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Re: [xmca] Body expression as sign.

On 25 May 2012, at 04:12, Larry Purss wrote:

> My question is: When we are exploring aesthetic REACTION or aesthetic
> RESPONSE  to bodily *expression* [as a general term] are we *understanding*
> this bodily expression at the level of gesture, symbol, or sign
> expressions? Do the adjectives used to modify *expression* change the
> meaning of our understanding of expression as a general term?

Dear Larry (Christine and all),

I'm grounding my exploration of aesthetic response to bodily *expression* (as a general term) in relation to 'this' bodily expression where 'this' refers to my bodily expressions in my educational relationships. I'm thinking here of my bodily expressions in my practice as an educator. You can see some of these bodily expressions in the 19seconds of the video clip referred to on page 14 of the presentation on 'To Know Is Not Enough, Or Is It?' in a Symposium at the 2012 AERA Conference, at http://www.actionresearch.net/writings/jack/jwaera12noffke200212.pdf .

Through sharing meanings of bodily expressions in explanations of educational influence, such as the explanations in the presentation, I think that the adjectives I use, such as 'loving dynamic energy, in relation to my bodily expressions do not change the meaning of my understanding of expression as a general term. In exploring aesthetic responses to bodily expression, with the help of digital visual narratives, I think that we might be able to generate shared meanings of the energy flowing values that can be used as explanatory principles in explanations of educational influences in learning. (We might also be able to contribute to a logic of question and answer, a logic that Gadamer believes that, despite Plato, we are not yet ready for! )

My reason for included bodily expression as a lived/living experience is to avoid the kind of colonisation that can take place through the imposition of general concepts in explaining the life of an individual. I'm thinking here of the 'colonising' mistake I experienced as a student of the philosophy of education in the late 1960s when the practical principles I used to explain my educational influence were to be 'replaced', by followers of the disciplines approach to educational theory, by principles with more 'theoretical justification'. Here is the acknowledgement of the mistake, in the view that much understanding of educational theory will be developed:
 "… in the context of immediate practical experience and will be co-terminous with everyday understanding. In particular, many of its operational principles, both explicit and implicit, will be of their nature generalisations from practical experience and have as their justification the results of individual activities and practices.

 In many characterisations of educational theory, my own included, principles justified in this way have until recently been regarded as at best pragmatic maxims having a first crude and superficial justification in practice that in any rationally developed theory would be replaced by principles with more fundamental, theoretical justification. That now seems to me to be a mistake. Rationally defensible practical principles, I suggest, must of their nature stand up to such practical tests and without that are necessarily inadequate." (p. 18)

 Hirst, P. (Ed.) (1983) Educational Theory and its Foundation Disciplines. London;RKP

Rod - I do understand your desire to reserve 'Love Rod' for people with whom you have been able to develop a degree of attunement.  I hope that my own signature 'Love Jack' carries the desire to enhance the flow of loving relationships that are resonating with such attunement, such at Martin Dobson's 'Give my Love to the Department'.

Love Jack.
When Martin Dobson, a colleague, died in 2002 the last thing he said to me
was 'Give my Love to the Department'. In the 20 years I'd worked with
Martin it was his loving warmth of humanity that I recall with great life
affirming pleasure and I'm hoping that in Love Jack we can share this
value of common humanity.

Jack Whitehead , Professor, Liverpool Hope University, UK.    
Visiting Fellow, University of Bath, UK.

Life-time member of OMNIBUS (All Bath University Staff).

web-site http://www.actionresearch.net with email address. 

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