they are scientifically and technologically “retarded” compared to us, in the sense of way behind).

          Thanks again for posting, i like the way you think.

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