By Robert N. Bellah
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Additional info for Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditionalist World
First published in German from 1934 to 1938. 12 Freud, "The Future of an Illusion," in The Standard Edition, op. , vol. 21, pp. 5-58. First published in German in 1927. 13 For a relevant, though partial, exposition, see Karl W. Deutsch, The Nerves of Government: Models of Political Communication and Control (New York: Free Press, 1963). A. Monographs, vol. 3 (London: Tavistock Press, 1966), p. 4. First presented at the Conference on New Approaches in Social Anthropology, Jesus College, Cambridge, England, in 1963.
The precise boundary, or, perhaps better, the area of overlap, between what is genetically and what is symbolically controlled is by no means dear, and important research on the problem is continuing. For present purposes it is only necessary to note the relatively broad plasticity for symbolic learning that is usually recognized, at least in the human species. Information in such a system consists largely of symbolic messages that indicate something about either the internal state or the external situation of the action system.
These are symbolically patterned motivational systems; the first centers on individual organisms, the other on groups. Any particular personality or social system will be 10 BEYOND BELIEF determined in large part at any given moment by its history, for its learning capacity will be largely a product of the structures it has built up over time. However, if a system has managed to develop a broad and flexible capacity for rapid learning, and if it has a reserve of uncommitted resources, its reaction to any given internal or external situation will be open to a wide variety of alternative choices; in other words, it will have a high degree of freedom.
Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditionalist World by Robert N. Bellah