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

Hi Larry,

Thank you for your extensive post. Your insights are interesting for me. I will explore further your line of thought and the examples you provide. And thank you for highlighting Gendlin's article again. It is a great reading in the context of the present thread.

Best wishes, 


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry Purss
Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2015 1:51 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [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 concepts..

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 interaction."

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 thing-like.
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.