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[Xmca-l] Re: About translation: WAS: Having an experience

Susan and Lubomir, and Greg

{Greg shared the Gendlin article as of interest as a philosophical approach
to this topic and I want to weave Gendlin into this topic under discussion}

I am enthusiastically  learning from this developing conversation because
of the depth of the reflection on having "an" experience. The zone being
created by the "focus" on "boundary" objects, design, ordering, conceptual
mutations, Dewey's article, Gendlin's article on "dwelling" and how we make
"sense" of all this as expressing a unity.

 as I read your commentary [moving from the background to the foreground] I
experienced all the above notions coalescing as if expressed within a work
of art. No, that is not what I meant, Your commentary IS a work of
art.  No, that is not what I meant. Your commentary IS art, the way it was
sculpted, presented, and offered with care. I experienced this reading as
connecting the dots as a synthesizing of what has come before.  Thank you
for "weaving a tapestry" [your strands and our strands interwoven].

I am highlighting and focusing on one paragraph of your response to Susan:

the Russian ethnic concept of perezhivanie was in conflict with the
militant strain of Marxist philosophy that the Bolsheviks have adopted.
When the first major psychological books and articles on perezhevanie
appeared in the 1980s, they were a big deal -- something daring, new, and
liberating from the Marxist dogmas. Before the 1980's scholars (outside art
theory and philosophy) who engaged in the study of perezhivanie risked to
be branded as revisionist, with all negative implications for their
careers. Actually, the major books on perezhevanie that appeard were not
written by mainstream psychologists but by social philosophers who were
interested in phenomenology and hermeneutics and have read enough
translations or even original texts in German and French.

I want to "focus" on the qualifier "ethnic" as the "source" of perezhevanie
[as a concept]. THIS ethnic concept was not explored by mainstream
psychologists but by social PHILOSOPHERS who were interested in
PHENOMENOLOGY and HERMENEUTICS. Social philosophy from the German and
French "traditions".

A this juncture I want to bring in Greg's article he sent written by Eugene
Gendlin to return us to the theme of "place-making" as social philosophy.
Gendlin in note #2 p.31 says:

"Heidegger told Joan Stambaugh, an editor and translator of his works in
English, that in his later work "Befindlichkeit" becomes
"wohnen" [dwelling]

The phrase "dwelling IN place" and the concept of place-making expressed in
the concept "befindlichkeit/wohnen" has the quality of "ethnic" common
sense when exploring "an" experience.

Can these various "traditions" [and mutating concepts] be "translated" or
must each "ethnic" tradition undergo its own transformation and the "sense"
we are exploring be "transcended" within each ethnic tradition?
Do we need to learn each others "languages" to explore place-making and
boundary objects?

Gendlin's article is "focusing" [dwelling within] the differences he is
drawing out between "philosophy" and "psychology/science"  He says
philosophy asks, What KINDS of "concept" are we exploring when we explore
BASIC concepts?" Gendlin says this is the realm of philosophy.
He also says these basic concepts are mutable into other KINDS of basic

He suggests that currently most scientists explore using "basic"concepts
"is" using concepts having the qualities of stones. What Gendlin means
by "basic" gets at the difference between philosophy and any science and
also the usefulness of philosophy for science. [in order to structure or
"do" science].

I will offer a quote from Gendlin to get the "feel" or "sense" of where he
is "focusing" [focus as a concept also has as it's source the meaning of
"dwelling" or place-making as "an" experience.]
Gendlin says:

Most people, scientists and others, do not usually think ABOUT what KIND of
concept they are using.  The most current KIND "is" modelled on ordinary
things like stones. A stone can be moved from one PLACE to another without
changing.  It is still the SAME stone, now in a different spot. A thing
LIKE a stone may relate to other things, of course; for example, it may
break a porcelain pitcher. But THESE relations "are" external AND
ADDITIONAL TO what the stone "is".  Whether it breaks a pitcher or not,
even if it just sits in one spot. it "is" a stone. It would not be usual to
say that a stone "is" pitcher-breaking, or window-smashing, or any SUCH

Gendlin is asking what KIND of concepts are we "using" in current
science. For example an "electron" is a thing-like concept. Concepts like
"self" "ego" "perception" "personal interaction" "feeling" "affect"
"intersubjectivity" "states" etc. are usually read/formulated in thing-like
KINDS of concepts.

A stone-like concept views "interactions" AS a relation between two
such stone-like things. EACH separate entity is a "stimulus thing, each
separate thing is a REPRESENTATION-thing.  Its essential essence as
Feelings or affects "are" little things inside the object  that is
also thing-like. Sometimes these "feelings" and "affects" are imagined as
within the  "self" and sometimes these "feelings" and "affects" are located
within a "thing-like" larger box that holds the thing-like "self" [and its
feelings, affects]  People supposedly "feel" these "inside thing-like"
entities DIRECTLY.

Then by "analogy" to our own "thing-like feelings" we are able to "imagine"
[or infer] by empathy the thing-like feelings [as entities] existing "in"
the other person.

Gendlin is suggesting that this KIND of "psychology" [as a science] has a
certain notion of "basic" psychological concepts as existing and having the
same qualities in their essence AS like stones. They can be moved from
place to place and in their "essence" retain their same thing-like "basic"
use pattern as conceptualized THIS way [as we currently understand "ethnic"
psychological concepts]

This months article has opened up a "space/zone" to question our "basic"
assumptions and concepts How we are envisioning/perceiving "boundary
objects" is a mutating process.  What KIND of concept is the notion of
boundary object? Is the answer changing as we develop this concept?

"Befindlichment" changing to "dwelling with"
Having "an" experience changing to "dwelling with"
"focusing" changing to "dwelling with"
da-sein [there-being] changing to "dwelling with"
place-making changing to "dwelling with"

Is it possible to shift our focus from thing-like concepts [like stones] to
other KINDS of concepts developing the disposition to value "an" experience
as the act of "dwelling with".

Gendlin's article is making the case that philosophy asks the question of
the quality of "basic" concepts and answers with
notions of what the "basic" concepts "are" in truth. He is saying "basic"
concepts do not have stone-like qualities. His article is showing what he
means within the field of psychology but the truth of "basic"
concepts extends to all the sciences.

Gendlin goes into "specific examples" of this place-making activity within
the field of psychology but the general theme I see as interweaving
with our topic under discussion focuses on having living experiences as
having a specific experience.

Concepts mutating such as Befindlichment becoming wohnen/dwelling as a
process of place-making within "felt sense" [as a wholistic integral
texture]. This process happening prior to reflection has qualities that are
qualitatively different from the qualities emerging when we reflect ON this
process after we first live through the experience at this "felt phase" in
the process.  This original place receding into the background before
reflection moves to the foreground and gives representations OF this
primary experience its derivative sense of enduring qualities.