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Re: [xmca] The "mechanical OTHER" at the heart of Modernity
On 18 January 2012 15:54, Larry Purss <email@example.com> wrote:
> Andy & Huw
> I want to thank you for your wonderful passionate dialogue on bringing the
> abstract to the concrete.
> As I'm struggling to listen in [within my ZPD] I believe this talk is
> central to my understanding.
> I also am trying to locate the "temporal" in this process as Mike is
> I did not want to interrupt the conversation between Huw and Andy but
> wanted to post a paragraph I "sense" may be exploring similar topics. It is
> by Eugene Halton in his revoicing Mead in his article "Pragmatic E-Pistols"
> as he writes to Mead to say how his ideas are NOW received. [p.46]
> Halton is talking to Mead about Peirce's idea that a SIGN has a REALITY at
> any given moment as a POTENTIAL EXISTENCE. He then writes,
> Modern materialism would consider all of this reducible to ACTUAL
> existence. Peirce claimed that such a NOMINALIST way of thinking, shaving
> OFF generality in the name of Occam's razor, actually cuts its own throat
> and ultimately renders science inexplicable. What if the modern era and its
> earnest scientists have been working for the MYTH of the macine, PROJECTING
> the subjective CLOCKWORK culture of their time ONTO the objective universe,
> truly DISCOVERING with the PRECISION of William Blake's painting of Newton,
> the TRUTH of the SINGLE-visioned PART, while sacrificing the VISION of the
> whole reality? Blake's Newton, supple but hunched over his COMPASS,
> blinded to his SURROUNDS, is a VISUALIZATION of the paradox of ACCURATE
> viewing of the PART and blindness to the whole. To put this in Peircean
> terms, MODERN SCIENCE is corrupt in its NOMINALISM, treating the REALITY OF
> GENERALITY which are the BASIS [round, foundation] of its LIFE, as
> UNREAL...... The modern worldview has been dominated by the MACHINE, by the
> universe of a giant CLOCK, and more recently the brain as a computer.
> These are NOT simply empty metaphors, but LIVING symbols of the MYTH OF OUR
> TIME, namely, that ultimately REALITY is a kind of machine and WE BUT PARTS
> of it. The mythic element in this is the IDEALIZATION of the machine as
> defining nature, OF THE AUTOMATIC [closed designed systems] AND the
> SIMULTANEOUS denigration of the SPONTANEOUS. [which becomes shadow] ...It
> [the machine model] is an ALIENATION of human PURPORT, of the automatic
> portions OF PURPORT [ DESIGNED activity???] EXPANSIVELY PROJECTED out,
> IRONICALLY [rhetorically??] in the NAME of anti-teleological and even
> anti-mythical as VIRTUAL DIETY substitute. Today that IMAGO [living
> cultural-historical metaphor] has come to DOMINATE in the diffusion of
> TECHNOLOGY [techne] and its COLONIZATION of the self through a plethora of
I think there are many ways you can relate this narration. What is central
here for you?
> I am not sure if others are linking or bridging these ideas to the
> conversation betweenHuw and Andy but I for one see "family resemblances"
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