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[Xmca-l] Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science



Mike,
I recall in an obituary in the NYTimes that naysayers were cited in reviewing Oliver Sacks’ life work. I am wondering if some of that push back was related to his practice of romantic science, which, if I understand from things Andy has written, involves immersion in the phenomena of interest in search of a unit of analysis. Goethe, for example, immersed himself in the phenomena of living things. His writing prefigures the cell as a unit of analysis, but the technology of microscopes could not confirm such a unit until later on. Your contrasting Bruner and Sacks makes me wonder if the subject, not just the object, is at issue. Different styles of research bring different construals. This may be the bane of objectivist, empiricist science but does it really make Sacks less of a researcher and just a lowly clinician? 
Henry

  
> On Aug 30, 2015, at 7:02 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> 
> Hi Laura-- I knew Oliver primarily through our connections with Luria and
> the fact that we
> independently came to embrace the idea of a romantic science. He was a shy
> and diffident person. You can get that feeling, and the difference between
> him and Jerry Bruner in this regard in the interview with them that someone
> pirated on
> to youtube.
> 
> Jerry is very old but last heard from by me, engaging intellectually all
> the while.
> 
> mike
> 
> On Sun, Aug 30, 2015 at 5:18 PM, Laura Martin <martinl@azscience.org> wrote:
> 
>> Thanks, Mike. A number of years ago I had the privilege of spending an
>> evening with Sacks when Lena Luria was visiting Jerry Bruner and Carol
>> Feldman in NY.  I stood in for Sylvia who couldn't make the dinner - it was
>> an extraordinary evening in many ways.  Do you ever hear from Bruner? I
>> wonder if he's still active.
>> 
>> Laura
>> 
>> 
>> Sent from my iPad
>> 
>> On Aug 30, 2015, at 3:29 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> 
>> Dear Colleagues ---
>> 
>> I am forwarding, with personal sadness, the news that Oliver Sacks has
>> succumbed to cancer.
>> Its not a surprise, but a sad passing indeed.
>> mike
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> 
>> Date: Sun, Aug 30, 2015 at 3:07 PM
>> Subject: NYTimes.com: Oliver Sacks Dies at 82; Neurologist and Author
>> Explored the Brain’s Quirks
>> To: lchcmike@gmail.com
>> 
>> 
>>  Sent by sashacole510@gmail.com: Oliver Sacks Dies at 82; Neurologist
>> and Author Explored the Brain’s Quirks
>> <http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=InCMR7g4BCKC2wiZPkcVUieQKbejxL4a&user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_id=1440972441657668&regi_id=0> By
>> GREGORY COWLES
>> 
>> Dr. Sacks explored some of the brain’s strangest pathways in best-selling
>> case histories like “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” achieving a
>> level of renown rare among scientists.
>> Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://nyti.ms/1LL040D
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> 
>> 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