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[Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science



Pardon the tangent, but I couldn't help but posting this recent paper that
was presented last month at the ASA:
http://kieranhealy.org/files/papers/fuck-nuance.pdf

Aside from having a catchy title, it's pretty relevant to this discussion.

On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 12:09 PM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> I hope I am not going off on a tangent. The concept "morphic"  and the
> notion that  the four approach's are equally valid but express different
> aspects of THE RELATION.
> The notion of difference/relation as a unity and each difference is
> equally valid but expressing a different "character" within the relation
> (as a unity)
> Not abstracted or reduced aspects but "morphic" aspects?.
> If this is too idio just ignore my question. It is coming from left field.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net>
> Sent: ‎2015-‎09-‎02 8:10 AM
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science
>
> So this is a diagnostic tool, Peg?
> Could you spell this out a little more for someone who still
> doesn't grasp what you are talking about? :)
> andy
> intrigued.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> On 3/09/2015 12:52 AM, Peg Griffin wrote:
> > What I did not make clear is that the JoHari window is not really the
> same as a matrix.  It is a different kind of tool than I think David and
> Peter are thinking about.
> > Here's the trick: You change the pane sizes to emphasize the one of the
> four panes you are currently acting on -- but all four panes are always
> there.
> > So you can make the "concrete specific" pane HUGE by moving the top
> bottom inner divider far to the right and moving the left right inner
> divider far to the bottom.   Or you can move only one of the  dividers.
> And you can move the dividers without such extremes.
> >
> > Even if a diagnosis/treatment only does the first move I described,
> there's little abstract involved.  I don't mind that so much if the actors
> are involved in an emergency triage activity, but without the abstract you
> are going on observables very influenced by perceptual and cultural access
> of the actors and you might not even have the most useful template from the
> general to guide/evaluate your trials and errors.  So you'd better shift
> the panes pretty soon before things get way off base.
> >
> > You can also fool around with the arrangement of the terms that name the
> panes:  Do you get more out of concrete vs. specific or more out of
> specific vs. concrete (in David's terms the anchors for the cline).  Same
> for abstract vs. concrete or concrete vs. abstract.
> > PG
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Peg
> Griffin
> > Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 2:55 PM
> > To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science
> >
> > As far as I understand those terms (nomothetic and idiographic), the
> combined motor method does unite them and so arrives at dual stimulation,
> given the non-accidental mosaic.
> > But I don't know that my understanding goes far enough or too far!
> > Peg
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike
> cole
> > Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 2:08 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science
> >
> > Is that simultaneously uniting the nomothetic and idiographic, Peg? That
> is the way Luria talked about it.
> > mike
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 10:52 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Just in a short-hand:
> >>
> >> Concrete Specific:  Zasetsky (The man with the shattered world)
> >>
> >> Concrete General: People with traumatic brain injury during WWII
> >>
> >> Abstract General: Brain is a mosaic of specific domains with actions
> >> that interact in dual stimulations (not pure will)
> >>
> >> Abstract Specific:  A man acts to recall using images; it fails on a
> >> certain target.  The man starts appears to abandon the recall by
> >> acting an intimately related system – e.g., reciting the alphabet.
> >> But the recital is “interrupted” when it bumps into the original
> >> recall target and the recall is successful.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> For diagnosis and/or treatment, we must rise to the concrete specific.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Sorry I don’t have time to develop this further but I am sure many on
> >> this list do, and I know that Luria and Sacks did so in wondrous and
> >> glorious instances.
> >>
> >> Peg
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> From: Andy Blunden [mailto:ablunden@mira.net]
> >> Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 11:21 AM
> >> To: Peg Griffin; 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> >> Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Could you give an example, Peg?
> >> andy
> >>
> >>    _____
> >>
> >> *Andy Blunden*
> >> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>
> >> On 2/09/2015 1:14 AM, Peg Griffin wrote:
> >>
> >> What has always helped me – and helps me appreciate Luria and Sachs –
> >> with rising to the concrete is this funny little square I made (based
> >> on the even funnier JoHari window after Joseph Luft and Harrington
> >> Ingham, I heard). I can think better by working to fill in each of the
> four cells in
> >> the square about an issue of interest.   It helps me think about
> >> genetically primary examples in mathematics curricula, too.
> >>    Concrete       Abstract
> >> Specific
> >> General
> >>
> >> A romantic square,
> >> Peg
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> >> xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Rod
> >> Parker-Rees
> >> Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 4:55 AM
> >> To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science
> >>
> >> Thanks for posting this, Andy.
> >>
> >> I found Luria's account fascinating, particularly because of his
> >> reference to 'the beauty of the art of science' and his observation
> >> that 'The eye of science does not probe “a thing,” an event isolated
> >> from other things or events. Its real object is to see and understand
> >> the way a thing or event relates to other things or events'.
> >>
> >> We are able to communicate because we are able to agree (more or less)
> >> on ways of organising experience into shareable categories but our
> >> communication ranges across a whole spectrum of ways of using these
> >> categories. Luria refers to classical and romantic branches of science
> >> but he also acknowledges the differences between 'poetic' use of
> >> language and more routine, formulaic forms of communication. The
> >> romantic focus on an 'individual' can only ever be conducted in the
> >> medium of a very un-individual language and no person's life could
> >> possibly be understood without reference to relationships with other
> >> persons which then spread roots and branches out to a forest of
> connections, causes and consequences.
> >>
> >> David wrote of the impossibility of 'rising' to the level of theory if
> >> one were to immerse oneself in the study of an individual case and
> >> Luria cites Marx's description of science as 'ascending to the
> >> concrete'. As Luria goes on to conclude 'People come and go, but the
> >> creative sources of great historical events and the important ideas
> >> and deeds remain' so, in this sense, what matters is the contribution
> >> individuals make to something bigger and more enduring than themselves
> >> but Luria also writes that 'Romantics in science want neither to split
> >> living reality into its elementary components nor to represent the
> >> wealth of life's concrete events in abstract models that lose the
> properties of the phenomena themselves'.
> >>
> >> I think Luria's account of Sherashevsky's mental experience is
> >> particularly interesting because it may reveal something about how all
> >> minds work, albeit that Sherashevsky's 'limen' may have been 'set'
> >> lower than most people's, allowing him to notice the sensory
> >> associations which words bring with them in a way which, for most of
> >> us, may occur only at a pre-conscious level. This provides a
> >> particularly powerful reminder of the inescapable fact that every
> >> person's use of a shared language (whether of words, gestures,
> >> behaviours or any other units of meaning) is just the surface of a
> >> pool of connections and associations which can never be shared with or
> >> known by anyone else. However romantic our focus may be, we can only
> >> go so far in understanding another person's understanding and much
> >> less far in communicating that to other people (knowing someone is a
> >> very different thing from being able to share that knowledge in a
> >> rich and meaningful way). And of course, on the other side of the
> >> spectrum, classical scientists who pretend that their knowledge is
> >> entirely pure and untainted by the personal associations that swirl
> beneath the limens of their knowing are just inventing stories!
> >>
> >> I apologise for rambling but I am particularly interested in what lies
> >> beneath the concrete because of my focus on how very young children
> >> are able to make sense of a world which, for adults, is so powerfully
> >> dominated by abstractions.
> >>
> >> All the best,
> >>
> >> Rod
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: xmca-l-bounces+rod.parker-rees=plymouth.ac.uk@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+rod.parker-rees=plymouth.ac.uk@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >> ]
> >> On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> >> Sent: 01 September 2015 05:17
> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Oliver Sacks/Romantic Science
> >>
> >> Try this, in Word this time.
> >> Andy
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> *Andy Blunden*
> >> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >> On 1/09/2015 1:32 PM, mike cole wrote:
> >>
> >> ​It might be helpful to this discussion if someone would post the
> >> chapter on Romantic Science from Luria's autobiography which MUST be
> >> somewhere public in pdf. It appears that I do not have one.
> >>
> >> After reading what the person said, then discussion of the ideas seems
> >> appropriate. Ditto Sacks, who has written a couple of extended essay's
> >> on his view of Romantic Science.
> >>
> >> It is true that the Russian psychologists, erudite as they were, were
> >> not sociologists. Nor were they anthropologists. The nature of their
> >> enterprise encompassed those fields and more.
> >>
> >> Doing Romantic Science and immersing oneself in the individual case in
> >> no way excludes inclusion of sociology, anthropology, in their work.
> >> Nor does Luria argue so.
> >>
> >> mike
> >> ​
> >>
> >> On Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:29 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com
> >> <mailto:dkellogg60@gmail.com> <mailto:dkellogg60@gmail.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >>      I think the problem with this view of romantic science
> >>      is that it
> >>      completely precludes building a psychology on a
> >>      sociology. In that sense
> >>      (and in others), Vygotsky wasn't a romantic scientist
> >>      at all. Vygotsky
> >>      certainly did not believe in "total immersion in the
> >>      individual case"; such
> >>      an immersion is a refusal to rise to the level of
> >>      theory. I'm not sure
> >>      Luria was romantic that way either: "the Man with a
> >>      Shattered Mind" and
> >>      "The Memory of Mnemonist" are really exceptions.
> >>      Remember the main
> >>      criticism of Luria's book "The Nature of Human
> >>      Conflicts" was always that
> >>      it was too quantitative.
> >>
> >>      There are, of course, some areas of psychology that
> >>      are well studied as
> >>      case histories. Recently, I've been looking into
> >>      suicidology, and in
> >>      particular the work of Edwin Shneidman, who pioneered
> >>      the linguistic
> >>      analysis of suicide notes (and who appears to have
> >>      been influenced, as
> >>      early as the 1970s, by Kasanin and by Vygotsky's work
> >>      on schizophrinia).
> >>      Now you would think that if ever there was a field
> >>      that would benefit from
> >>      total immersion in the individual case, this is one.
> >>      But Shneidman says
> >>      that suicide notes are mostly full of trite, banal
> >>      phrases, and as a
> >>      consequence very easy to code--and treat quantiatively
> >>      (one of his first
> >>      studies was simply to sort a pile of real and
> >>      imitation suicide notes and
> >>      carefully note the criteria he had when he made
> >>      correct judgements). And of
> >>      course the whole point of Durkheim's work on suicide
> >>      is that the individual
> >>      case can be utterly disregarded, since the great
> >>      variations are
> >>      sociological and the psychological variables all seem
> >>      trivial, transient,
> >>      or mutually cancelling when we look at suicide at a
> >>      large scale (as we must
> >>      these days). Shneidman says he has never read a
> >>      suicide note he would want
> >>      to have written.
> >>
> >>      David Kellogg
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>      On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 9:21 AM, Andy Blunden
> >>      <ablunden@mira.net  <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:
> >> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
> >>
> >>      > As little as I understand it, Larry, Oliver Sacks'
> >>      style of Romantic
> >>      > Science was his complete immersion in the individual
> >>      case before him, and
> >>      > development of a science of complete persons. The
> >>      paradigm of this type of
> >>      > science was Luria. A limit case of "Qualitative
> >>      Science" I suppose. The
> >>      > opposite is the study of just one aspect of each
> >>      case, e.g. facial
> >>      > recognition, and the attempt to formulate a
> >>      "covering law" for just this
> >>      > aspect.
> >>      > Andy
> >>      >
> >>      ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>      > *Andy Blunden*
> >>      > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>       <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/> <
> >> http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >>      > On 1/09/2015 8:40 AM, HENRY SHONERD wrote:
> >>      >
> >>      >> 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  <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu> <mailto: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  <mailto:martinl@azscience.org> <mailto:
> >> 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  <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu> <mailto: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  <mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com> <mailto:
> >> lchcmike@gmail.com>
> >>      >>>>
> >>      >>>>
> >>      >>>>   Sent by sashacole510@gmail.com
> >>       <mailto:sashacole510@gmail.com> <mailto:sashacole510@gmail.com>:
> >> Oliver Sacks Dies at
> >>      82; Neurologist
> >>      >>>> and Author Explored the Brain’s Quirks
> >>      >>>> <
> >>      >>>>
> >>
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=InCMR7g4BCKC2wiZPkcVUieQKbejxL4
> >> a <
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=InCMR7g4BCKC2wiZPkcVUieQKbejxL4
> >> a&user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_id=1440
> >> 972441657668&regi_id=0>
> >>
> &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
> >>      >>>> <
> >>      >>>>
> >>
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=InCMR7g4BCKC2wiZPkcVUieQKbejxL4
> >> a <
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=InCMR7g4BCKC2wiZPkcVUieQKbejxL4
> >> a&user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_id=1440
> >> 972441657668&regi_id=0>
> >>
> &user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_id=1440972441657668&regi_id=0>
> >>      >>>> To
> >>      >>>> get unlimited access to all New York Times
> >>      articles, subscribe today.
> >>      >>>> See
> >>      >>>> Subscription Options.
> >>      >>>> <
> >>      >>>>
> >>
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=4z5Q7LhI+KVBjmEgFdYACDuqzkg7rwC
> >> IjbQiYyNWYJIW5drsCg04xD2q1X6bqVB/vYPHy+JP5GfoOOml3K0i6GaUY7fZ7jcK869mP
> >> AvEGfk=
> >> <
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=4z5Q7LhI+KVBjmEgFdYACDuqzkg7rwC
> >> IjbQiYyNWYJIW5drsCg04xD2q1X6bqVB/vYPHy+JP5GfoOOml3K0i6GaUY7fZ7jcK869mP
> >> AvEGfk=&user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_i
> >> d=1440972441657668&regi_id=0>
> >>
> &user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_id=1440972441657668&regi_id=0>
> >>      >>>> To
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> >>      http://www.nytimes.com/adx/bin/adx_click.html?type=goto <
> >> http://www.nytimes.com/adx/bin/adx_click.html?type=goto&opzn&page=secu
> >> re.nytimes.com/mem/emailthis.html&pos=Frame6A&sn2=6da5bd5a/78e3a264&sn
> >> 1=1071d68d/49278277&camp=FoxSearchlight_AT2015-1977432-August-C&ad=Mis
> >> tressAmerica_336x90-NOW&goto=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efandango%2Ecom%2Fmistr
> >> essamerica%5F182432%2Fmovieoverview>
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> >>      >>>>
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> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=4z5Q7LhI+KVBjmEgFdYACMlEhIhWVuP
> >> IxganfKahJGpDcKtdpfztygRnz23j1z6nDpx4eAAqQbYRMMl5L56EeQ==
> >> <
> >> http://p.nytimes.com/email/re?location=4z5Q7LhI+KVBjmEgFdYACMlEhIhWVuP
> >> IxganfKahJGpDcKtdpfztygRnz23j1z6nDpx4eAAqQbYRMMl5L56EeQ==&user_id=bd31
> >> 502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcdf6d&email_type=eta&task_id=1440972441657668&r
> >> egi_id=0>
> >> &user_id=bd31502e6eb851a9261827fdfbbcd
>
>
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