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Re: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] "Inner Form" of Word, Symmetry, Ivanov Bateson?
- From: Huw Lloyd <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 00:03:10 +0100
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On 1 June 2011 18:33, christine schweighart <email@example.com>wrote:
> Dear Huw,
> Thanks for bringing out this:
> > In Curie’s> original words: “Dissymmetry creates the phenomenon” (“C’est
> la dissymétrie> qui crée le phénomène”) .>>Possibly in tune with the
> notion of rhythm as "the conflict between meterand words", Psychology of
> Art, page 219.
> I was dwelling in a dissymmetry between autopoiesis and languaging in the
> flow of living- and that we cannot
> create a symmetric reproduction of the pre-linguistic in speech.
Hmmm. Well there's plenty of room for creative misunderstanding here, so
here's what I'm reading into the sentence. With respect to representational
"symmetry", i.e the creation of some kind of map of something else, there
isn't going to be an exact symmetry, rather there's a relational
correspondence. So the maze and the rat's representation of the maze are
not symmetric, though they're obviously related.
The (fragmented) representation of the maze is part of the rats biology, it
is also an extension of the rat such that it is able to (incrementally)
successfully regulate itself. Hence I would say that mental and social
functioning are part of this autopoiesis, they are temporarily, or
transitionally, embedded within it, hence any form of organic "symmetry" of
its use of social representations (scents, objects etc.) encapsulated in
memory would be used to co-ordinate other operations. So rather than
conceive of the distribution of work between the autopoetic aspect and the
languaging aspect, I'd focus, from a biological perspective, on the
supporting infrastructure that allows for the embedding of language within
> And on the transformation of development from 'biological' I am also
> trying to relate to what seems to be complementary work by Maturana's , as
> he too saw cognition as historical, - where on separation from the
> biological he suggests:
> As our existence as human beings takes place in our operation in language,
> the features of our existence that constitute our humanness,pertain to our
> relational domain and occur in our "languaging", not in our bodyhood.
I'm fine with this provided you include perceptions of bodyhood and gesture
in language/semiotics. i.e. what this represents for the other and self
(rather than, or in addition to, self perpetuation) such as the size of a
stag's antlers, the deepness of a male frog's ribbit, or the stripes on a
> Thus, notions such as consciousness, reflection insolitude, mind, thinking
> and intentionality correspond to distinctions that we make of different
> aspects of our relational dynamics in our operation as human beings, and as
> such they do not take place in our bodies, norare they functions localizable
> in our brains.
I would say that they do not originate in our brains.
In other words, consciousness,auto-reflection, mind, thinking, or
> intentionality do not take place inthe body but occur through the operation
> of the body because they take place or arise as relations or distinctions
> that we make of relations ofthe living system with the medium, and involve
> both, body and medium, inthe dynamic flow of living, in the manner that we
> have described in this essay."
Yes, nice amount of crossover/continuity. The point about vygotsky's
internal plane, however, is that representational fragments available for
reflection, and consolidation, do exist within the individual mind, and that
these representations (and their operations) may be refined whereby the
subject comes to improve their social activity/skill.
> In the 1995 'Brain, Language and the origin of Human Mental Functions',
> because as biological knowledge has been refined the nature of separation
> yet without completely cutting off might be timely to reconsider - but
> without being in that perspective as a biological scientist -on firmer
> ground - it's fragmented.
I'd say that any such boundaries are artificial and based purely on what is
defined as biological and what isn't. From my perspective, taking a
holistic approach allows one to investigate any phenomena scientifically.
Whether one calls oneself a biologist, a psychologist, a sociologist or a
linguist is governed by the locus of ones' interest and the knowledge
I'm guessing I've missed several strands of your thoughts on dissymmetry,
depending upon how technical a use your making of the term, i.e. of the
differences between symmetrical entities, or more generally such as the
relatedness of organs or subsystems that are not the same.
Anyway, hopefully interesting, provided the simplifications are too
frivolous for your purpose.
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