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[Xmca-l] Re: Form, Function, and Hope
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Form, Function, and Hope
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2015 22:50:43 -0800
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further to your reflections on "wise thoughts" having been thought already
thousands of times, but to make them our own, we must think them over again
honestly, till they take root in our personal experience. I am reading more
on Bloch's "theme" [his particular image of the category of hope].
The Markavis article which was posted to XMCA is exploring the question
Bloch asks to open the second section of his major work "the PRINCIPLE of
Hope". This is where he explores the "psychology" of hope.
The question Markavis highlights in Bloch's work is: *"Who drives on within
us?"* Following is Markavi's summary of Bloch's answer [ part two of his
book elaborates this answer in depth]. Markavis on page 7 offers this
fragment from Bloch"
That we are alive cannot be felt. The THAT which posits us as living does
not itself emerge. It lies deep down, where we begin to *be corporeal*.
This push within us is what we mean when we say, man does not live in order
to live, but 'because' he lives. Nobody has sought out this state of
urging, it has been with us ever since we existed and in THAT we exist. The
nature of our *immediate being IS empty *and hence greedy, striving, and
hence restless.... [that] must go out of itself. THEN it senses itself AS
an urge. No living thing can ever escape from THAT urging,... THIS thirst
constantly announces itself but DOES NOT give its name."
A further reflection on this theme of hope as the "not yet" formed that I
found while exploring Ernst Bloch's notion of hope was contained in Bloch's
last book, called "Experimentum Mundi" This book begins:
"I am. But I do not have myself as yet. We still do not know in any way
what we are and too much is full of something that is missing".
This is another example of that "empty place" that needs to become
corporeal. [the life force]
Peter Thompson, another author who explores Bloch's "Philosophy of
Hope" wrote an article titled: "The Privatization of Hope and the Crisis
"For Bloch there could be no end to history because history itself is the
process of the arrival at an autopoietically constructed truth of what it
is to be human in the world. Hope for Bloch, was the way in which our
desire to fill in the *gaps* and to find something missing took shape."
Again the theme of "blues hope" as the "empty place"/ "gaps" AND the life
force as answer.
Peter Thompson further adds:
"The Whole of 'The Principle of Hope' is thus not just a listing of the
ways in which we exercise hope but an analysis of the ways in which hope
can be achieved in the real, material world so that our hunger can lead us
back home via hope and belief. In this sense he borrowed his *categories*
not only from Marx but also from Aristotle, Hegel, Avicenna, Kant, Spinoza,
Schelling, and indeed all those philosophers dealing with the complex and
dialectical relationship between the human being and the material world.
For him the human being and the material world were one and the same
The question Bloch asked [and the question is vital today] is whether hope
can still exist in anything other than an atomized, desocialized, and
privatized form. Bloch is questioning if "late" capitalism has reduced
human hope to the lowest common denominator in a neo-liberal atomized world
where the "dream" of capitalism has lost its driving power and force? Have
the dreams of a better "world" become merely dreams of a better world for
oneself alone or one's family? [against the world].
This returns us to Varolufakis who cautions that if Europeans loose "hope"
in the European Union, the alternative will likely be fascist nationalist
return to "blood" and not a socialist uprising of equality and justice.
Hope is cynical, if it merely waits for the collapse of capitalism,
assuming a better world to come as wishful thinking. For Bloch it is a
much deeper question of the "not-yet" that is a "hunger" within the dialect
of the present AND the "not-yet" formed.
Bloch's hope is not a notion of "repression" concealing what has previously
been conscious, but is a revealing or coming into form that has never
Bloch and Georg Simmel were friends and Bloch's approach seems close to
Simmel's theme of life [as vitality] expressed within a space of "as if" as
a dialectical and reciprocal theme.
I have read that when Simmel's work came to North America it was cleansed
of its dialectical character, and only recently has the centrality of the
dialectical nature of Simmel's notion of "interaction" been
revisited. However that will be for another post on how Simmel's work
opened up a space to understand what is "possible" or "potential" or "as
On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 12:15 PM, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Re prolepsis:
> Goethe (in one translation)
> *All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but
> to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they
> take root in our personal experience*
> On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 9:36 AM, Helena Worthen <email@example.com>
> > Thanks for this, Robert. Good collection of thoughts and references about
> > prolepsis.
> > H
> > Helena Worthen
> > firstname.lastname@example.org
> > On Feb 17, 2015, at 8:38 AM, Robert Lake wrote:
> > > Hi again Everyone!
> > > I recognize that most of what I write here is redundant and part of the
> > > given history of XCMA, but I think we need to continually renew our
> > > metalanguage by spelling out key concepts for newcomers and of course
> > our
> > > own students. Otherwise we could end up like the prisoners on Alcatraz
> > that
> > > had been so long together that they knew all knew each other's jokes,
> > > all they needed to say was "number 39 ha, ha ". "Well number 6 back to
> > you".
> > >
> > > In terms of the praxis of hope and being within the zpd, I love Michael
> > > Cole's (1996) notion of prolepsis which is predicated on LSV's concept
> > of
> > > budding .Prolepsis is the perception of an anticipated or future
> > condition
> > > of development before it actually exists as an internalized state of
> > being.
> > > "The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have not
> > yet
> > > matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that will
> > > tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These functions could
> > be
> > > termed the “buds” or “flowers” of development rather than the “fruits”
> > > development.” (Vygotsky, 1978, p.86)" *So hope of further
> > **development** is
> > > based on present "being".* For example at some point in life ,
> > > all of us were told that we had real potential as a scholar or
> teacher .
> > > Prolepsis is a rare and extremely valuable tool in education if
> > > and mentors can use it realistically as a means to help students move
> > into
> > > spaces that are truly within their grasp through interaction with those
> > who
> > > see can look at the bud and see the fruit until prolepsis becomes
> > > internalized by the student themselves. Boris Meshcheryakov (2007)
> > > this transition a process of moving from “heteroprolepsis” to
> > > “autoprolepsis” (p.166).
> > >
> > > An example of each would be when a parent hears their child humming on
> > key
> > > or reproducing entire tunes in various levels of complexity, they will
> > > course, under normal conditions, encourage their offspring toward some
> > > future musical activity by reporting their performance to them with
> > > something like “when you were two, you could hum all the notes to that
> > song
> > > and I know you will do quite well with piano lessons”.Meshcheryakov
> > on
> > > to relate an example of autoprolepsis in children’s role playing when
> > > child imagines “him or herself in various adults’ roles (hunter,
> > > teacher, etc.), imitating the elements of cultural forms of behavior”
> > > 167). Many future and present teachers for example can recall a time
> > > they used to pretend teach their siblings or maybe even their stuffed
> > > animals. But this role-play does not cease as we grow out of childhood.
> > > Student teaching, apprenticeships, GA's could all be zpd spaces with
> > > potential of moving from heteroprolepsis to autoprolepsis.
> > >
> > >
> > > Cole, M.,(1996). *Cultural psychology: A once and future* *discipline.*
> > > Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press.
> > >
> > >
> > > Meshcheryakov, B. G. (2007). Terminology in L. S. Vygotsky’s writings.
> > > Daniels, H., Cole, M., Wertsch, J. V. (Eds.) *The Cambridge companion
> > > Vygotsky*. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
> > >
> > >
> > > Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). *Mind in society*. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
> > University
> > > Press.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 10:27 AM, Larry Purss <email@example.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > >> The theme [sense] of hope within an atmosphere [mood] of despair,
> > >> and cynicism has been referred to as "blues hope".
> > >> The question of "being" in the present moment and only from this
> > can
> > >> we act is presented as a relation with blues hope.
> > >> This "being" which sociocultural themes indicate "carries" form which
> > >> develop in particular practices of creating "collectives".
> > >> So where do we situate Bloch's notion of "hope" within these "forms"
> > >> cultural-historical embedded practices.
> > >>
> > >> Athanasios Marvakis answer [page 2] is:
> > >>
> > >> "The 'utopian' is not located - as a speculation - in a transcendent
> > >> separate realm else-where or else-when. Utopianism AS future
> > orientedness
> > >> - is immanent in the present, and the issue IS [LP - being] to detect,
> > >> recognize, and discern, rather than to criticise, the blurred and
> > >> MANIFESTATIONS of hope - AS the emotional energizing ground [LP -
> > >> into form] of utopianism - that EXIST [LP - have their being] within
> > >> everyday life."
> > >>
> > >> I would say this is one "theme" or sense that can be "generated" to
> > >> Annalisa's question on only being in the present moment "exists"
> > >>
> > >> Larry
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > > *Robert Lake Ed.D.*Associate Professor
> > > Social Foundations of Education
> > > Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
> > > Georgia Southern University
> > > Secretary/Treasurer-AERA- Paulo Freire Special Interest Group
> > > P. O. Box 8144
> > > Phone: (912) 478-0355
> > > Fax: (912) 478-5382
> > > Statesboro, GA 30460
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch.