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



Andy, I want to draw attention to your comment:

  "science as perspectival, i.e., one perspective alongside other at least
equally valid perspectives, such as Climate Change Denial. It seemed to me
that Activity Theory offered an alternative to the idea of "perspectives"
which are inherently relative."

The *idea* of perspectives which are INHERENTLY relative seems to be the
*complex* aspect of the understanding of *perspectives*.
The assumption that you have your perspective and I have my perspective and
Creationism co-exists alongside Evolution.

Andy, if we *look* at the idea of *perspectives* not as merely relative,
but also shared [and even *general] we seem to be occupying similar realms
to the notion of *developing concepts*.

The comment that in contrast to *perspectives* which are
*relative* concepts are NOT as relative [or possibly more shared and
therefore warrante BECAUSE asbestos ACTUALLY KILLS, we are now in the realm
of *IS* and the understanding that we must ACT [and develop concepts] to
respond to the actual *IS*. [actual existence].

I have a *sense* there is actually more overlap between the concept
*perspective* and the concept *concept*.
The notion of *activity theory* as *holding to a course* [charting a
course] that stays *true to course* with a *steady bearing* gestures to
Merleau Ponty's understanding of SENS [as inclusive of BOTH sense and
direction]
My comments can be *seen* as holding to a particular *course* as does
*activity theory*
Merleau-Ponty's notion of *chiasm* where binocular vision is NOT a summing
of two distinct monocular visions but a gestalt re-configuration that
*envelops* and *deepens* [metaphorically] relative perspectives which when
they *lead to* [ZPD ?] *taking a bearing* and moving in a SHARED direction
can be viewed AS *activity theory*.

Creationism [or the *sensation fallacy* of M-P's project] can be
viewed as *perspectives* or as *concepts* which hopefully call forth the
need for SHARED responses/activity.

Raymond Williams understanding of *determinism* and *overdeterminism* seems
to have a place in this exploration of activity, directions, bearings,
taking a course and other actual material events *realized* metaphorically.

Larry




On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 2:27 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Larry, you have addressed three questions to me, so I will try to respond
> to them in turn.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Larry Purss wrote:
>
>> 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??
>>
> Well, I guess so. I was responding to Michael Glassman's response to the
> postmodern conservative take on science as perspectival, i.e., one
> perspective alongside other at least equally valid perspectives, such as
> Climate Change Denial. It seemed to me that Activity Theory offered an
> alternative to the idea of "perspectives" which are inherently relative.
>
>> Is there a bias to see perspectives AS images and concepts AS
>> linguistic?  Is this the question of multi-modality [recently shared on
>> line]??
>>
> Well I think any of your "AS"es degrade the original proposition, Larry.
> Take the asbestos issue. People died as a result of that project. Death
> transcends linguistics. Likewise images. There is more than an image
> involved in breathing in asbestos fibres. I don't know about multimodality.
>
>>
>> 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/~
>> henrich/pdfs/WeirdPeople.pdf
>>                         <http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/%
>> 7Ehenrich/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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