Traditions


hope Traditions have played an important role in the shaping and continuation of the normative behaviours of groups of people.

People  crave  knowledge of  the social mores and beliefs of their  group  so as
to know how to belong to the group, and they need access to adequate knowledge of the traditions that inform and guide the behaviour of the group or culture.


As time has progressed, so have traditions changed, the transitions are sometimes slow, some-
times turbulent, and sometimes violent. But as old traditions expire or are lost or extinguished, new traditions are established. What is enduring the is the tendency for humans to have traditions at all.

In contemporary philosophy people study the tendency for traditions and this is called "Normative behaviour" - meaning that groups of people form a consensus about what is an ordinary or expected set of behaviours and ideas to live by, and those beliefs and behaviours are unique to varying groups of people - with each group having their own beliefs.

Normative behaviour can be geared toward survival value in raw terms (how to fish, hunt, etc), and it can be geared toward survival within the group.  Tradition can also be a set of normative behavioursthat are "agreed" upon as ways to view and experience the group, life, the world, and to make sense of existence. It can also merely constitute "habits of living", arbitrary choices that become hatituated as convenient or agreed upon ways to live, but which at some point acquire an emotive grounding and appeal that transforms them into traditions - ways of living that provide "stable sameness" - or homeostasis.

Interestingly, the tendency for change over time suggests that the way traditions are kept, and then changed, are problematic. Except where the tradition is a type of utilitarian knowledge for survival, the content of traditions is unstable. The tendency for change remains however, and so we have to question what purpose humanity seeks in the process of change - whether creative, disruptive, adaptive, or progressive.

More to come.
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