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[Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder



The fundamental question for me is, knowing that just about everything we do may possibly be enframed by culture, can we in an husserlian sense bracket culture to get at the noumena?  I believe that there is a noumenal world that we can know about once we deconstruct the aspect of our species-being that conceals the noumenal world from us.  Ideology, language, our senses, etc. are all aspects of our species-being that, paradoxically conceals and reveals the noumenal world to us.  This is a bit positivist on my part, but i believe that the objective of philosophy and science is to understand and deconstruct the ways our species-being limits us in order so that we can devise ways using technology to understand the nature of reality as such, paradoxically, through our species-being.

Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
President
The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
www.mocombeian.com 
www.readingroomcurriculum.com
www.paulcmocombe.info 

Race and Class Distinctions within Black Communities 
www.routledge.com/9780415714372


-------- Original message --------
From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> 
Date: 09/22/2014  4:35 AM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder 

As you know, Carol, my recent research has led me through the 
belief-systems and activity of a range of Christian denominations and I 
have learnt to value the enormous contribution which Christians have 
made to social change activism and the pursuit of social justice over 
the past 400 years, before which time the question is moot. Generally 
speaking all sorts of theology are consistent with all sorts of social 
practice and even metaphysical beliefs. The correlations are complex.

Believing that God created the world does not imply any kind of 
supposedly literal or selective reading of the Bible and nor does it 
necessarily imply rejection of Darwinian evolution. Surveys about 
Creationism usually sort people into three categories; (1) God created 
the world 10,000 years ago or less; (2) God created the world by means 
of evolution, etc., or some such formulation consistent both with 
science and with Christian moral convictions; and (3) God had nothing to 
do with it. I think you would be (2), Carol. To be a Creationist 
requires a huge leap of faith about immense detail. It means believing 
things like "God created cows so man would have milk." I don't know 
where Spinoza and Hegel fit in that little 3-part scheme. I don't know 
what you mean by "order of creation". Do you mean "God created X on the 
Nth day" and so on?

Creationism in the US is (I believe) a political position: it is a very 
specific array of concepts. Belief in God is in itself not a political 
question. The political question is only: if you believe in God, how do 
you conceive of Him (or Her)? Does God approve of public health, etc?

The Big Bang is something else. No physicist thinks this is a closed 
question. Personally I think  the solution to the obvious contradictions 
is that time, like space, is finite but unbounded. Plausible, involves 
no insuperable logical contradictions, no Prime Mover or First Cause, or 
Before Time, but it is all still an open question. But I think to insert 
God wherever you find an open question is just silly. It is a bit like 
John R.Searle who inserts quantum uncertainty into human biology to 
solve the problem of free will or introducing UFOs to explain 
unexplained events. God is fine, but he is not the answer to any 
unsolved problem of physics or biology.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/


Carol Macdonald wrote:
> Dear Andy
>
> I haven't kept up with the previous 15 conversations, but need to add 
> my tuppence worth.  I believe that God created the world, but not 
> anything literal about the Bible.  We need to know what triggered the 
>  Big Bang. Even Richard Dawkins the professed atheist is agnostic 
> about this very point.  Also it seems that the order of creation, 
> although allegorical, seems to map out the order of events, although 
> Biblically we really have to give "day" a different time frame.
>
> I just say this in case this example can be accommodated in your theory.
>
> Carol
>
> On 22 September 2014 08:58, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com 
> <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     Andy,
>
>     Taking project as the KEY concept and stating that projects are shared
>     collective desires to change *concepts* is highlighted in your
>     example.
>     The *intended* project is to change people's understanding of
>     asbestos as a
>     miracle substance to a deadly substance.
>
>     Returning to the article Peter posted on *perspectival* assumptions as
>     being collective and developing the concept of *perspective* away
>     from its
>     subjective bias to taking *perspectival* as collective could be
>     understood
>     as a *project* [writing articles to change others concepts of
>     *perspectival*
>
>     I sense an *overlap* and possible synergy between notions of *changing
>     concepts* intentionally AND realizing changing perspectives by
>     *looking*
>     with an intentional focus.
>     Are we referring to similar phenomena??
>     The inherent stability of concepts/perspectives and the intentional
>     projects to change the *shape* of harmful perspectives/concepts.
>     Is there a bias to see perspectives AS images and concepts AS
>     linguistic?
>     Is this the question of multi-modality [recently shared on line]??
>
>     I appreciated the clarity of the example of asbestos workers who
>     shared an
>     understanding of asbestos [as a miracle substance that was actually
>     deadly]
>
>     The relations between perspective taking, interpretive
>     understanding,  and
>     concept development is the question I'm left with.
>     Larry
>
>     Larry
>
>
>
>     On Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 10:57 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>     <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>
>     > Michael, Charles.
>     > This is an issue which I think can be tackled by Activity
>     Theory, not just
>     > climate denial, but a whole range of belief/disbelief problems
>     like this.
>     > Social justice issues and social change in general depend on
>     understanding
>     > and solving these kind of prejudice and scepticism. Postmodern
>     relativism
>     > has given us a poisoned chalice indeed.
>     >
>     > I believe that Activity Theory is well placed to solve this
>     category of
>     > problem and give some guidance as to how to tackle deeply held but
>     > irrational prejudice. Developed using 'project' as the unit of
>     analysis I
>     > think Activity Theory gives us a really useful theory of
>     ideology which has
>     > the advantage of being firmly connected to a living tradition in
>     > psychological science and meaningfully connected to how people
>     live their
>     > lives.
>     > Taking Creationism as an example, among European and American
>     societies,
>     > the USA boasts the largest percentage of people in the world who
>     believe
>     > that God created the world just as it is today about 10,000
>     years ago. They
>     > are rivalled only by Turkey. And it does not correlate with lack of
>     > education. In fact, among Republican voters, the more educated
>     you are the
>     > more likely you are to believe in the Old Testament story of
>     Genesis and
>     > not Darwin. A significant percentage of Democrat voters also
>     believe in
>     > Creationism, but this declines with education.
>     >
>     > The point is that when people evaluate evidence, as Charles was
>     > suggesting, we do so by integrating the new data into our existing
>     > conceptual frame. I regularly dismiss all sorts of news and theories
>     > because it doesn't fit into my conceptual frame! We all do. The
>     reason why
>     > there is so much Creationism in the US is that Darwin versus the Old
>     > Testament has been *politicised*. You prefer the Old Testament
>     for guidance
>     > as to the origin of species rather than science (personal
>     experience can
>     > shed no light on the question) because it is a litmus test for
>     adherence to
>     > the Good Life, just as some people hate bicycle-riders because
>     it is a
>     > signal of support for Greeny ideas which are deemed hostile to
>     the ordinary
>     > person. I believe that Climate Denial is part of the same issue. In
>     > Australia there are rather too many Climate Deniers because the
>     issue has
>     > become politicised. Officially the conservative government
>     accepts the
>     > science, but every knows they don't and this is reflected in
>     policies like
>     > appointing climate deniers to head committees to review energy
>     policy,
>     > repealing the carbon price, etc., etc. There are a higher
>     percentage of
>     > climate deniers in Australia, as a result, than in Europe where
>     the climate
>     > is not politicised in that way.
>     >
>     > One's conceptual frame is unified through commitment to a
>     life-project.
>     > Opinions and evidence which don't fit the conceptual frame
>     generated by the
>     > central concept of a life-project, its vision of the Good Life.
>     There is a
>     > 10 minute talk on this in relation to denial of the dangers
>     posed to health
>     > by asbestos here:
>     https://www.academia.edu/8179060/Activity_as_Project_
>     > The_Case_of_Asbestos
>     >
>     > Apologies for going on too long.
>     > Andy
>     >
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     > *Andy Blunden*
>     > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     > Charles Bazerman wrote:
>     >
>     >> Michael,
>     >> I am with you, and not only because of climate change deniers.  The
>     >> sociocultural critique has been important to show that humans make
>     >> knowledge, and they do it from their own interests and
>     perspectives.  Yet,
>     >> various disciplines and sciences, have come to know more about
>     the world in
>     >> ways that are less entangled with the limits of individual or
>     small group
>     >> perceptions and interests.
>     >> Disciplines do represent the world outside of themselves, gathering
>     >> data--of course selectively through their own devices, their
>     means of
>     >> collection, forms of inscription and display, etc... 
>     Historically, the
>     >> methodological standards in different fields have evolved to
>     include more
>     >> awareness of the contingency, fragility, and specificity of
>     samples, data
>     >> and analysis--along with increasing cleverness of our tools. 
>      This is what
>     >> methodology is all about.  I tend to view objectivity not as an
>     absolute,
>     >> but an awareness of ways in which we are entangled with the
>     phenomena we
>     >> are trying to study, and to find ways to disentangle ourselves
>     less.
>     >> So from this perspective, incorporating the sociocultural critique
>     >> creates challenges to maintain the persuasiveness of our data,
>     >> representation, and analysis. Over the last few decades, we
>     have been
>     >> struggling in different disciplines to incorporate this
>     critique but yet
>     >> maintain the disciplinary projects of advancing contingent, but
>     useful and
>     >> reliable knowledge.  I like your term warranted assertability.
>     I myself
>     >> have relied on the idea of accountability--in terms of being
>     able to give a
>     >> good account of your research actions when queried from various
>     directions.
>     >> But it is important to the advance of knowledge that we find
>     ways to gather
>     >> and understand information about the world (in which we are
>     both living
>     >> parts and the constructors of knowledge about that world including
>     >> ourselves) that recognizes the contingency of our knowledge but
>     does not
>     >> evaporate our confidence in that knowledge into a vapor of
>     contingency only.
>     >>
>     >> I have struggled with this issue for many years in my work on the
>     >> rhetoric of science and have discussed it in various ways,
>     drawing on the
>     >> work of many others (Ludwik Fleck still seems important to me
>     over many
>     >> years), but more work needs to be done to crystallize an
>     understanding that
>     >> leaves science and social science standing despite it being
>     created by
>     >> poor, frail, interested, humans of limited and skewed vision.
>     >> best,
>     >> Chuck
>     >>
>     >> ----- Original Message -----
>     >> From: "Glassman, Michael" <glassman.13@osu.edu
>     <mailto:glassman.13@osu.edu>>
>     >> Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 11:21 am
>     >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
>     >> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>     <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>> It seems to me that articles like this can be a double edged
>     sword.
>     >>> They use examples where culture has an influence on how we see
>     things but
>     >>> then offer the generalization that science is perspective. 
>     This is the
>     >>> same line you hear by climate deniers who claim that the
>     climatologists
>     >>> have a liberal bias.   Science is based on individual
>     perspective until it
>     >>> doesn't.   I'm their book is a much more nuanced discussion. 
>      This is a
>     >>> really complex issue which at this particular moment has
>     extraordinary
>     >>> import.  Maybe we need to find other ways to discuss this -
>     like warranted
>     >>> assertability.  Perhaps I have been spending too much time
>     reading about
>     >>> the politics of climate change lately and it has spooked me.
>     >>>
>     >>> Michael
>     >>> ________________________________________
>     >>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>     [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>]
>     >>> on behalf of David Preiss [daviddpreiss@gmail.com
>     <mailto:daviddpreiss@gmail.com>]
>     >>> Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2014 9:41 PM
>     >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>     >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
>     >>>
>     >>> And they make claims for all humankind.
>     >>>
>     >>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 22:16, Martin John Packer
>     >>>>
>     >>> <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co <mailto:mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>>
>     escribió:
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> So there are two distinct problems here: First, the
>     researchers are
>     >>>>
>     >>>>
>     >>> not diverse. Second, the people they (we?) study are not diverse.
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> Martin
>     >>>>
>     >>>>
>     >>>>
>     >>>>> On Sep 21, 2014, at 8:11 PM, David Preiss
>     <daviddpreiss@gmail.com <mailto:daviddpreiss@gmail.com>>
>     >>>>>
>     >>>>>
>     >>>> wrote:
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> Loved the WEIRD acronym. One of the best ironies I've seen in
>     >>>>>
>     >>>> recent scientific writing.
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>     >>>>>
>     >>>>>
>     >>>>>
>     >>>>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 18:57, Rod Parker-Rees
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>> <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk
>     <mailto:R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>> escribió:
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> Great article, David - highlights the importance (at every level)
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>> of being aware of what others might find odd about us (secondary
>     >>> socialisation?).
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> Rod
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>     >>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of David Preiss
>     >>>
>     >>>
>     >>>> Sent: 21 September 2014 18:31
>     >>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>     >>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: in the eye of the beholder
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>> This article is revelant for this topic:
>     http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ <http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/%7E>
>     >>>>>> henrich/pdfs/WeirdPeople.pdf
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>>
>     >>>>>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 13:42, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu
>     <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu>> escribió:
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>> The book by Medin and Bang, "Who's asking" published by
>     MIT is GREAT
>     >>>>>>> reading. Seeing this in Scientific American is super.
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>> mike
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>> On Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 8:18 AM, David Preiss <
>     >>>>>>> daviddpreiss@gmail.com <mailto:daviddpreiss@gmail.com>>
>     >>>>>>> wrote:
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>> What a fantastic piece Peter! Loved the references to
>     primatology.
>     >>>>>>>> David
>     >>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>> Enviado desde mi iPhone
>     >>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>>> El 21-09-2014, a las 7:31, Peter Smagorinsky
>     <smago@uga.edu <mailto:smago@uga.edu>>
>     >>>>>>>>> escribió:
>     >>>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/point-of-view-
>     >>>>>>>> affects-how-s
>     >>>>>>>> cience-is-done/
>     >>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>> --
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>> 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]
>     >>>>>>>
>     >>>>>>>
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>     >>>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     >
>
>
>
>
> -- 
> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> Developmental psycholinguist
> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor 
> Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>
>  
>
>