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RE: [xmca] Concepts as sedimentation
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- Subject: RE: [xmca] Concepts as sedimentation
- From: "Tony Whitson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2011 22:50:59 -0400
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Yes ? But I would offer this friendly amendment: Instead of
"Sedimentation is the settling of culture into things," I would suggest:
"Sedimentation is the settling of culture into formations," where
"formation" (as in in*formation) is inseparably the material formation and
the forming of it and the form in which it's formed.
Freire, with Myles Horton of the Hylander School (where Rosa Parks, Martin
Luther King, Jr., & others went for training) has a book with the English
title, "We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social
Change." The Portuguese title is "O caminho se faz caminhando: conversas
sobre educação e mudança social."
The book was in English first and then translated into Portuguese, but the
title comes from a verse by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado:
Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada mas
caminante, no hay camino
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atras
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar.
(Wayfarer, the only way
is your footsteps, there is no other.
Wayfarer, there is no way,
you make the way by walking.
As you go, you make the way
And stopping to look behind,
You see the path that your feet
will never travel again.
Wayfarer, there is no way -
Only foam trails to the sea.
-- Alan S. Trueblood, trans.)
But Freire and Horton are not talking about roads that are just washed away
as soon as we have trodden them.
Their idea is closer to that of Lu Xun, writing about the possibility of
hope at the conclusion of his short story "My old home." These are not
exactly Lu Xun's words (which are a bit less succinct), but Lu Xun is widely
quoted as saying "Roads are made by people walking" -- with the idea that
this is how our roads have come to form -- as formations that enduringly
in*form our wayfaring (note that "way" here can be rendered "dao," which
does mean path, and walking a path, as well as the more cosmic Daoist "dao."
So ? culture is sedimentation, not just of things, as formed, but of forms
of things, and forms of doing, and forms of being, I think.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2011 9:59 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Concepts as sedimentation
I'm not sure, Larry, what Dillon's concept of "culture" is, but I would say
that sedimentation is what culture is, but I don't know how he is tying the
issue of dualism into it.
Larry Purss wrote:
> Andy, Tony
> This quote from Dillon [referenced by Donna Orange who I'm sitting by
> the window reading] seems relevant as an explanation of M-P's notion
> of sedimentation.
> "Sedimentation is the settling of culture into things. In our culture,
> the separation of the animate and the inanimate has permeate all
> things. it is, perhaps the most deeply entrenched of all dualisms; it
> permeates our language, our thought, and the things themselves. There is
> [bracketing] capable of freeing us in one act of reflection from
> millenia of sediment.; it is, rather, the work of a lifetime to form the
> [training, striving] required to dig out from under the CONCEPTUAL
> weight of the dualist tradition."
> Andy, I see a "family resemblance" between your project of locating
> "concepts" within a developmental/historical con-text and
> Merleau-Ponty's notion of sedimentation as "conceptual" weight.
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