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[Xmca-l] Re: Also NY Review of Books
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Also NY Review of Books
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- Date: Wed, 13 May 2015 11:43:31 +1000
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Allow me to make an interpretation of the quote which makes
sense of why Sacks would talk about neurons when introducing
the topic of individuality.
The contradiction is one inherent in all living beings, and
in human beings in particular.
Our neurons connect only to other neurons, our own eyes, our
own stomach, our own hands. I can only see what falls on my
eyes, I can only digest what is in my stomch and hold only
what is in my hand. But our minds are not confined in this
way under the skin. On the contrary. What is see is not in
the eye, but is a material object; what I digest and gives
me life is a product of industry, what I hold in my had is
an artefact - the object of my desire is objective,
material. The content of mind is objective and irreducibly
social. But the form is that of a biological organism.
So our minds and our bodies are a living subject-object
Individuality is not the same as "individualism." To be an
individual does not imply selfishness, independent thinking,
neo-liberal delusions or anything of the kind. It is simply
to be an organism. An individual constituent of the human
race, which becomes a social being.
On 13/05/2015 5:47 AM, Kindred, Jessica Dr. wrote:
Hmm. I think Oliver Sacks has been very much about the individual AND the social, and that the gift of seeing the individual instead of the disease and despite the disease and within the disease and shaped by the disease has been his hallmark. I also think he is grappling with his own individuality, and we would be helped to see him as a developmental being grappling with developmentally appropriate issues as he does two things he really has not done before: to come out as gay and to come out as having a fatal diagnosis.
And yes, Leif! Seeing Voices is the best Oliver Sacks with such great appreciations of Vygotsky and Luria-- very much an appreciation of the social and cultural dimensions of development.
When I met Dr. Sacks at a Narcolepsy Network benefit a few years ago, I introduced myself as a great fan and reader of his books, and as one sharing in his love for Vygotsky and really appreciating the way that he incorporated Vygotsky. That was just before his Hallucinations book, which includes a chapter on Narcolepsy, an interest launched by his engagement with the topic through interviews with my twin sister who has narcolepsy and many others... acknowledged on p. 293. So when I met him, I also introduced myself by saying that he probably recognizes me, since I look just like my twin sister... and the blank look on his face was explained to me only months later when I heard an interview of him talking about his proposagnosia, an aspect of his neuronal individuality that makes him unable to recognize faces.
Jessica Kindred, Ph.D.
Instructional Staff, Psychology
The College of New Rochelle
School of New Resources, Brooklyn campus
1368 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11216
718 638 2500
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Leif Strandberg
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 2:50 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Also NY Review of Books
That does not sound like Oliver Sacks at all :-( I prefer to read his Seeing voices (1989) again. Where we meet both Vygotsky and Luria and the whole perspective in which human sociality and culture come to the fore.
12 maj 2015 kl. 17:12 skrev Robert Lake <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Yes Greg I was bothered by that statement too. Especially when he
acknowledges Luria's work earlier in his career.