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Re: [xmca] Mediation and Intersubjective Interpretations of Hegel

Thank you Larry.

For Hegel, Freedom is in the very nature of a human being. A person may at a given moment be denied freedom, but such a person remains, in their essential nature, free, even whilst lanaguishing in the deepest and darkest dungeon. On the other hand, theorists of our time, as you say, following Foucault, take the opposite stance: that power is the master signifier which constitutes all other categories and experiences, including the human subject itself, and freedom recedes beyond the horizon of possibility. I prefer Hegel.

The material world is, if you want to see it that way, a constraint upon our freedom, but freedom is after all expressed in the world our predecessors have fashioned for us and which we constantly refashion. That's why what Hegel calls spirit does not spring anew from each individual ego who wants to bounce intersubjectively of someone else, but is constituted and reconstituted by human activity.

Larry Purss wrote:

I just received a copy of your 2007 article *Mediation and  Intersubjective
Interpretations of Hegel* which you posted. This article has offered a new
clarity to my understanding of Hegel's use of intersubjectivity and your
cautions that in our modern incorporation of Hegel as the ancestor of
intersubjectivity we have lost the centrality of *spirit* which IN-forms
Hegel's intersubjectivity

Andy, your *genre* of writing which puts in *play* concepts such as spirit,
mediation, intersubjectivity, and material culture was engaging and also

In the spirit of play within this genre I would like to bring in Wayne
Booth who is exploring similar themes in his article "Freedom of
Interpretation: Bakhtin and the Challenge of Feminist Criticism".

 He opens the article with this paragraph:

Most critics today would see the "politics of interpretation"as beginning
and ending not with freedom but with power.... In this view, the search for
freedom of interpretation becomes the problem of how to resist power - how
to wrest it from those who have it or how to produce a text that will not
be co-opted by it.  WHO has the power - which class, which ruler, which
faction. which sex - to impose what can be said and not said? Whose
language, because of the power of its users, imposes a given view of
reality upon whoever fails to resist the language?"

Booth's response [in the article] is to explore the contrast between
freedom *from* & freedom *to*.
Freedom from external restraints and the power of others to inhibit our
actions AND freedom to act effectively when restraints are less

Booth writes such freedom to is gained,
"only by those who surrender to disciplines and codes invented by others,
giving up certain freedoms from.

This way of exploring mediation is using a different genre but seems to me
to be playing on the same field.

Andy, thanks for the article clarifying Hegel's notion of spirit.

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*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

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