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Re: [xmca] Perezhivanie and Dewey's concept of experience

This was a fascinating new thread you opened up. I appreciate how you
weaved Aristotle and catharsis into our exploration of experience and *an*

On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Thanks for that Martin. All very interesting indeed.
> I always tend to presume that wherever an ancient source is cited for some
> concept, unless the citing author is a classical scholar, there was some
> *mediating* source which is the *proximate* source of the concept. The
> attached excerpt which I think I took from the CW of Freud, explains where
> I got the idea that Freud got it from Josef Breuer (mediated via a friend
> who is au fait with Freudian thought). But, maybe Vygotsky was studying
> Aristotle. I'l have a look at that section of "The Psychology of Art".
> Thanks.
> But sources aside (I defer to you on that, Martin), the descriptions you
> have provided of catharsis square with my understanding as well. I
> appreciate how you have made the connection between the usual Feudian
> meaning of catharsis, and the aesthetic process which was central for the
> young Vygotsky - and Dewey too apparently! But I don't see this in
> Vygotsky's later work anywhere. Would be interested if you can find
> anything about catharsis in this vein post-1924.
> Also, I can't recall where I read something about art which explained why
> art is necessary to communicate an experience directly, by allowing the
> audience to "re-experience" the experience, rather than an explanation of
> it. Dewey? Stanislavski? Vygotsky? Do you know?
> Andy
> Martin Packer wrote:
>> Here's Victor Turner, in the book I mentioned in my previous message, on
>> what for Dilthey makes a difference between 'experience' and '*an*
>> experience':
>> "These experiences that erupt from or disrupt routinized, repetitive
>> behavior begin with shocks of pain or pleasure… Then the emotions of past
>> experience color the images and outlines revived by present shock. What
>> happens next is an anxious need to find meaning in what has diconcerted us,
>> whether by pain or pleasure, and converted mere experience into *an*
>> experience. All this when we try to put past and present together" (36).
>> "Aesthetics, then, are those phases in a given structure or processual
>> unit of experience which either constitute a fulfillment that reaches the
>> depths of the experiencer's being (as Dewey put it) or constitute the
>> necessary obstacles and flaws that provoke the joyous struggle to achieve
>> the consummation surpassing pleasure and equilibrium, which is indeed the
>> joy and happiness of fulfillment" (38).
>> I'm not sure why Andy attributes Vygotsky's notion of catharsis to
>> Bleuler and considers Aristotle irrelevant. It is to Aristotle's writing
>> that LSV himself attributes the concept, in the Psychology of Art.
>> Catharsis for the Greeks was "a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that
>> constitutes overwhelming feelings of great pity, sorrow, laughter, or any
>> extreme change in emotion that results in renewal, restoration, and
>> revitalization" (as Wikipedia has it).
>> Viacheslav Ivanov, who LSV refers to in the Psych of Art, considered
>> catharsis (a la Aristotle) to be the way a novel, for example, grips and
>> affects its readers and leads them to self- knowledge. Catharsis is not
>> only an aesthetic affect, it is the engine of positive historical action.
>> Vygotsky's own definition of catharsis spells out this dynamic and
>> transformative character in some detail, reminiscent of both Ivanov (though
>> he didn't accept Ivanov's Symbolism) and Turner on Dilthey. Catharsis is "a
>> complex transformation of feelings," an "affective contradiction" that
>> results in resolution: in short, a dialectical process on the level of
>> emotion. Feeling alone is not sufficient to bring about the psychological
>> transformation that Vygotsky is interested in; it is the work of art that
>> has the power to initiate "the creative act of overcoming the feeling,
>> resolving it, conquering it."
>> Martin
>> On Mar 2, 2013, at 4:13 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Re boundaries of experience and Dewey. In his book on education and
>>> experience he quotes "the poet" in a relevant way
>>> I am a part of all that I have met;
>>> Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
>>> Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades
>>> For ever and for ever when I move.
>>> The poet was Tennyson, the *I*, Ulysses.
>>> mike
>>> On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 8:50 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Mike,
>>>> I find this topic very fertile ground which may need to be *reworked*.
>>>> Robert mentioned Dewey was criticized for not having an understanding of
>>>> the *tragic soul*   Andy mentioned that an experienced must be
>>>> *bounded*.
>>>> I would like to add further reflections from Tom Leddy's article you
>>>> attached on Dewey's Aesthetics. I am referring to page 34 & 35 where
>>>> Dewey
>>>> is exploring the common substance of the Arts. This section is a
>>>> response
>>>> to the *tragic soul* and *bounded* experience.
>>>> The creative process BEGINS with a "total seizure", a "mood", which
>>>> determines the development of art into parts.  THIS *element* Dewey
>>>> refers
>>>> to as a *penetrating quality* which is immediately experienced in all
>>>> parts
>>>> of the work. It is so pervasive we take it for granted. Without this
>>>> penetrating quality the parts would only be mechanically related.  The
>>>> organic whole IS the parts PERMEATED by this penetrating quality. It
>>>> may be
>>>> called the SPIRIT of the work. It is also the work's *reality* in that
>>>> it
>>>> makes us experience the work AS *real*  This penetrating quality is the
>>>> BACKGOUND that qualifies everything in the foreground.
>>>> What are the *boundaries* of this background which Dewey calls *the
>>>> setting*?  Dewey's answer is thought provoking. He assumes that although
>>>> experiences have bounded edges like those of their objects, the whole of
>>>> *an* experience, and especially its qualitative penetrating *spirit*
>>>> within
>>>> the object, EXTENDS INDEFINITELY. This penetrating quality of the
>>>> experience is THAT which is not focused within the experience.  The
>>>> margins
>>>> of our experience shade into that indefinate expanse.  This experiential
>>>> penetrating backgound is only made CONSCIOUS within the specific objects
>>>> that form the focus.  Behind every explicit experience there is
>>>> something
>>>> implicit that we call *vague* but this vagueness was not vague in the
>>>> ORIGINAL experience for this penetrating quality is a FUNCTION of the
>>>> whole
>>>> *situation*  An experience *is mystical*, Dewey believes, to the extent
>>>> this feeling of a penetrating background is INTENSE. This penetrating
>>>> quality is particularly intense in certain works of art, for example IN
>>>> TRAGEDY.  A work of art must include something not understood.
>>>> I am not sure if Vygotsky shares a *family resemblance* with this
>>>> expansive, penetrating sense of *substance* which makes reality FEEL
>>>> *real*. The question of the boundedness of *an* experience, from Dewey's
>>>> understanding certainly was reflecting on the *tragic soul* within
>>>> *settings*.
>>>> Larry
>>>> On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> It all moves so quickly it is hard to take it all in, Larry, let alone
>>>>> find time to comment.I am still
>>>>> back on rhythmicity which I am thinking of from the perspective of
>>>>> someone who thinks of
>>>>> communication as patterns of coordination over time.
>>>>> In this regard, it seems to me that many of Durkheim's ideas in
>>>>> Elementary Forms of Religious
>>>>> Experience are highly relevant. Durkheim's pluses and minuses are, I
>>>>> know, a matter of important
>>>>> debate in themselves, but they come down to me through my engagement
>>>>> with
>>>>> cross cultural
>>>>> research through Levy-Bruhl and Piaget.
>>>>> And now, toss in the Bakhtin (the liar or the seer) and it should be
>>>>> enough to think about when we are being absent minded.
>>>>> mike
>>>>> On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com
>>>>> >wrote:
>>>>>> Mike,
>>>>>> This months themed issue linking felt experience with Bahktin's notion
>>>>>> of genre's and cultural-historical-activity theory wiil keep the
>>>>>> current
>>>>>> dialgue with Dewey alive.
>>>>>> I'm anticipating a lively encounter.
>>>>>> Larry
>>>>>> On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 8:20 AM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> We will be re-posting the articles for discussion poll a little later
>>>>>>> this
>>>>>>> morning and
>>>>>>> restarting the balloting so that the full menu is out there for
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> read
>>>>>>> :-)
>>>>>>> mike
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> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
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