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



Message from Francine:

Mike

Fox News has been praising the King of Jordan and the President of Egypt 
for their swift actions against ISIS. If someone tries to make the case that
Muslim countries that fight ISIS are just Western pawns, that belies the fact
that ISIS is a direct threat to all Middle Eastern countries (Sunni or Shia).
I heard that one of their goals is to destroy the Kaba in Mecca. This is not
the first time that an army waging war in the name of Islam wanted to
conquer Mecca - the Maddi in the Sudan whose army beheaded Gordon
at Khartoum planned to take Mecca.

And here is another take on Putin's land grab in the Ukraine to build
a land bridge from Russia to the Crimea: After the coup that occurred in the
Ukraine (when the current government in Kiev came to power), I think that
Putin was concerned that the Crimean peninsula was vulnerable to a hostile
take over by Chechens or others acting in the name of Islam. Since the Black
Sea ports are as important to Russia as the Panama Canal is to the USA,
decisive action was taken.[In 1989, the USA invaded Panama to remove Noriega.]

After the fall of the Kievan empire to the Ghengis Khan in the 1100's,
Western Ukraine became part of Poland. It was called Red Ruthenia and the people were Ruthenians. The Cossack uprising in the 1600's was an attempt to unify the eastern Ukraine with Ruthenia. The Cossack's made an alliance with the Muslim Tartars and the Turkish Sultan. 
Stalin drew new national boundaries for Eastern Europe creating the Ukraine as we now 
know it. People have been fighting over this region for centuries. Sienkiewicz's historical
novel With Fire and Sword is a vivid portrayal of the Cossack uprising in the 1600's
- there is a terrific film version in Polish.

One last point, it seems to me that sometimes the world goes nuts (or a region goes nuts).
Tolstoy's War and Peace - Gone With the Wind - and King Arthur's comment
at the end of Camelot about how those mad, crazy times have come back again.
Freud tried to warn us about 'monsters from the Id' (terminology from Forbidden
Planet - a great 1950's sci-fi movie). There is a point were violence becomes more than religious zeal or economic imperialism, when violence becomes blood lust.

> From: mcole@ucsd.edu
> Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:32:07 -0800
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [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.