This chapter begins by describing two competing kinds of explanations to the one offered in the preceding chapter. The first is the way in which rituals are thought to influence behavior through direct psychological stimulation. The second is based on how being physically together in a group of people affects individual emotions. It addresses the question of whether common knowledge is an impossible ideal. It then discusses how publicity—or more precisely, common knowledge generation—and content are never really separable, in contrast to the book's argument that both must be considered in understanding cultural practices such as rituals. The chapter goes on to explain how historical precedent can generate common knowledge and generating community through common knowledge.
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