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[Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as oscillating and pulsing [or not]
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as oscillating and pulsing [or not]
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- Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 23:59:03 +0000
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- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as oscillating and pulsing [or not]
I would like to offer (with kindness, not adversity) that I don't think this is exactly right, mike, that meaning infuses the structure of motor and perceptual activities, because we have not included affect here. The body isn't a machine that just acts in activity without feeling.
We know for example from Damasio that affect is required to reason, which means we sense and feel *before* we reason, if it is allowable for me to connect sensing with feeling and affect. Did Vygotsky know this? Or Shpet?
I wonder why there hasn't been more climbing on board of Damasio's work. This seems to be a huge discovery.
It is my sense (!) that sensing is not solely perceptual, but references memory as well. Learning and memory-making have important connections to affective experiences.
Is it possible that Vygotsky was using "sense" as a way to discuss thinking with the body, but with feeling, in the moment of NOW as one faces one's environment? That these impressions are made in a unique manner that pertains only to the person. In other words, the process of structure-creating is phylogenetic, the scenario in which this process takes place is ontogenetic, and therefore the resulting manifestation is particular to the person and one's environment? We all have faces with certain properties: two eyes, a nose, a mouth, cheeks, etc., yet the face itself is unique to each person, despite family resemblances.
If this is so, it could explain experiences of "race" or "gender" without there actually being a location for these experiences of "race" or "gender" in the body (explained genetically, for example). In this way, the experience is experienced by the experiencer at the moment of the experience. It is not pre-programmed, not totally.
Let me try this way: because I have a female body, I will not feel danger any differently than other humans in a war zone of bullets flying, but I may feel danger differently walking down a dark street that a man may not. So it's because I have a female body, but not because I have a female body, that I have these experiences. And yet on a given night I may not have this experience at all walking down a dark street, because on that particular night, I feel completely safe.
If affect were not important, then I could not have these experiences that I experience. It is this disconnect (removal of affect from the equation of being myself) that perhaps is something along the lines of the double-consciousness that African Americans experience (as Paul has explained), but I certainly do not want to speak for African-American experience, just that in my imagination, I can see connections and parallels.
This dualism (the split of thought and affect) can only be eradicated when we reunite the affect (which actually has never been separated in experience, but is separated out in the manner of propaganda functions, a reality that is not really real, along the lines of C'est ne pas un pipe and yet, here is a pipe). I believe that this is the antidote, to remove the confusion by looking for wholeness in thought and affect. It is a removal, in order to unite.
Because we have 450 years of Descartes to face, it is a slippery endeavor. Meaning: this isn't easy if we look inside our own culture which has no means for filtering this out. This is why I offer it may be useful to look to the East because I don't believe there is the same urgent project to separate mind from body. This is my sense. I could be wrong. Those people in the East are people too, after all, aren't they? :) What can be learned from comparing and contrasting? I'd think a lot!
Isn't it true that otherness can only arise by removal of affect? Furthermore, isn't it possible to rationalize the unethical once the affect has been removed? These are questions I would invite further exploration, if there is interest.