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[Xmca-l] Re: Foucault



Mike,
Hopeful? Best of times, worst of times. I know what you are saying that schools aren't the solution, they're the problem. But I work in two charter schools where I want to give it a chance, if only as a substitute teacher. One has as its focus service learning, the other the education of Native Americans in an urban setting. I hope they are different from the New Orleans charters that Katherine gave us links to. (The links worked!) After 25 years of telling other people how to do it, I am seeing if I can stand the heat again. As a high school teacher on the Navajo Reservation before that, I had one good year (my first year) when I could do pretty much what I wanted, and the rest of the time I got tons of programmed learning materials (Random House) and lost my way. I admit it: I lacked the imagination to deal creatively with the problem. As a teacher educator, I tried to , but always felt inauthentic, even when I was, passionate. Karma: my bad conscience and a need to get it right, which is why I am in this dialog and why I am subbing. Add to that my rage against the American way of aging and dying. At my age (71), I have good reason to be terrified. There oughta be a law. 
Henry

On Sep 18, 2014, at 1:08 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Thanks for the bit of autobiography, Henry. I am too confused about uses of
> ontology to know if it is that too!
> 
> On my web page at lchc.ucsd.edu you will find this quotation.
> 
> *Apropos Thoughts on Revolutions and Their Causes*
> 
> (From C. Dickens, *A Tale of Two Cities*, Ch 15)
> 
> Along the Paris streets, the death carts rumble, hollow and harsh.
> Six tumbrels carry the day's wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and
> insatiate monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are
> fused in the one realization, Guillotine. And yet there is not in France,
> with its rich variety of soil and climate, a blade, a leaf, a root, a
> sprig, a peppercorn, which will grow to maturity under conditions more
> certain than those that have produced this horror. Crush human humanity out
> of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into
> the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and
> oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit, according
> to its kind.
> 
> I believe that this is a HOPEFUL assessment of the human condition. I see
> around me counter examples that make me wonder. I am less sanquine about
> schooling as a solution. It appears to exacerbate, not alleviate, the
> problem of species self anhilitation through over consumption that Paul
> brought up. It has a very long history in this regard.
> 
> mike
> 
> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM, Henry G. Shonerd III <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> Mike,,
>> 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.
>> Henry
>> 
>> On Sep 18, 2014, at 11:15 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> 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.
>>> 
>>> mike
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM, Martin John Packer <
>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
>>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> 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.
>>>> 
>>>> Martin
>>>> 
>>>> On Sep 18, 2014, at 11:35 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> 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
>>>> of
>>>>> Qualitative Research leaves off. I'd love to hear the argument
>> enlivened
>>>>> once again).
>>>>> 
>>>>> Martin?
>>>>> -greg
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> 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
>>>> others,
>>>>>> 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
>>>> from
>>>>>> 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
>>>> of
>>>>>> testing/evaluating/improving theory. I may have gotten confused by
>>>> thinking
>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>> Mike
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, White, Phillip <
>>>> Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> as you write, Martin, yes, they had similar descriptions of their
>> work
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> "Foucault came to describe his work overall as a "historical ontology
>>>> of
>>>>>>> ourselves." Certainly both Sartre and Merleau-Ponty were philosophers
>>>> on
>>>>>>> ontology, and of history."
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> the difference is, i believe, that Foucault identified with those
>>>> peoples
>>>>>>> who have been marginalized: prisoners, those deemed mentally ill, and
>>>>>>> homosexuals.  he said that his writings were autobiography.  and i've
>>>>>> come
>>>>>>> to understand my own work as a way of autobiography.  i've begun to
>>>> think
>>>>>>> of theory as a way of autobiography.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> i believe that i recognize a great deal of autobiography performed
>> here
>>>>>> on
>>>>>>> xmca - just as one sees autobiography performed at a cocktail party.
>>>>>>> (that's a great metaphor!)
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> p
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 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]
>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> --
>>>>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>>>>> Assistant Professor
>>>>> Department of Anthropology
>>>>> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>>>>> Brigham Young University
>>>>> Provo, UT 84602
>>>>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> 
>>> 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]
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> 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]