Symbolic Recording of Meaning by Ruel F. Pepa

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Symbolic Recording of Meaning

by Ruel F. Pepa

Homo sapiens sapiens is the only species in Class Mammalia that is always in search of meaning and significance—a homo poetica [cf., Ernest Becker, in “The Structure of Evil: An Essay on the Unification of the Science of Man”]. In normal circumstances, s/he is a homo loquens—a “talking being”—and a homo grammaticus—a language-using being—capable to communicate meanings by spoken language [cf., Johann Gottfried Herder in Treatise on the Origin of Language (1772) and Frank Robert Palmer in Grammar (1971) . . . see ]. Moreover, as an animal symbolicum [cf., Symbol, Myth, and Culture: Essays and Lectures of Ernst Cassirer, 1935-1945 ed. by Donald Phillip Verene (1981)], s/he is also uniquely equipped with the power to express meanings in symbols. As a homo faber, homo sapiens sapiens has been able to fabricate tools used to communicate her/his thoughts by material representation called symbolic recording. “As long ago as 25,000-30,000 years BP, humans were painting pictures on cave walls. Whether these pictures were telling a ´story´ or represented some type of ´spirit house´ or ritual exercise is not known.” [“

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