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[Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience



Hi Larry and all,

I think this is one of the most complex aspects of experience, what does he mean when he says you can't do things indiscriminately and have vital experience, but you also can't plan things?  I have discussed (argued) about this a lot with my students.  I have especially seen him raise this point in at least two of his great works, Democracy and Education and Experience and Nature - and again of course in Art as Experience (notice he is not saying how Art enters into experience but how art is experience - I have come to notice these little things more and more in his writing).

The difficulty we have, at least in the United States because of the dominance of the idea of meta-cognition, is that we too often translate what individuals are bringing in to experience to organize it as a form of meta-cognition.  It is kind of possible to make that interpretation from Democracy and Education, although what I think he is doing more is arguing against misinterpretations of his work as random, child centered activities.  I think he is clearer in Experience and Nature that we bring in who we are at the moment into the activity, and use who we are (I don't want to say identity) as an organizing principle for what we do.  It is perhaps one of the places where Dewey and Vygotsky are close.  Perhaps I can use the same Jackson Pollock example.  The first few times I saw his paintings I was trying to "apprecitate" them because I was told that was the best way to experience them.  Dewey says no vital experience there because my activities become stilted and artificial.  Sometimes I went through the museum and just looked at pictures, one to the other.  No vital experience there, just random threads.  But that time I had the experience with the paintings I was allowing who I was, what had been built up in the trajectory of my life to enter into my experience with the painting, making it a vital experience.  I think Dewey makes the argument in Experience and Nature that it is not just the experience the moment before, but the experiences leading to that experience, the context of my life, of my parent's life, of a long line of historical experiences.

Anyway, my take.

Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Lplarry
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 3:51 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience

Greg, Alfredo,  

Yes mike's article on minding the gap also offers profound clues to this aspect of experience. The exploration of the gap weaves through multimodal themes and focuses at the micro level of "seeing" the gap.

What I appreciated in Dewey's notion of an experience is the way of framing will/doing that is out of balance  actually dissipates an experience.  Too much doing becomes dis-ordered will. 
Too much receptivity leads also to loss of an experience. 

Dewey describes this process of living through experience as "like" breathing.

Breath as metaphor has a very extensive history.

Yes this challenges classical notions of "transfer" of knowledge but opens a space for cultivating dispositions of actively "taking in" as actively receptive.

Creating an experience as animated and vital and lived through. As Dewey says more than just analyzing transactional relationships.  Place-making as actually developing an experience. Only afterwards when reflected on can we characterize the experience as emotional, or intellectual,  depending on which characteristic is dominant in our reflection retrospectively.
 In actual fact the experience as lived through is not the experience reflected upon. This seems to be a key distinction.
 The dominant characteristic in reflection comes to be identified as "the" characteristic of the experience when in actual fact it is merely an aspect of the unity of the experience. Lived through experience and reflective considerations of this lived through experience feature different characteristics. 
Dewey believed at the end he could not overcome the misunderstanding of what he meant by using the term "experience"
The work on place-making is another opportunity to understand experience as lived through INCLUDING both doing and receptivity.



-----Original Message-----
From: "Alfredo Jornet Gil" <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
Sent: ‎2015-‎07-‎15 10:34 PM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience

Thanks a lot for the links! The ideas you are writing about sound really interesting. I have also thought/written about Dewey, and right now I am finishing a paper on "learning transfer" where we propose a "transactional approach" that builds precisely on the ideas that you mention about receptivity and undergoing as moments of experience. These ideas  become particularly challenging to classical notions of transfer because transfer is typically thought of as the bringing of prior knowledge into a new situation, without the surrender, affectivity, and going through that (an) experience in the Deweyan sense implies.

Thanks once more,
Alfredo
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Sent: 16 July 2015 06:12
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience

Alfredo,
Here is another Wikipedia link to "ma" [as space]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_(negative_space)

An article by Sheila Ross "The Temporality of Tarrying in Gadamer"  in the journal *Theory, Culture, & Society*, 2006, Volume 23 (1): Pages 104-123 is where I encountered this idea.

I am personally linking Dewey, Gadamer, and the concept of "ma".  I will point out that Gadamer's focus on tarrying is to  focus an experience of the "subject matter" through living conversations.  My readings on this topic are idiosyncratic but I personally sense/perceive a shared sensibility and "disposition" in these notions of "agentic" receptivity and undergoing phenomena.  [which is not passive] I also believe this disposition to perceive the "pregnant pause" in ongoing activity can be "cultivated/grown".

Thanks for inviting me to think out loud with you.
Larry



Your article is moving deeper into the multimodal with bodily gesture but I believe my comments add to the complexity of the "aspects" you are exploring as place-making/meaning.




On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 8:43 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
wrote:

> Larry,
>
> when you mentioned the "ma" case today, I immediately thought of 
> Dewey's "an" experience, because it involves the unity of the 
> different moments that you described in "ma". I never came along 
> Gadamer, but, after reading your e-mail, I will definitely have a 
> look. Is there a particular text you would recommend?
>
> Thanks,
> Alfredo
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of 
> Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> Sent: 16 July 2015 05:33
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience
>
> Mike,
>
> I wanted to show how I read Dewey's focusing on having "an" experience 
> is focusing on the same theme as the Japanese concept of "ma"
> Here is a link to explain this concept:
>
> https://wawaza.com/pages/when-less-is-more-the-concept-of-japanese-ma.
> html
>
> Here is Dewey exploring similar themes:
> Experiencing like breathing is a rhythm of intakings and outgivings. 
> Their succession is PUNCTUATED and made a rhythm by the existence of 
> INTERVALS, periods in which one phase is ceasing and the other is 
> inchoate and preparing"
>
> Here is another example from the Dewey article:
>
> "Because of continuous merging, there are no holes, mechanical 
> junctions, and dead centers when we have an experience. There are 
> PAUSES, PLACES OF REST but they punctuate and define the "quality of" 
> movement.  They sum up what has been UNDERGONE and prevent its dissipation and idle evaporation.
>
> So for Dewey the aspect of "an" experience includes "undergoing" which 
> develops "perception" [which Dewey contrasts with mere "recognition"
>
> Now I want to highlight that this undergoing is "receptive" which is 
> NOT passive. I see this as the essence of "ma" To "be" receptive is an 
> active process of undergoing and consolidation as "intaking" aspect of having "an"
> experience this is an act of "surrender"
> Here is Dewey exploring this theme"
>
> The aesthetic or undergoing phase of experience is receptive. It 
> involves surrender. But adequate yielding of the self is possibly only 
> through a controlled activity that may well be intense. In much of our 
> intercourse with our surroundings we withdraw; sometimes from fear, if 
> only of expending unduly our store of energy; sometimes from 
> preoccupation with other matters, as in the case of recognition. 
> Perception is an act of the going-out of energy in order to receive, 
> not a withholding of energy. To steep ourselves in a subject-matter we 
> have first to plunge into it. When we are only passive to a scene, it 
> overwhelms us and, for lack of answering activity, we do not perceive 
> that which bears us down. :We must summon energy and pitch it at a responsive key in order to *take *in."
>
> Dewey describes receptive surrender as summoning energy and pitching 
> this energy at a responsive key IN ORDER TO "take in".
>
> If others are interested Gadamer shares the centrality of this 
> phenomena of "taking in" receptively and surrender to "the subject 
> matter" as undergoing.  In German the term is "verweiling" which is 
> translated as "tarrying"
>
> I mention Japanese "ma" as this concept is deeply integrated into 
> there cultural fabric as a valued "disposition" and attitude.
>
> Dewey is showing that to be manically "making" and "constructing" and 
> "working" is actually a "dis-order" of will.
> Without the pause/interval there is no integral experience but only 
> "dis-ordered will".
>
> In other words willing what cannot be willed. I purposely am using 
> this older term "will" to contrast with the notion of "receptive undergoing"
> within "lived through experience"
>
> On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:57 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>
> > Andy suggested I read this a couple of weeks back and it seems quite 
> > appropriate to the conversation around Alfredo and Rolf's paper. I 
> > found it thought provoking from the get go. Lets hear it for the old 
> > guys.
> > mike
> >
> > --
> >
> > Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus 
> > ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & 
> > Storch, Ecological Niche, 2008)
> >
>
>