[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] Gadamer's text as artifact mediated action

Hi Andy [and others interested in texts and framewoks]

  Another author who is searching for socio-cultural common ground but who
is working within an alternative framework of "intersubjective
psychoanalysis" is Donna Orange.   It is her description of a metaphor used
by Wittgenstein that I found was exploring similar themes of entering into
the perspective of the other.

Wittgenstein suggests that the task of philosophy now becomes "to show the
fly out of the fly-bottle". [Wittgenstein, 1953]  The fly-bottle metaphor is
capturing the notion that "seeing-as" implies a perspective which weaves
thinking and seeing together in an inextricable whole making it impossible
to distinguish them.  Anna Stetsenko makes a similar point in expressing NO
GAPS between thinking and seeing.  Donna, in using the fly-bottle
metaphor adds,

"surely, the first step, often the most difficult one, is to join the
patient in the PARTICULAR fly-bottle.  This means understanding deeply
enough how THIS patient got into THIS fly-bottle, and what it feels like
inside, that it may be possible to find the way out."
This process of "attunement" implies that at least two psychological worlds,
each with a distinct "way of seeing" are required....Donna then asks,  How
do we find our way into the fly-bottle?  She answers, By close emotional
attunement to the patients experience of emotional contexts.  We find our
way into these contexts through verbal and nonverbal conversation where we
establish and identify together the nature and rules of a PARTICULAR
language game, a PARTICULAR experiential/relational world, a
process Donna has characterized as making sense together. [Donna Orange, in
the article "Recognition as: Intersubjective Vulnerability in the
Psychoanalytic Dialogue", June, 2010]

In line with Gadamer's hermeneutics, and Wittgenstein's discursive
framework Donna asks,  "Within what emotional world is this true?"  How does
a person come to feel such a thing?  Where does such a conviction come
from?   It is these types of questions that are an attempt to go into the
fly-bottle [enter the other's perspective]  Donna, with Gadamer and
Wittgenstein, recognizes that the fly-bottle is formed and maintained
relationally.  Donna suggests "seeing-as" is a stance of the observer in
which the other experiences being recognized and this recognition can create
the experience of a gestalt-shift in perspective.  Donna refers to this
stance as "contextualist thinking", conceptualizing BOTH perception and  the
organizing of experience as "seeing-as".  For Donna, recognition of the
other as the processes of attunement, both products and producers of new
ways of seeing, create ways out of the fly-bottles.  Understanding how we
got into the fly-bottle is an essential condition for the possibility of
finding a way out and this new reflective function [a result of being
recognized] often suggests a possible way out into a larger, more open and
flexible experiential world, with more possible perspectives [ways of
seeing].  With this expanded horizon of understanding it becomes possible to
participate more fully in the dialogic processes of the larger human
communities as agentic persons who actively participate as contributing

Andy, I was hesitant to bring Donna Orange into a CHAT conversation as the
translation difficulties may be too large to bridge. [psychoanalysis to
CHAT] However, her using Wittgenstein's metaphor of the fly-bottle to
capture the concept of perspectives, and frameworks [seeing-as] was in the
same spirit as I read your article and Anna Stetsenko's work.   The metaphor
of the fly-bottle may be too structural an image with too rigid
boundaries to be an accurate image but it is the metaphor Wittgenstein used
and Donna re-used it to develop her theoretical perspective of recognition
as "seeing-as"


On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Thank you for introducing that article, Larry. Yes, I do think there are
> considerable synergies between Anna Stetsenko's work and my own, though Anna
> might not agree. :) But among those points of commonality is an effort to
> strengthen links between CHAT (which is unfortunately very isolated in
> academia) and other currents of thinking. I tend to emphasise Hegel as Hegel
> is a link to such a broad variety of contemporary currents of thinking that
> we ought to be in dialogue with.  Vygotsky's appropriation of Hegel ought to
> be a point of interest to a lot of people. Gadamer is also someone who I
> think has a lot of synergy with CHAT, if we just understand text and writing
> to be an important subset of culture and activity. Anna Sfard is an example
> of someone who bases her work on the synergy betweeen the concepts of
> discourse and activity, which is a similar connection. I think it is
> important to defend and elaborate the fundamental ideas of CHAT while
> strengthening our links with divergent currents.
> But it is always vital in such exercises to bring front and centre the
> differences in meaning and entailment between the central shared words and
> concepts. If concepts from one tradition are thrown willy nilly into
> another, then only confusion and eclecticism results.
> Andy
> Larry Purss wrote:
>>  Hi Andy
>> I just finished reading the commentary you wrote in "Mind, Culture, and
>> Activity" Vol. 17, Issue 1.  In this commentary to Wolff-Michael Roth's
>> editorial you explore the concept "form" and bring Gadamer into the
>> conversation.  I really appreciated how you linked up Gadamer's
>> hermeneutical concepts of "traditions" and "texts" with CHAT the concept
>> of
>> "artifact-mediated action".  For others who may be interested in this
>> theoretical bridging I will attempt a quick summary.  [Andy, I do think
>> this
>> is written in the same spirit as Anna Stetsenko's project]
>> Gadamer, [quoted by Andy] is talking about how to interpret texts that
>> come
>> out of a different "tradition" He wrote,
>> When we try to understand a text, we do not try to transpose ourselves
>> into
>> the author's mind but, if one wants to use this terminology, we try to
>> transpose ourselves into the PERSPECTIVE within which he has FORMED his
>> views.  But this simply means that we try to understand how what he is
>> saying could be right. [emphasis added]
>> Andy then adds another quote from Gadamer,
>> The ANTICIPATION of meaning that governs our understanding of a text is
>> not
>> an act of subjectivity but proceeds from the COMMONALITY that binds it to
>> the tradition.  But this commonality is constantly BEING FORMED in our
>> relation to tradition.  Tradition is not simply a permanent precondition;
>> rather, we PRODUCE it ourselves inasmuch as we understand, participate in
>> the evolution of tradition, and hence further DETERMINE it. [emphasis
>> added]
>> Andy, these 2 quotes exploring the notion of texts and traditions, as you
>> point out, are dealing with the production and use of artifacts.. A
>> concept
>> of a "tradition" as the perspective within which a writer has FORMED his
>> views.is a concept you link to the notion of "an activity" that is
>> culturally and historically constructed.  You then state,
>> "Tradition implies something MORE EXTENDED than is sometimes associated
>> with
>> the words "an activity". somewhat closer to "cultural context."  But in
>> this
>> connection, I think "tradition" can be validly interpreted as "an
>> activity,"
>> which I refer to as "a project".
>> Andy, I appreciated your translating the terms "texts" and "traditions"
>> into
>> the concepts of the CHAT tradition.  It is in this spirit of
>> interpretation
>> and translation that I also read Anna's works.
>> As a little aside I also want to bring in a metaphor by David Kellogg that
>> he created on May 7, concerning concepts.
>> David wrote,
>> "concepts come in a structure which is paradigmatic rather than
>> syntagmatic;
>> they GROW ON TALL TREES WITH DEEP ROOTS, and do not proliferate temporally
>> like crabgrass."
>> This metaphor created a strong image of traditions, perspectives and
>> concepts as growing deep and tall.
>> Larry
>> __________________________________________
>> _____
>> xmca mailing list
>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA:
> http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
> MIA: http://www.marxists.org
> __________________________________________
> _____
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
xmca mailing list