Dividual Systems & Ultraneoteny

Abstract

The forms of collective thinking are based on the concept of identitarian individuality and on the relation between individuality and alterity as external to the self and seem to be unaffected by the ontological fact that some beings – women – can be singular individuals for a long part of their life, and yet they may become dual (containing and interacting with the other) and returning to an individual state by a separation/loss of duality (what may be called dividuality). We refer to embryonic development or to pregnancy, to the birth or to the parturition and there are no words for referring to the unity of two that makes pregnancy and development an integrated process, and makes birth and parturition the same event, observed from two different standpoints.

Is questioning this categorial frame useful?

If languages are fundamentally embodied, and in predicating world or time they project forms of kinaesthesia and corporeality, where can we find meaningful definitions of reality that may encompass this specific state of embodiment: the embodiment of the two?

In order to explore this subject, two fields are especially interesting: the contemporary epigenetics and the studies of hominization.

An overview of contemporary bio-evolutionary knowledges may indirectly corroborate the theme of an individuality being both dual and dividual, since the scientific focus now highlights (more clearly than in the past) the interactive dynamics self/other in development as well in evolution. Paleoanthropology underlines the dual bond between structural and behavioural changes in the maternal body in new anthropoid species, and the interesting consequences of neonatal prematurity: we are ‘ultraneotenous’, with a complex celebralization, because we are also a particular dual system.

Keywords

Individual feminism hominization ultraneoteny epigenetic frame language nature/nurture 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di FilosofiaUniversità di Roma ‘La Sapienza’RomeItaly

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