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[Xmca-l] Re: Hope and Despair as a "blues Hope In Morten Nissen's Ethical Prototype

Dear Morton, 

This is exactly the antidote I was wishing for, thanks! Below I've posted the chapter summary to pique the curiosity of others! :)

I would like to suggest that perhaps what is touched upon here possibly relates to BEING over action, especially when Marvakis says: "Agency is not only performing, executing, carrying out certain (given) ‘tasks’".  In my conception, BEING would be where agency derives, as a fountainhead of resources that promote one to act creatively, expressively. Not as material but perhaps energetically (the words are hard to pin down about this). By this I mean BEING is undifferentiated in the way water emerges from the fountain undifferentiated, as a force moving outward (to create). As in when Marvakis says: "Thus, human action can be understood only through always looking for and reflecting on its pre-figurative qualities and dimensions." For me this seems to say we must think about where action/agency comes from, what is their genesis?

Isn't this BEING?

Kind regards,


"The utopian surplus in human agency — Using Ernst Bloch’s philosophy for psychology"
Athanasios Marvakis, Department of Primary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Greece
[no date - link here: https://www.academia.edu/763137/THE_UTOPIAN_SURPLUS_IN_HUMAN_AGENCY_USING_ERNST_BLOCH_S_PHILOSOPHY_FOR_PSYCHOLOGY ] 

This chapter begins with what is called ‘privileged’ references to the past and the present as the only temporalities that constitute human existence. This is a position that insinuates that these are the only determinant temporalities of our agency and consciousness. The determination by the past and/or the present seems to be transcended theoretically usually only when it comes to specific forms of actions, such as radicalpolitical, feminist and so on (e.g., Parker, 2004). The argument to be deployed here is that we cannot account pre-figurative qualities only to particular kinds of actions. Human agency cannot, in general, be understood by the past determinants (e.g., the learning history of the subject/s) and/or through constraints on it by present ‘problems’ (waiting to be solved by the subjects). Agency is grounded on and creates images of possibilities, and by this, contains and refers to (implicit or explicit, overt or not, conscious or not) dimensions transcending past and present constraints. Agency is not only performing, executing, carrying out certain (given) ‘tasks’. We have to discern also its anticipative and creative dimensions, its ability not only to answer (given) questions and to solve (existing) problems, but also to formulate questions and to indicate phenomena as being problematical for action. Human action is not only maintaining and sustaining, but also pioneering alternative (future) social relations — and by this it is always political. Thus, human action can be understood only through always looking for and reflecting on its pre-figurative qualities and dimensions. In my argument here I apply the open and process philosophy of Ernst Bloch as a base for expanding our vision of human agency. For Bloch, human thinking and action anticipate the future and encroach upon the future.