Saturday, December 30, 2006


I took a long walk with Za today and we fell into a long, philosophical discussion about what the word 'normal' means. It all started when we were trying to articulate what we thought a 'normal' family was.

I realized pretty soon into the conversation that we were going to have an impossible time pinpointing what normal is. After all, is it the statistical mean? Is it the status quo? Is it a self-sustaining population? Is it middle-class values? What a mess of concept normal is. In fact, is there any real content to the notion of normalcy?

Might a good logical positivist point out to us that it is a pseudo-concept? Or, is it contextual, e.g. one can define 'normal" only within a frame of reference.

In any case, normalcy has got to be one of the most powerful concepts around, even if we can't define what exactly it is.