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[Xmca-l] Thirdness and its various versions
I am moving our conversation to a new thread to honour the other thread
exploring "laws" of history and writing systems. I see these topics as
overlapping but notions of "thirdness" that contrast with "twoness"
[Jessica's doer and done to, or giver and given two, or knower and learner,
Rod I must acknowledge when I read Jessica using the term "baby watcher's I
was thinking of your work and posts. Jessica's work is one stream in
intersubjective notions of thirdness. Lacan privileges language in his
notion of thirdness. There is also the work of Stolorow Atwood, and Donna
Orange, [intersubjective psychodynamics] who do not imagine
"intersubjectivity" as a developmental achievement as bothDaniel Stern and
Jessica Benjamine understand thirdness.
In Jessica's words:
"I see such engagement in reciprocal recognition of the other as growing
naturally out of the experience of being recognized by the other, as a
crucial component of attachment responses that require mutual regulation
and attunement, and therefore, as ultimately a pleasure and not a chore"
Miguel you mentioned our Western bias to privilege "seeing" and other
cultures may privilege hearing and sound and rhythmicity. My bias is to
suggest when these various modes [seeing and rhythmicity] are felt to be in
sync then they mutually constitute thirdness. However, when there are
inevitable (mis)understandings and ruptures on the way to understanding we
may have a tendency to fall back on seeing and reasoning as our primary
mode and to discount the rhymicity of the ear and felt experience.
Jessica's work engages with Hegel and the notion of the "struggle for
recognition" as an aspect of creating "twoness" and "thirdness" Her project
is to critique notions of complimentarity "twoness" as a model for
expressing this struggle for recognition.
She would suggest the way through this complimentary struggle for
recognition is through a developmental trajectory of intersubjective
development of thirdness.
Miguel, I would like to follow your lead that through privileging sight
[seeing and reasoning] that we are biased to come to "know" the other as
"object" As you say "the subject-object relation as this analytic kernel is
one "type" of knowing the other. You are asking if there are alternative
subject-subject relations that are not mediated by objects? This may be
another "mode" and a distinct kind of "seeing" [with the mind's eye?].
Miguel when you say you speak from personal experience as a father, and
this is a spiritual space of connection, it gestures to another dimension,
another quality of thirdness as embodied enactments/performances. I would
like to offer that Enrique Dussel's "ethical hermeneutics" can offer
validation for Jessica and Daniel Stern's embodied hearing the other
[rhythmically] into voice. I would emphasize your notion of "intersecting"
multiple truths. I would also offer the term "transversal" [across verses]
truths as multiple and plural and "palpable"
Rod, I concur with your reflections that there are other forms of learning
[especially social learning] which do not emphasize concept-y ways of
thinking. I want to also acknowledge the centrality of concept-y ways of
seeing and reasoning but as you emphasize the children were able to join in
WELL before they were able to understand conceptually or be able to explain
what was being enacted. This does not refute that the "world" or "context"
in which the children are joining in is symbolically formed and
What Daniel Stern, Jessica Benjamin, V. Reddy, Winnicott, Trevarten,
Fonagy, Gergely and other "baby watchers" are indicating is the centrality
of "gestures" [meaningful performances or enactments as also profoundly
implicated in the formation of our contexts and worlds. Worlds of
experience are "palpable lived experiences" and this does have a
phenomenological quality, a hermeneutical quality, and a cultural
historical quality. Worlds are also deeply concept-y and institutionalized
and places of doer and done to. The question is how do we ethically and
morally respond to these palpable conditions?
"Thirdness" in its multiple versions may offer possible new
understandings to guide us symbolically AND rhythmically co-creatively
inventing AND discovering [both/and] "third spaces" AS potentially
Sanders understands palpable rhythmic resonance as one of two basic
"principles" of all human interaction. Jessica's project is to underline
this aspect of rhythmic resonance as primal in understanding the notion of
As the way through and beyond complimentary "twoness" of doer and done to
or giver and given toperson must experience a palpable "witnessing" within
THIS is an intersubjective way of understanding thirdness