Myth and Human Behaviour Can Myth enlighten our understanding of Human Sciences?
What is (a) myth? <ul><li>definitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A purely fictitious narrative usually involving supernatural p...
Myth (continued) <ul><li>Myth and Anthropology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>True myth may be defined as the reduction to narrativ...
Cassandra’s paradox <ul><li>The most beautiful of Priam’s daughters </li></ul><ul><li>Apollo fell in love with her and gra...
At the fall of Troy <ul><li>If only she had not  been cursed </li></ul><ul><li>She would have been believed </li></ul><ul>...
And of course <ul><li>Troy would have been saved </li></ul><ul><li>And we would have been saved the film </li></ul>
What if? <ul><li>If she had the gift of foresight.... </li></ul><ul><li>Surely she would have known the consequences... </...
But then of course... <ul><li>She knew!  </li></ul><ul><li>So did she have a choice? </li></ul>
C’est écrit là-haut! <ul><li>How did they meet? By chance, like everyone else. What were they called? What does that matte...
Oedipus <ul><li>He  knew  (because of a prophecy) theat he would kill his father and marry his mother </li></ul><ul><li>To...
The Oedipus effect. <ul><li>“  ……  the oracle played a most important role in the sequence of events which led to the fulf...
Self fulfilling prophecy -  psychology.  <ul><li>A person who expects people to be friendly, may smile more and thus recei...
Self fulfilling prophecy -  Economics <ul><li>Told that a bank was in trouble, people rushed to take out their money there...
Placebo and Nocebo <ul><li>A patient given a pill expects it to make him better ( placebo ) and often does </li></ul><ul><...
Particularity of human sciences <ul><li>Man is the subject  and  the student </li></ul><ul><li>Compare Martian as student ...
Wir verstehen
Wir verstehen
Wir verstehen
The “verstehen” position <ul><li>Understanding from the inside </li></ul><ul><li>“ A man who lacks common intelligence can...
Let us remember however, <ul><li>Confirmation bias </li></ul><ul><li>Question(er) bias </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties in m...
Do we trust predictions?  <ul><li>If the apple will fall to the ground </li></ul><ul><li>The weather forecast </li></ul><u...
And lastly <ul><li>What decisions do we make and how do we behave faced with predictions?  (Oedipus and Cassandra) </li></...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Cassandra’s paradox

2,359 views

Published on

Lesson material on prediction and the Human Sciences for IB Theory of Knowledge

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,359
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
24
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Cassandra’s paradox

  1. 1. Myth and Human Behaviour Can Myth enlighten our understanding of Human Sciences?
  2. 2. What is (a) myth? <ul><li>definitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A purely fictitious narrative usually involving supernatural persons, actions of events, and embodying some popular idea concerning natural or historical phenomena OED </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A story.... offering an explanation of some fact or phenomenon; story with a veiled meaning Chambers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;A myth, in its simplest definition, is a story with a meaning attached to it other than it seems to have at first ; and the fact that it has such a meaning is generally marked by some of its circumstances being extraordinary……...“ John Ruskin </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Myth (continued) <ul><li>Myth and Anthropology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>True myth may be defined as the reduction to narrative shorthand of ritual mime performed on public festivals, and in many cases recorded pictorially Robert Graves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Myth and Semiology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can anything be myth? Yes, I believe so, for the universe is infinitely suggestive. Each object in the world can pass from a closed, silent existence to a state where it speaks Roland Barthes, Mythologies </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Cassandra’s paradox <ul><li>The most beautiful of Priam’s daughters </li></ul><ul><li>Apollo fell in love with her and granted her the gift of prophecy </li></ul><ul><li>She did not return his love </li></ul><ul><li>Apollo placed a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her prophecies </li></ul>
  5. 5. At the fall of Troy <ul><li>If only she had not been cursed </li></ul><ul><li>She would have been believed </li></ul><ul><li>And ……….. </li></ul>
  6. 6. And of course <ul><li>Troy would have been saved </li></ul><ul><li>And we would have been saved the film </li></ul>
  7. 7. What if? <ul><li>If she had the gift of foresight.... </li></ul><ul><li>Surely she would have known the consequences... </li></ul><ul><li>and she would not have been raped by Ajax, and killed by Clytemnestra </li></ul>
  8. 8. But then of course... <ul><li>She knew! </li></ul><ul><li>So did she have a choice? </li></ul>
  9. 9. C’est écrit là-haut! <ul><li>How did they meet? By chance, like everyone else. What were they called? What does that matter to you? Where were they coming from? From the nearest place. Where were they going? Who knows where they were going? What were they saying? The master was silent and Jacques was saying that his captain in the army used say that all the good and bad that happens to us down here on earth was already written up there. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Oedipus <ul><li>He knew (because of a prophecy) theat he would kill his father and marry his mother </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent did his knowledge of the prophecy affect his behaviour and choices? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does he punish himself? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does he blind himself as a punishment? </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Oedipus effect. <ul><li>“ …… the oracle played a most important role in the sequence of events which led to the fulfilment of its prophecy. … For a time I thought that the existence of the Oedipus effect distinguished the social from the natural sciences. But in biology, too—even in molecular biology—expectations often play a role in bringing about what has been expected. ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Karl Popper </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Self fulfilling prophecy - psychology. <ul><li>A person who expects people to be friendly, may smile more and thus receive more smiles </li></ul><ul><li>A person expecting to be lucky, may enter many more competitions and thus increase their chances of winning. </li></ul><ul><li>Children randomly allocated to a group labelled ‘bright’ did better in an experiment than a similar group labelled ‘less bright’ </li></ul><ul><li>BUT you may also do your utmost to ensure a prediction made by a psychologist does not happen! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Self fulfilling prophecy - Economics <ul><li>Told that a bank was in trouble, people rushed to take out their money thereby causing the bank to fail. </li></ul><ul><li>Bear and Bull markets – expectations of market rises and falls tend to make them rise or fall. </li></ul><ul><li>Predictions of depression make people behave in a way which (at least) hastens it </li></ul>
  14. 14. Placebo and Nocebo <ul><li>A patient given a pill expects it to make him better ( placebo ) and often does </li></ul><ul><li>In a classic nocebo experiment conducted in the early 1980s volunteers were told that a mild electrical current would pass through their head, and although no electrical current was used, two-thirds of the volunteers complained of a headache after the experiment. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Particularity of human sciences <ul><li>Man is the subject and the student </li></ul><ul><li>Compare Martian as student </li></ul>The car engines malfunction when the lights go red! Wir verstehen!
  16. 16. Wir verstehen
  17. 17. Wir verstehen
  18. 18. Wir verstehen
  19. 19. The “verstehen” position <ul><li>Understanding from the inside </li></ul><ul><li>“ A man who lacks common intelligence can be a physicist of genius but not even a mediocre historian ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isaiah Berlin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compare: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why a leaf flies in the wind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why a man flies from a mob </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Let us remember however, <ul><li>Confirmation bias </li></ul><ul><li>Question(er) bias </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties in measurement </li></ul><ul><li>Observation of people may affect their behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Problem of (no) controlled experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Human sciences often affected by moral issues </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations on willingness to experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Human science laws suggest the ‘probable’ </li></ul><ul><li>Uncomfortable with falsification </li></ul>
  21. 21. Do we trust predictions? <ul><li>If the apple will fall to the ground </li></ul><ul><li>The weather forecast </li></ul><ul><li>A forecast of future economic growth </li></ul><ul><li>The future portrayed in a Sci-Fi novel </li></ul><ul><li>What I tell you will happen at the end of the lesson </li></ul>
  22. 22. And lastly <ul><li>What decisions do we make and how do we behave faced with predictions? (Oedipus and Cassandra) </li></ul><ul><li>You are told you have 6 months to live – what decisions do you take? </li></ul><ul><li>The prediction turns out to be false........ </li></ul>

×