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[Xmca-l] Re: Thirdness and its various versions

Rod, I concur with your interpretations.
I would add to your comment:

In terms of signification, the choice of a staff is likely to prompt others
into a slight lurch of expectations which might help to remind them that
things are not simple, categorised and predictable - what looks at first
like a frail old woman may turn out to be a person!

The "choice" emerged from within a symbolic imagining of others
expectations.  This interpretation is within the subject's internalized
This is exploring "my" act and your return act.

Third space notions ask or question if there are "intersubjective" ways to
enact "shared imaginal places which are first symbolic imaginal "potential"
places.  Shared mutual metaphorical spaces/places that do not yet exist but
are "possible"  The focus on the morpho-genesis of "posse" [meaning can]
with the suffix ibilas "causing" a "transformation" through activities
[enactments, performances from WITHIN this "middle shared realm".

This way of understanding is playing with notions of metaphorical and
imaginal and symbolic "places" as "existing" WITHIN shared potential
spaces.  This posits shared mutually imagined third spaces of "possibility"
within "as if" realms of becoming that open up spaces in which things are
not yet "things" and "facts" that are simple, categorized, predictable, and
with a yearning to be known as "real" and "actual".

What both Kris and Jessica share is an exploration of "intersubjective"
mediated metaphorical third spaces "as if" real and actual.

Jessica Benjamin also makes a distinction between "surrendering" to "exist"
in third spaces in contrast to "submitting" to the other. [other as things
or persons]. Sumitting to objects or persons is experienced being reduced
by the other. It abstracts us from "third spaces" and collapses into
complimentary "twoness" of "giver and given" or "doer and done to"
Third spaces are palpably "liberating" through "surrendering" and
"becoming  within the "potential" or the "possible" symbolic "third" that
which does not yet exist in actuality or "facts"
The third space must be enacted performed or take action but moving out
from within this imaginal shared space.

This notion is playing with the not yet but shared "existence" becoming
actual simple categorized concept-y. There is no absolute freedom
fundamentally nor is there absolute constraint fundamentally.
However for transformative liberation there must be imaginal symbolic
shared and mutual ways within which we "surrender" This in no way means

On Sun, Jan 18, 2015 at 2:55 AM, Rod Parker-Rees <
R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:

> I am feeling my way into the talk around thirdness - dimly conscious of a
> variety of contexts in which thirdspace has been explored.
> In your example, Mike, your friends choice of a staff has a significance
> because it plays off the cultural expectation that it should be a cane. In
> this sense it is a particularly striking example of what we all do every
> day when we make choices about how we will represent ourselves to the
> world. Our choice of clothes, how we do our hair, what we smell like, how
> we stand and walk, how we greet people etc. all play off our knowledge of
> what different choices are likely to be taken to mean (by different groups
> of people). I think this links to what Larry (I think) was saying about the
> concept-y-ness of the context-y environment in which babies play their way
> into meanings.
> In terms of signification, the choice of a staff is likely to prompt
> others into a slight lurch of expectations which might help to remind them
> that things are not simple, categorised and predictable - what looks at
> first like a frail old woman may turn out to be a person!
> I wonder how much we need to be aware of the internalised cultural
> knowledge which informs our choices about how we will present ourselves? I
> suspect this contributes to the (palpable) feeling of ease or unease which
> comes from knowing or not knowing how we are 'meant' to behave in a
> familiar or unfamiliar context. When the rhythms are part of our embodied
> experience it is easy to join in but when we encounter different, exotic
> rhythms we need to watch from the periphery for a while before we presume
> to know what we are doing.
> 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 Larry Purss
> Sent: 18 January 2015 07:56
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Thirdness and its various versions
> Mike,
> You mentioned multi-modality and I agree. Yes cognition and social
> emotions are intimately involved along with other "musical" rhythmic
> modalities.
> Thought and language and the figural  within enactments [performances]
> You asked if the staff is a sign? or a tool? I would have to say it is a
> "sign" but the word "prop" also comes to mind.  I want to explore what I
> see as the "imaginal" at play in the "symbolic" and cognitive enactment of
> using the staff rather than a cane in setting the "scene"
> The notion of a "middle way" within "third spaces" is exploring enacting
> [or performing] within imaginal symbolic play.  Is the "image" of a cane
> being replaced by a staff a "fact" or is it a more metaphorical enactment.
> Do the staff or cane exist as "facts" having objective truth? Or is the
> cane and staff imaginal symbolic ways of imagining being in the world as
> "possibility".
>  In Winnicott's language is this middle way or third space a "potential
> space" or a "transitional" space which when enacted brings into "actuality"
> the rhythmic pattern or dance of relating to an old lady [as a possible
> "scene"] or a pattern of relating to an eccentric person and enacting this
> alternative possible "scene".
> The "scene" when enacted or performed always expresses palpable felt
> experience. In the enactment the possible becomes "actual" and becomes
> "factual"  Mike your friend in choosing a staff over a cane was acting from
> within an imaginal symbolic "place" Is this "place" internal or external?
> or is it a "potential place" of possibility which does not yet exist?
> Within this imaginal symbolic presenting [not representing] presence [both
> internal imagining and external performances] there are always palpable
> felt experiences and every "interpretation" is guided by these multi-modal
> ways of understanding.
> Third spaces as ways of understanding explore "self-regulation" and
> "dis-regulation" within intersubjective enactments and palpable felt
> experience. I am also emphasizing their imaginal symbolic dimension as
> "potential" or "transitional" spaces
> The aspect that is being highlighted by the notion of  third spaces is
> there embodied presence  and there witnessing quality which is often
> marginalized or disowned when we privilege a particular "type" of
> rationality and thinking.
> What seems to be shared in common across multiple notions of "third spaces"
> is privileging ethical or moral aspects of enactments. Who is included and
> who is excluded.
> On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 1:49 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> > I am working backwards here, but I have been thinking a lot about what
> > I was conceiving in my own way as a form of thirdness that I think
> > links to what is being said here. Straighten me out if I am wrong. (I
> > promised to get out of here shortly, but its interesting!).
> >
> > We have a friend, now in her 60's, who is a college classmate of my
> > wife and a life long friend of our family. She has been in ill health
> > for sometime and looks a good deal older than her years.
> > Balance is an issue for her.
> >
> > When I first saw her the other day after many years I noticed that she
> > was carrying a large staff.
> > I laughted, and my first words  were "You look just like Gandalf! and
> > gave her a big hug."
> >
> > Over tea she discussed that by carrying the staff instead of a cane,
> > she lost the invisibility created by old age and she became a perons
> > to others. People constantly started up conversations with her and,
> > being a skilled conversationalist interested in people, it made her
> > feel like a whole person.
> >
> > Seems interesting to me. Is it a kind of thirdness? A sign or (?) a tool?
> > Seems like cognition and social emotions are somehow involved as well.
> >
> > mike
> >
> > mike
> >
> > On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 1:03 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Miguel, Rod,
> > >
> > > 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,
> > > etc.]
> > > 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
> > > historically situated.
> > > 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 liberating contexts.
> > >
> > > 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
> > > "recognition".
> > >  As the way through and beyond complimentary "twoness" of doer and
> > > done
> > to
> > > or giver and given toperson must experience a palpable "witnessing"
> > within
> > > thirdness.
> > > THIS is an intersubjective way of understanding thirdness
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> >
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