LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for CELTIC-L Archives

CELTIC-L Archives

CELTIC-L Archives


Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font


Join or Leave CELTIC-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives

Subject: Re: Apples and oranges, was Re: Armaments, costumes
From: "Mag.phil. Raimund Karl" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mag.phil. Raimund Karl
Date:Sun, 18 Apr 1999 10:07:24 +0200

text/plain (272 lines)

Gil Hardwick wrote:
> Ray wrote:
> > Well, so if somebody comes to the biology institute at your university,
> > takes an apple out of his pocket, says: "I'm looking at this from the
> > European perspective: this is an orange!", everybody would pat him on
> > the back and say: "Oh thank you, how nice that you shared your
> > perspective, now we have learned something new and can all go home happy
> > and singing!". Or not?
> Such a creative imagination, Ray. Unbecoming of you, I suggest.

That has not been the question Gil. Is that what they do, or is it not?
> How about going to Devon first, to discover that the people there make
> cider from apples, then visit Australia to discover that people rarely
> make cider, but eat them.
> All apples, but different ways of dealing with them with different
> outcomes, yes?

Yes, but nonetheless, all are apples, not oranges. And as such I do not
believe that any serious scholar in Australia, regardless in which field
of academe she or he is working, will not object if somebody comes to
their place, claims something that is arguably wrong, and is not willing
to argue his claim. Especially if this person does so in public, and the
outcome is not so apparent as when the person publicly argues an apple
to be an orange (which of course no one else will believe him).
> You create your own circular arguments, Ray, in the delusion that I am
> going to fall for some trap you think you have set for me. In Australia,
> anyone making up such a argument for no other reason than themselves to
> refute it, would themselves be considered deranged.

Demonstrate that my argumentation is circular. And I do not believe that
in Australia somebody who speaks up against unfounded claims on the
reason that they are unfounded but still issued publicly are considered
to be deranged.
But if I understand you correctly, if somebody claims in public that
there were no KZ and no Gaskammern in the Nazi Third Reich, and somebody
speaks up to refute that claim, if he only speaks up against that claim
because the claim is wrong, the one speaking up against the claim is
considered to be deranged, while the one uttering the claim is
considered to be all right? I know a number of Australians, actually,
and none of them acts like you do. Of course, that's only those I've met
in Europe, so maybe that's different in down under, but I would really
like to see some evidence for this.

Please if there are other Australians on Celtic-L currently, please tell
me if Gil is correct in his claim as to how Australians act if somebody
claims some rubbish and somebody speaks up against that!
> > No, my views against neo-paganism is not biased. I firmly believe that
> > explain where my views are biased?
> Again, what academic discipline are you talking about here, Ray, which
> differs in any way from my oft-stated position?

I am talking about the academic community in general. My statement is
true for any academic discipline, and again, you don't bother to answer
my question but deviate from the topic once I question you. It's easy,
Gil! Read my question, write an answer! Not babble something that does
not relate to my question, else I have to assume that you, as yourself
claim is the rule in Australia, sit in a psychiatric clinic because you
are not able to focus on what others are saying and answer to yourself,
as you have tended to do as yet! Example:

1.) You have asked me on what evidence I am basing the assumption that
Celtic society was rather a warrior society than what you claimed.

2.) I have told you an what evidence I base this, which kind of evidence
this is and why I interpret it in that way. (Obviously focussing on what
you have said)

3.) You claimed that I did not answer your question and that there is no
evidence that speaks for it. (Obviously you were not able to focus on
what I said). Then you claimed that the evidence is used is biased, and
therefore unadmissible, and therefore my conclusions are wrong.

4.) I asked you to document as to why and how you think the evidnece to
be biased, and to argue for it. (Obviously focussing on what you have

5.) You brought soem Australian Aboriginal examples and claimed that I
refute your claims because you are neo-pagan. (Obviously not focussing
on what I have said).

This procedure continues through all of your mails as yet, so why should
I assume that your connection to a university is not as a patient in the
psychiatric clinic?
> You have persistently refuted my arguments on Celtic society, oddly not
> at all differing from yours in substance,

No, Gil, I have not refuted any of your arguments, as yet you have
presented none to us! I have refuted your claims, and I have refuted
that your frequent comparisons with Australian Aboriginal society, which
in fact you use to say: the Celts had the same understanding here as the
Aboriginees, for which you have brought basically no other argument
other than "all humans are equal, except the Europeans, there're not",
which in itself is a claim, not an argument. You have as yet failed to
demostrate why the Australian Aboriginal example helps in any way more
in understanding ancient Celtic culture as does knowledge about American
society in the late 20th century, Austrian society in the middle 16th
century or English society in modern London!

> by invoking the behaviour of somebody else entirely who practices an
> unfounded neo-paganism as if it were relevant to this thread. You refuse
> to state who these other people are, or indeed what it is to which you
> refer specifically.

Again, Gil, you are wrong. You started to claim that I sttacked your
position on the basis that your beliefs are neo-pagan, I didn't talk
about neo-pagans at all until then. And for somebody always urging me to
accept that all humans are the same, why is it necessary to talk about
somebody specific? I talked about the majority of socalled Celtic
neo-pagans, which tend to have made-up beliefs rather then such which
can be shown to be genuinely Celtic.
> I can only conclude from your posted material that you have a biased view
> on neo-paganism. If not, why do you insist on raising the matter so
> repeatedly within this context?

I did not, Gil, it was you who raised that matter, each and any time,
actually each and any time when you claimed that I was baised against
neo-pagans and therefore refuted your claims, each and any time failing
to demonstrate that I am actually biased against neo-pagans. A claim
doesn't become an argument if you repeat it numerously, Gil.
> > My friend, it is not our job only to observe and report, but very well
> > to argue with people who present their unfounded ideas in public. If
> > without questioning.
> Oh, you see a separate moral obligation of academics to oppose what
> other people say and do because they fail certain tests we impose upon
> them, Ray. I don't. We rejected that sort of thing in established this
> nation, Ray, to which people yet find refuge from your part
> of the world seeking to escape tyranny and oppression.

Gil, you really are funny. To you, opposing what others say is equal to
tyranny and oppression, but yet you constantly try to oppose what I say,
and have opposed statements of others as well. Interesting point, isn't
it? Shall I conclude from it that you are trying to tyrannize and opress
us? Apart from that, again, I have not claimed any of what you claim
above. I have only claimed that it is very well part of the job of
academics not only to note what is happening, but to object to PUBLICLY
ISSUED wrong statements about the academic community and its results!
And of course, not only to observe and report, but also come to the
conclusions from the observations.
> Further than that, you have stated clearly enough here that you regard
> Celtic Studies as a different set entirely from the set of general
> anthropological studies. This is where we do differ markedly, Ray.
> I suggest to you that the Celts are human beings like the rest, which
> makes their study merely a subset of the whole.

No Gil, I have not. I have stated that it is not as you claimed that I
leave my field of study and enter yours (which is not making sense, as
they very much overlap, while none completely subsumes the other), but
that I am well within my field of study. This is not at all claiming
that these two are different, only claiming that what I talk about is
still part of my field of study, regardless if it also is part of yours.
You are trying to create the differences here, not I.

And of course, Celts are human beings like the rest, but you fail to see
that knowing the beliefs, thoughts, concepts of one human being does not
allow us to conclude, a priori, that the beliefs, concepts and thoughts
of another human being are the same or even similar, which is extremely
obvious when just looking at us two. As such, even though Celtic Studies
in some of its aspects is a subset of general Anthropology, it is still
necessary to look at the evidence from Celtic society to make any valid
conclusions about it, to find out something about the beliefs, thoughts
and concepts shared by the Celts, to find out what made them
identifyable as a separate cultural identity, and that, that much I
definitly know about general anthropology, is very much part of general
anthropological theory, including those Australian scholars in the field
I have heard of. The conculsion: All humans are equal, therefore what I
know to be true about human a has also to be true for human b, is not
accepted anthropological theory. If you want us to believe that it is,
you will need to document that it is, not simply make wild claims.
> I have repeatedly raised with you the issue of your dismissing
> disciplined study supported by recognised tertiary institutions on
> the extremely tenuous argument that your little group cannot be
> accessed by such means, that they can only be defined with reference
> to your own limited discipline and the artifacts and documents it has
> available.

If your university supports comparisons between two cultures by persons
that do not know anything about one of those cultures and don't bother
to inform themselves about this other culture, this is bad for them, but
perhaps they follow sound political agenda with it. However, it cannot
be considered a valid scholarly comparison, as I alrady have documented.
So even if your study was supported by my own department, I would not
accept it as a valid way of cultural comparisons, and I don't think that
any serious anthropologist will.

And, Gil, learn to read! What you claim above that I have said stands in
no connection at all to anything that I ever have claimed. Learn to take
the time to try to find out what others want to say before you press
your biases on their statements.
> > Complete nonsense. You have no idea about my training, so why do you
> > talk about it?
> I arrive at such preliminary conclusion, Ray, on the basis of your
> persistent stance against the wider study of anthropology on the grounds
> that your own particular subject group is separate and distinct from the
> run of humanity, such that no comparisons can be made with other humans.

None of the above I have claimed, but as I already documented, you have
to know something about both things you want to compare to make
comparisons possible, which is not what you have been doing. You argue
that ancient Celtic society worked in a certain way, because Australian
Aboriginal society works in a similar way. This conclusion, however, is
invalid, because it is not a comparison, but an imposition!
You still need to learn that there is a difference between comparison
and imposition, that to compare two things you have to know both. Or can
you compare me with my wife, based on general anthropology? Of course
not, as you know nothing about my wife!
> It is not me arguing that apples are oranges, Ray. Only you insisting
> that your particular apples are sacred and untouchable, and can only be
> accessed through esoteric means unavailable to other scholars asking
> different questions from yours, and deploying different templates to
> filter that data.

This is the best accusation I have ever heard in my life, Gil, really!
You are absolutely right! I stand corrected!
> You have put no such questions of me, Ray, merely insisted that your
> narrowly defined model of ancient Celtic society establishes that they do
> not need to comply with our knowledge of humanity in general. You insist
> that there can be no comparison between one society and another, and
> challenge me solely on that basis.
<snipped the rest>

Oh, what idiot I am, I again have fallen for the temptation to respond
to something that doesn't answer my questions, but be assured, it really
is for the last time. Ok, now I put questions to you, Gil:

a) Why is Celtic society less a warrior society than, as from the
greater picture emerging from archaeology it is rather a deeply
spiritual people counting their wealth in cattle and livestock, but
nevertheless skilled artisans and extraordinary rhetoricians and


b) Why do examples from Australian Aboriginee culture allow to make
valid conclusions about how ancient Celtic culture worked?


RAY - Mag.phil. Raimund KARL
Universität Wien, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte
A-1190 Wien, Franz Klein Gasse 1
E-Mail: <[log in to unmask]>
Internet: <>

Visit the Celtic-L Resources Page at

Privat: A-1120 Wien, Hasenhutgasse 7-11/9/4
Tel/AB/Fax: (+43 1) 8103629 oder mobil: (+43 676) 3048830

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main CELTIC-L Page



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager