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[xmca] Fyodor Vasilyuk "The Psychology of Experiencing"
Andy, Thanks for sending out Chapter ll of Vasilyuk's book.
On page 87, I appreciated how he articulated the "ontology of the isolated
individual." I quote:
For the latter [ontology of the isolated individual], the situation taken
as primary for subsequent theoretical development is one where you have, on
the one hand, a separate being isolated from the world, and, on the other
hand, objects, or more precisely things, existing "in themselves". The
SPACE BETWEEN, empty and contentless, only keeps them APART from one
another. Subject and object are both thought of as existing from the
BEGINNING and as INTRINSICALLY definite, PRIOR TO and independently of any
practical connection between them; they are independent natural ENTITIES.
Activity, which brings about a practical connection between subject and
object is STILL IN THE FUTURE; in order [for activity] to commence, it must
be sanctioned while the PRIMARY situation OF SEPARATION between subject and
object still prevails."
This is the classical psychological understanding of the source of activity
as DERIVED and IN THE FUTURE. In the ontolology of the isolated
individual's most highly rationalized FORM can be REDUCED to a view that
activity is BASED on a cognitive calculation thesis. Reflection PRECEDES
the activity within the subject's mind and only after does the activity
Andy, I wanted to highlight this passage as a way to document what may be a
shared understanding of what we are moving away from. However, what we are
moving towards in our conceptions of "character" "personality", &
"disposition" as more or less "free" and more or less "assertive" can be
multiple and express very different values of the KIND of persons which
develop within the alternative "ontology of the LIVED world"
For example the Kyoto School's notion of "self-emptying" is a notion which
can find a place in the "ontology of the LIVED world".
I want to bring in Kenichi Uchiyama's notion of a "lived world"
as analogous to playing music [Merleau-Ponty's singing the world] Kenichi
In order to continue to play music, we have to listen to the music as a
whole, which includes sounds we created in the past, sounds we are
creating, and sounds we expect to create in the future. We HEAR [not see]
the music as a whole. But where do we hear that music? It is not in the
REAL space, the sounds we created THERE in the past have disappeared. Thus
the PLACE where the music sounds as a whole is the ABSTRACT place beyond
time and space. It resides, as it were, BETWEEN us and REAL space. In other
words, we HEAR the music as an auto-affection of appearing to us without
any medium. We do not HEAR the music through our ears in REALITY, but HEAR
the music in ACTUALITY through Aristotelian "common sense" meaning the
common sense BETWEEN the five senses. [Merleau-Ponty makes a similar point]
The music players share not only the OBJECT [the sounds in reality] but the
music as a whole within a "lived world" Kimura, who Kenichi references,
calls this place of shared music as a whole the "between". Kimura argues if
we focus on the reality of the sounds we loose the "actuality" and maintain
the "reality" because we perceive the reality of the sounds AS AN OBJECT.
To restore the "feeling" of reality one must experience actuality which
Kimura [and Kenichi] believe is THE crucial characteristic of human affairs.
Kenichi contrasts his work with Checkland and Giddens who both focused on
"practice" and "action" within the ontology of the isolated individual.
In contrast, within an ontology of "living world", Kenichi emphasizes
action as "actuality", which builds on the derivation of "actual" from the
Latin "actio" as a phenomenological term as the VITAL contact with reality.
For Kimura and Kenichi "reality" [res=things] is something EXPERIENCED.
(noematic) and "actuality" as something EXPERIENCING (noetic)
Andy, I am not arguing for Kenichi's approach as being more coherent or
"true". I merely wanted to point out that we can all refute the ontology of
the isolated individual and agree on the ontology of the "living world" BUT
there is still room to explore notions such as Kimura's notion of
"betweeness" which may contrast with Leontiev's Activity theory. The
question I would propose is, What KIND of personality or disposition or
character is formed within these contrasting perspectives when viewed as a
sequence of activities forming personality and dispositions?
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