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Re: zuhanden/vorhanden Re: [xmca] When does an action begin and end?
- To: Tony Whitson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: zuhanden/vorhanden Re: [xmca] When does an action begin and end?
- From: Mike Cole <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 20:41:24 -0700
- Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Tony-- Lets hope those deeply immersed in Heidegger will help out.
What you are describing sounds a lot like the Merleau-Ponty, Bateson, et al
blind man with the stick example. for those on the list
who have not seen this discussion, which reaches back about 25 years now,
google lchc for "blind man" "stick".
Wolf- Michael has been reading Heidegger over the summer and agrees that he
is relevant to CHAT discussions. David and Andy and
other may be able to help. Or, we can go offline for a couple of months,
catch swine flu, be quarantined, and read English translations
that will prove inadequate!
I am still left very uncertain about the mono-semic use of "consciousness"
in this discussion and it seems relevant. But that, too,
may be a misunderstanding. So much is and its so hard to distinguish from
On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 8:01 PM, Tony Whitson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> To make another connection: Maybe we could correlate this with the
> difference, in Dewey's terms, between being engaged instrumentally with
> something (the tool) in our response to a problematic situation, versus our
> engagement with that same thing (tool) when IT BECOMES the problematic
> Also, it strikes me that there may be a problem with the terminology.
> "zuhanden" is translated as "ready-to-hand"
> "vorhanden" is translated as "present-at-hand"
> I don't think the problem is in the translation, but in the original
> terminology. Not wanting to presume to correct H on his own thinking, I
> wonder if it would not be more apt to counterpose "Zuhandenheit" with
> something that would translate more as "present-to-mind" or
> "present-to-attention" or "present-to-consciousness" (while of course taking
> care to avoid using "mind" in a Cartesian sense).
> What do you think?
> On Tue, 18 Aug 2009, Tony Whitson wrote:
> "Broken tools" is not the central idea, it's just the lead example.
>> Heidegger would say we can use tools zuhanden-ly without (in the context
>> of this thread) being "conscious" of them in the same way as when we think
>> about them as vorhanden -- like a scientist engaged not in using it, but in
>> theorizing about it. When a tool stops working, then we shift attitude from
>> using it in its Zuhandenheit to attending to it consciously in its
>> Vorhandenheit. The broken tool is just the classic example in H, but I think
>> the concepts might apply also to the Zuhandenheit of the printed words when
>> reading for the meaning, versus the Vorhandenheit of the printed text when
>> it, for whatever reason, becomes the focus of conscious attention.
>> I don't want to say more about this since others on this list are so much
>> more knowledgeable than I am about Heidegger.
>> I don't know much about reading instruction, but I do know absolutely how
>> it was in my Chinese classes. It was in the third year class that we could
>> read texts in Chinese characters aloud at a reasonable pace. When others
>> were reading aloud, I could follow the text with understanding. When I was
>> the one reading aloud, I was one of the more proficient lectors in the
>> class; but when I reached the end of my reading I could say nothing about
>> what I had just read.
>> On Tue, 18 Aug 2009, Mike Cole wrote:
>> Sorry this came to me via gmail in two disparate threads.
>>> So Andy IS talking about operations-actions.
>>> Tony asks about broken tools, which, in a way, typos are.
>>> To put a tiny bit more flesh on my questions about consciousness. A
>>> procedure in my college classes when issues of
>>> reading instruction come up is to ask a student to read a passage from
>>> assigned readings out loud. Sans typos, the standard
>>> reaction, even with text that student can discuss pretty well, is that
>>> person who reads out loud cannot say anything about the
>>> content of the paragraph read.
>>> What does this mean for the discussion of consciousness?
>>> Why is reading aloud a standard practice in reading instruction
>> xmca mailing list
> Tony Whitson
> UD School of Education
> NEWARK DE 19716
> "those who fail to reread
> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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