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Re: [xmca] Cultural memory dewey

At long last I am reading John Dewey seriously, and I am really entralled and bowled over.

His conception of "experience" is wonderful. I need time to digest it before attempting to describe it, but this concept is the heart of the matter. It is truly a type of Activity Theory. Just now I am reading "The Pattern of Enquiry." For Dewey, knowledge is a part of the situation (not something outside the world, in the head. knowledge changes the world). He is talking about how ideas (concepts) originate from situations which become problems (and when known clearly become at first suggestions and then solutions). Get this:

   "Because suggestions and ideas are of that which is not present in
   given existence, the meanings which they involve must be embodied in
   some symbol. Without some kind of symbol no idea; a meaning that is
   completely disembodied can not be entertained or used. Since an
   existence (which /is/ an existence) is the support and vehicle of a
   meaning and is a symbol instead of a merely physical existence only
   in this respect, embodied meanings or ideas are capable of objective
   survey and development. To "look at an idea" is not a mere literary
   figure of speech."

In the context of his conception of Experience this really rounds it off.
And this guy is writing in the 1890s!

Tony Whitson wrote:

Song, as you describe, is indisputably material -- but it is not a physical thing in the same sense as a flute or a song sheet. It seems to me you make your position unnecessarily vulnerable by treating materiality as more a matter of physicality than it needs to be (cf. the baseball examples).

The Talmud example brings to mind Plato's objections to recording & transmission via writing (a bit ironic, no?, from the transcriber of Socrates' dialogues), which I would never have attended to but for Derrida, in D's treatment of the traditional prioritization of speech over writing. D's argument for "grammatology" is that speech itself is fundamentally a kind of "writing" first; but in a sense that I would say is material, but not necessarily physical.

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