|An instinct for soccer.|
Can instincts and archetypes generate symbols?
In the discussions at this blog wxhlup has repeatedly criticized me for arguing that crossdreaming may have a biological core.
Her argument argument seems to be that crossdreaming is an expression of symbols, semiotics or language, and instincts have no language. Instincts cannot be expressed in symbols, and therefore they cannot influence the way we think about ourselves and others.
Because of this, the argument goes, it makes no sense to talk about "an inner woman" or "inner man", as I do, or about instincts or archetypes that shape the way we see the world. Instincts and archetypes are not cultural and therefore cannot be translated into language or symbols.
Similarly the biological base cannot generate the desire to be a man or a woman, since both sex and gender -- according to this line of thinking -- are social constructs and social constructs only.
If I understand this line of thinking correctly, this also means that Jung's idea of primordial biological patterns or archetypes influencing the content of dreams, myths and fantasies, must be wrong.
These symbols are not produced by the human body, but by the "language games", "schemata", "belief systems" or "semiotics" of human culture. They are produced by the "cultural software" and not the "biological hardware".
The role of symbols
I have actually learned a lot from the kind of post-structuralist philosophy wxhlup is so fond of. I have no doubt the cultural belief systems we grow up in wields enormous power over our way of understanding the world. That is: Our words and concepts and the word views they are part of, forces us to think in certain ways.
My deconstruction of the "autogynephilia" narrative of Ray Blanchard is indebted to the postmodern philosophy of Michel Foucault, and my constant nagging about the differences between the genders being negligible as regards abilities and personality traits is also based on this way of thinking.