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[Xmca-l] Re: Further reflections on hope as the not yet formed



Toulmin is always interesting, Francine.

So "the West" is not the only bad guy in town? I am on with that.
What is so disturbing is the national hallucination, whipped up by Fox
News/Muroch,Koch etc. that "the west" is the only GOOD guy in town!

The upcoming review of Medin and Bang's new book, *Who's Asking*, in* MCA*,
might provide material for discussion that links up well with issues of
culture variation, its "measurement," and the ability of an-other to
prescribe the nature of the correct answers for purposes of social
practice, such as contemporary academic science.... east. west.north.south.
The article on a monument to mass murder/execution, as Henry noted,
provides a window the issues
as well.

Again, resonances of Ukraine, and the inability to see bidirectionally.
mike


mike

On Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 3:54 PM, larry smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
wrote:

> Message from Francine
>
> Toulmin's book Human Understanding (1972) is a good read, as well.
> He discusses how world views and scientific theories evolve, in contrast,
> to the revolutionary change described by Thomas Kuhn (1967 The Structure
> of Scientific
> Revolutions). For both Toulmin and Kuhn, some problem has to arise that is
> serious enough to warrant reconsidering, revising, or replacing a
> preexisting
> world view or scientific theory. A crisis will also do that.
>
> Theodore Ribot (1900) regarded utopian thinking as an important area of
> creativity,
> along with the arts, sciences, etc. Under utopian thinking he included the
> designing
> of political ideologies and governmental systems. Larry Smolucha and I
> will address
> this as well in our upcoming chapter.
>
> I mention it here because the appearance of the 'Sledgehammer thread' on
> XMCA
> has finally brought the topic of ISIS into our discussion. It is
> interesting that it was
> the topic of the desecration of archaeological antiquities that sparked
> the first
> discussion on XMCA of the ISIS crisis in the Middle East, and not the
> burning, beheading,
> and crucifixion of men, women, and children whether Muslim, Jew, or
> Christian.
>
> In an earlier post, I said the old polemic of blaming every problem in the
> world
> today on Europe and the USA was not credible anymore. People certainly can
> keep
> quoting Edward Said and that line of thinking, but the gruesome reality of
> what
> ISIS and similar groups are doing has rendered that paradigm out of date.
> The actions of ISIS and similar groups, are drowning out the talking
> points of Said.
>
> By the way, Stephen Toulmin was my master's degree thesis sponsor in 1974,
> at the University of Chicago.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:11:11 -0800
> > From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > CC: xmca@potpourri.ucsd.edu
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Further reflections on hope as the not yet formed
> >
> > Mike, Greg,
> > Alan Janik and Stephen Toulmin have written a book "Wittgenstein's
> Vienna"
> > which is there approach to historical ontology. They wrote this book as
> an
> > attempt to get "behind" the stangle hold of "disciplinary" silos recently
> > discussed here.  They are trying to re-create the "atmosphere" or "style"
> > where scholars, journalists, scientists, artists were all reading and
> > discussing the same topics and expanding each others horizons.
> > And yes, this site does offer that "spaces" for multiple perspectives to
> > challenge and liberate our prejudices.
> > The book on Simmel with the title "Cultivating Minds" I believe
> "captures"
> > the approach of salon culture to generating "rich complex developing
> > "themes" which may morph into "meanings" [as they become crystalized]
> > Larry
> >
> > On Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 11:37 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > This isn't a salon?
> > > We lack class I guess, along with inadequate tastes and intellects!
> > > :-)
> > > mike
> > >
> > > On Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 11:22 AM, Greg Thompson <
> greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
> > > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Larry,
> > > > Again, this is a fantastic redux, so thanks. And also thanks for the
> > > > Gadamer special issue. I've downloaded and hope to be able to get to
> them
> > > > soon.
> > > >
> > > > A somewhat sideways comment on the Simmel post - it makes me wonder
> about
> > > > the possibility of a "salon culture" in the U.S. today. It seems an
> > > > impossibility among adults for too many reasons (I say "adults"
> because
> > > > when I was in high school, a group of us referred to ourselves as
> "Madam
> > > > Geoffrin's Salon" - apparently entirely oblivious to the gender
> politics
> > > > involved considering that we were all male!).
> > > >
> > > > Anyway, it is difficult to imagine any group of people being able to
> give
> > > > an afternoon once a week to discussion of important matters. The only
> > > > matters that seem to matter today are making money.
> > > >
> > > > But maybe there are spaces for this in academic life? (esp. if you
> > > already
> > > > have tenure...).
> > > >
> > > > -greg
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Feb 22, 2015 at 5:56 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >  This is an extended commentary introducing a few key concepts of
> > > > Simmel's
> > > > > approach to being human,
> > > > > I thought I would post this reflection on Simmel as a dialectical
> > > thinker
> > > > > and a hopeful thinker.
> > > > >  It may be of interest to a few on this site to add to
> understanding of
> > > > > "salon culture" in the Germanic cities at the beginning of the 20th
> > > > > century.
> > > > > There is a re-emerging interest by Simmel scholars who are
> > > > > re-searching  the centrality of the theme of dialectic within
> Simmel's
> > > > > scholarly explorations. This is the subject of a new book, titled:
> > > "Form
> > > > > and Dialectic in Simmel's Sociology. A New Interpretation"
> [2013].  The
> > > > > authors are Henry Schermer and David Jury.
> > > > >
> > > > > They make a case that what Simmel offers is a mode of analysis
> located
> > > > > within the dialectical tradition within German social thought, a
> > > > tradition
> > > > > with roots extending from Heraclitus and Paramedes through Kant,
> Hegel,
> > > > and
> > > > > Marx. This dialectical thread has been hidden in Anglo-American
> > > reception
> > > > > and rendering a Simmel cleansed of what was seen as the
> contamination
> > > of
> > > > > the dialectic within his work. The aim of this book is to convey
> what
> > > the
> > > > > authors see as the core of Simmel's method and the potential of its
> > > > further
> > > > > expansion.
> > > > >
> > > > > The core concept is "Wechselwirkung" [reciprocal effect] and the
> > > > dialectic.
> > > > > This has a similar sense to Zinchenko's concept of "oscillation".
> > > > >  Wechselwirkung or recirocal effect is ever present in Simmel's
> > > approach
> > > > > and the movement at the core of his "relational" and "dialectical
> > > theory.
> > > > > Wechselwirkung AS "social interaction" is his central concept of
> > > > > interaction.
> > > > >
> > > > > This overarching conception is a Spinozian emphasis on
> "interrelations"
> > > > and
> > > > > on "process" rather than discrete "things". This notion of
> dialectical
> > > > > "truth" as neither absolute nor relative.  Both separations AND
> > > > > unifications are significant aspects of his conceptual truth of the
> > > world
> > > > > as mediated by a plurality of concepts. All such relational
> assumptions
> > > > > include an open-endedness of human "possibilities".
> > > > > Simmel does make a connection between the biological and
> sociological
> > > > > realms as dialectically related between nature and human social
> > > > existence.
> > > > > This is Simmel's first great dualism, within which the second great
> > > > dualism
> > > > > [between subject and object within modernity]
> > > > >
> > > > > Henry Schermer and David Jury elaborate what they see as Simmel's
> > > > abstract
> > > > > conceptual model and method.  In outline they make these key
> > > formulations
> > > > > of Simmel's work:
> > > > >
> > > > > 1] Simmel proceeds dialectically with two sets of concepts: i] a
> > > limited
> > > > > number of GENERAL polarities or dualities. ii ] identification of a
> > > > > potentially unlimited number of social and cultural 'forms' derived
> > > from
> > > > > application of these general polarities.
> > > > >
> > > > > 2] The former general categories are seen as a hierarchy from most
> > > > general
> > > > > to least general dualities, including modalities and categories -
> such
> > > as
> > > > > space and time - drawn from Kant and Hegel and others. Simmel
> draws a
> > > > well
> > > > > known distinction between "form" and "contents". These forms
> reveal the
> > > > > fundamental patterns, and causes, and implications, of phenomena
> and by
> > > > > presenting examples of these forms he elaborates his method.
> > > > >
> > > > > 3] the  polarities consist of pairs of "contradictory" concepts
> that
> > > > > operate dialectically, with outcomes in cultural and social forms
> as
> > > > > syntheses. For Simmel, recurring "social forms" such as "conflict"
> and
> > > > > "co-operation" or "superordination" and "subordination" are
> patterns of
> > > > > interaction analyzable as the dialectical outcome and synthesis,
> [the
> > > > > reciprocal effects] of the combination of numerous polarities,
> > > dualities,
> > > > > or "continua" [these related terms reflect  variations in emphasis,
> > > > > according to context, of rejection of previous dichotomous
> categories
> > > of
> > > > > thought.
> > > > >
> > > > > 4] This relational epistemology emphasizing interrelationships
> > > > introduces a
> > > > > related dialectical operation of dualities such as the tension
> between
> > > on
> > > > > the one hand "human fulfillment and creativity" and on the other
> hand a
> > > > > potentially oppressive "objective culture"-  which leads to human
> > > > > "estrangement" and "alienation" - which for Simmel is thoroughly
> > > > > dialectical implying an open-endedness of human capacities is
> present,
> > > > but
> > > > > this has more of a "blues hope" than the Enlightenment concept of
> hope.
> > > > >
> > > > > For Simmel it is crucial we differentiate "dualism" from
> > > > > polarities/dualities. Dualism is dichotomies but
> polarities/dualities
> > > are
> > > > > "continua". Simmel opposes "fixed" categories. Simmel's approach
> can be
> > > > > summed up as involving "a unity of opposites". For Simmel there is
> no
> > > > > endpoint or a final synthesis. Fusions of polarities are
> identified in
> > > > > myriad social forms, without a fixed or final synthesis. Simmel,
> though
> > > > > sometimes linked with Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Bergson,  his
> > > > viewpoint
> > > > > goes beyond these comparisons.
> > > > >
> > > > > "Reciprocity" the core concept for Simmel implies that nothing has
> a
> > > > fixed
> > > > > meaning and that meaning arises only through interaction.  The
> > > > > subjective-objective duality [not pre-determined sides as in
> dualism]
> > > > > Simmel sees as inherent in all social forms.  Simmel sees the
> > > properties
> > > > of
> > > > > form and the meanings of things AS a function of the relative
> > > distances -
> > > > > and the routes taken - between things.  Life as the play of the
> > > dualities
> > > > > of [distance and proximity] [separation and connection] [boundary
> and
> > > > > separation] as hungers of the life force drives Simmel's analysis.
> > > Simmel
> > > > > uses metaphor as a basic GENERAL TOOL in his analysis of forms. For
> > > > > example the "bridge" correlates "separateness and unity"  The
> "door"
> > > in a
> > > > > decisive manner reciprocally imagines "opening and closing"
> > > representing
> > > > > the boundary between spaces. The doors "closure" provides a
> stronger
> > > > > feeling of isolation against everything outside the space than
> does the
> > > > > unstructured wall.
> > > > > Hmanity can both imagine everything connected and everything
> separate
> > > > > within reciprocal oscillation.Most often one side is imagined as
> > > > "natural"
> > > > > and the other side as "humanly constructed".
> > > > > For Simmel, humans are BOTH "connecting" AND "bordering" creatures.
> > > This
> > > > > notion of human beings suggests Simmel's general method which can
> guide
> > > > all
> > > > > our activity.
> > > > >
> > > > > The criticism of Simmel's work is that it was "impressionistic"
> and not
> > > > > systematized but these may be caricatures of his work.
> > > > > Lukac's belittledSimmel's work as "impressionistic". Frisby,
> taking his
> > > > cue
> > > > > from Walter Benjamin calling Baudelaire as a "flaneur"  [merely a
> > > roving
> > > > > sketcher of city life as he wandered the streets] called Simmel a
> > > > flaneur.
> > > > > Randall Collins called Simmel a "salon entertainer"
> > > > > Theodor Adorno saw Simmel as "a bourgeois aesthete" alluding to
> > > Simmel's
> > > > > participation in artistic and literary salons in Berlin.
> > > > >
> > > > > What this actually shows is that Simmel was most focused on the
> > > > "movement"
> > > > > of thought itself characterized by paradox, duality, dialectic, and
> > > > > relationism.  Simmel was always revising his concepts of form and
> > > content
> > > > > and offered no final word.
> > > > > Simmel's work presents a "unity" using the twin notions of
> > > > > 1] reciprocal effect
> > > > > 2] form and content
> > > > >
> > > > > Simmel is presenting a particular form of sociocultural order as a
> > > model
> > > > of
> > > > > modernity centered around "differentiation" within reciprocal
> > > enactments.
> > > > > Simmel's work was not as systematic and disciplined and
> standardized to
> > > > fit
> > > > > into the emerging academy with its closed boundaries. He was more
> than
> > > a
> > > > > sociologist. and cannot be "housed" or enclosed in that
> discipline. His
> > > > > context was the "salon culture" and he must be read within this
> > > context.
> > > > > [see Wittgenstein's Vienna for a picture into salon culture]
> > > > > His informality is deceptive.  and the new re-search on Simmel as a
> > > > > dialectical scholar shows how blind others are to the structure
> within
> > > > his
> > > > > approach.
> > > > >
> > > > > Simmel's last book [1918] "The View of Life" develops further
> Simmel's
> > > > > notion of "life" as the vital force that moves us as an urge [a
> hunger]
> > > > FOR
> > > > > LIFE and the reciprocal life as a sense of "deadness" when closed
> off
> > > > from
> > > > > the vitality of life as open ended. This for Simmel is the realm
> of the
> > > > "as
> > > > > if" [similar to Bloch's Philosophy of Hope].
> > > > >
> > > > > But that also is for another post.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > > > Assistant Professor
> > > > Department of Anthropology
> > > > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > > > Brigham Young University
> > > > Provo, UT 84602
> > > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> object
> > > that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> > >
>




-- 
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.