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[Xmca-l] Re: Foucault
A little historical ontology of myself. I was in Berkeley and Cuba with the Weathermen in the 60s when we were thinking in terms of a critique of not just A culture, but CULTURE: Che, revolution. Middle class white kids mostly, we even thought we might be willing to die to make a better world, like Che. Mostly we hurt each other's feelings trying to decide whose consciousness was highest. It's embarrassing to talk about it. Now I'm a retired education prof working as a sub in two great charter schools in Albuquerque, breaking good. Reading the XMA/XMCA dialog, I find much better grounding than consciousness raising sessions of the 60s, and I find Bloch's optimism (See Andy's website) warranted. Like the song goes: I'm still willin'. I have been scrambling to catch up on the thinking of "academic" giants as I read your posts, convinced you wouldn't post them if you didn't think they were important for this dialog. In other words I trust this dialog as it looks back. I understand Mike's problem with posting the Amy and Jed talk, though I think it is helpful that we have taken on the messiness of the moment. It's looking forward, the Novum, where I find my optimism. I don't think it's crazy to think that CHAT can be "popularized", can be part of changing popular narratives. I love Vygotsky because he worked so feverishly, with others, to make that happen, for children. It seems to me that the reason Amy and Jed are important for this dialog is because schools ARE the key to changing the narrative. Or so I think and feel. And getting real dialog into the schools, not test prep, is what will change everything. That's the concept I think is worth aiming for. Again, so I think and feel.
On Sep 18, 2014, at 11:15 AM, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Thanks for the recap, Martin. Then we got to Phillip who talked about
> theorizing and autobiography as part of the Foucault thread. Is the move
> from ourselveS to ourselF important?
> With the critique of culture issue, it seems that the sense of A culture as
> AN historically formation of human lifeways and Culture, as the medium of
> all forms of human life, are getting conflated in the discussion. The
> project of criticizing various values and practices that are part of the
> cultural conditions of our own society (conditions plural) seems doable, if
> necessarily contest. A critique of human Culture as a medium of human life
> seems considerably more problematic.
> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM, Martin John Packer <email@example.com
>> I was simply responding to Paul M.'s (rhetorical?) question as to whether
>> there might be a state of nature to which we could return that would be
>> outside culture. I said that this is not possible for homo sapiens - we
>> need culture to survive. Michael G. then suggested that if we can't step
>> outside culture we cannot critique it. I replied again in the negative, and
>> made a passing reference to Foucault who engaged in research that was
>> critical of culture from inside: one of his ideas was to work with
>> marginalized groups to explore ways of living that the mainstream has
>> ignored. Larry then suggested that Foucault was following Merleau-Ponty's
>> lead, and Phillip responded that Foucault was more influenced by Hyppolite.
>> I countered by suggesting that Foucault's research program - exploring what
>> he called "the historical ontology of ourselves" - in other words, how we
>> are constituted historically (and culturally) as specific kinds of person -
>> was at least consistent with the interests of Merleau-Ponty and Sartre.
>> Phew! What a tangled web we weave.
>> On Sep 18, 2014, at 11:35 AM, Greg Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>> I thought it was Martin who had mentioned Foucault's "historical ontology
>>> of ourselves"?
>>> I'd love to hear more too (note this is where Martin's book The Science
>>> Qualitative Research leaves off. I'd love to hear the argument enlivened
>>> once again).
>>> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM, mike cole <email@example.com> wrote:
>>>> My apologies if my "chaining" off your comment about cocktail parties
>>>> distracted from the main point of the ongoing discussion, Phillip.
>>>> Could you say more about what an historical ontology of oneself means? I
>>>> can understand the truth of the idea that In any interaction with
>>>> whether at a cocktail party or in an academic discussion group, one is
>>>> creating one's own history and that an autobiography is a self history
>>>> ego's point of view. If one theorizes, then theorizing is a mode of
>>>> activity/experience that becomes the material of autobiography.
>>>> I am still back on David's earlier claim that cultural historical
>>>> approaches to understanding human development do not view data as ways
>>>> testing/evaluating/improving theory. I may have gotten confused by
>>>> that the discussion on Foucault, Merleau-P, et. Were part of that
>>>> discussion. A lot swirling around at once.
>>>> A pathway out of the thicket would be gratefully received.
>>>> On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, White, Phillip <
>>>>> as you write, Martin, yes, they had similar descriptions of their work
>>>>> "Foucault came to describe his work overall as a "historical ontology
>>>>> ourselves." Certainly both Sartre and Merleau-Ponty were philosophers
>>>>> ontology, and of history."
>>>>> the difference is, i believe, that Foucault identified with those
>>>>> who have been marginalized: prisoners, those deemed mentally ill, and
>>>>> homosexuals. he said that his writings were autobiography. and i've
>>>>> to understand my own work as a way of autobiography. i've begun to
>>>>> of theory as a way of autobiography.
>>>>> i believe that i recognize a great deal of autobiography performed here
>>>>> xmca - just as one sees autobiography performed at a cocktail party.
>>>>> (that's a great metaphor!)
>>>> Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and
>>>> construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more
>>>> less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
>>>> Gray, 2001]
>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>> Assistant Professor
>>> Department of Anthropology
>>> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>> Brigham Young University
>>> Provo, UT 84602
> Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and re-
> construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more or
> less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
> Gray, 2001]