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

That's very interesting Larry. Psychoanalysis seems to be very open to revisiting its foundations these days and has a vast experience to share in its own heritage. I don't know Donna Orange. I must admit, after appreciating a couple of observations about the fallacies of simplistic views of language, I've never got a lot out of Wittgenstein myself.


Larry Purss wrote:
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 members. 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" Larry On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto: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.


    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
        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 <http://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
        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.

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-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    Joint Editor MCA:
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
    MIA: http://www.marxists.org <http://www.marxists.org/>

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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA:
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
MIA: http://www.marxists.org

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