A LOVE SUPREME

I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Writing Forgotten

Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, a graduate of Indiana University, and a frequent blogger. (His greatest accomplishments having just been listed in reverse order.)

Cuban recently confesses to writing forgetfulness:
http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/08/11/i-forgot-how-to-write/


I believe it was Socrates who expressed fear that writing would relax the mind and it would not have to recall.
Humanity was once a culture of oral communication, and then gradually writing became mainstream via technology.
Now technology has reached a point where our stream of consciousness can be recorded with little thoughtfulness.
Thought translated straight into the electronic format of your choice.
Thought into text.
In the blink of an eye.

21st Century writing:
Thought disappears as soon as it becomes.

Where does thought go?
It becomes an electronic trace.
Where is the trace?
On some server, somewhere. Or on a harddrive. Or in a phone.

Thoughts are then shared with the world.
An endless process of each person recycling thoughts and manufacturing new thoughts.
All thoughts disappearing nearly as quickly as they are formed.
We are building a matrix of thoughts - a tapestry of communication.
But who is in charge here?
The thoughts of the people?
Or the communication matrix?

Is there even a difference, anymore?

And who is responsible for this post, pray tell?

36 comments:

ktismatics said...

Do you think thoughts up on the fly, or do you have a storehouse of them to draw from? Are thoughts resident in individual heads, or are they objects floating around in the community? Is a thought written down either more or less permanent, more or less real, than a thought that stays in your head?

Melody said...

I don't know if a thought written down could be said to be more or less real than a thought in the head...but people take it more seriously anyhow.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Do you think thoughts up on the fly, or do you have a storehouse of them to draw from?

All thoughts are on the fly, without exception. And they are drawn from storehouses within.

Are thoughts resident in individual heads, or are they objects floating around in the community?

Let's say that they are resident in the minds of the individual. And then let's say that without the community floating thoughts around that we would not have thoughts within our minds. (Crf. Wittgenstein's private language argument)

Is a thought written down either more or less permanent, more or less real, than a thought that stays in your head?

Strictly speaking, "thoughts" cannot be written down....he, he....

ktismatics said...

"but people take it more seriously anyhow."

Here is the relationship between thought and rhetoric: by speaking or writing my thoughts clearly can I persuade you that I am a serious person?

ktismatics said...

"All thoughts are on the fly, without exception. And they are drawn from storehouses within."

What kind of stuff is kept in the storehouse, and how is it organized? We have a storehouse of language, but it's not organized in the form of preconfigured phrases and sentences that we pronounce when the need arises. Instead we produce, on the fly, wholly unprecedented strings of language. Does thought work like this too? I.e., do we have a storehouse of concepts, interrelationships, contexts, etc. that we assemble on the fly into wholly unprecedented thoughts? I think so, although we do tend to rely on memorized ideas to get the thinking started or when we're not too sure of ourselves. So maybe the storehouse of thoughts is a little more structurally "compiled" than our basic linguistic capabilities.

ktismatics said...

"without the community floating thoughts around that we would not have thoughts within our minds."

Most of what we know we've learned not from direct experience but from interacting with others. Probably most of what we think up on the fly is compiled from pieces of ideas we've heard from others as well. Dawkins takes this idea to the extreme with "memes" that infect brains as a way of propagating themselves. But still, all the linguistic ability we have in our heads we learned from interacting with other people. Thinking too is probably a socially learned ability.

ktismatics said...

"Wittgenstein's private language argument" -- what's that?

Jason Hesiak said...

On the idea of "writing thoughts down", there is Aristotle's notion of ACTUALITY. And politics, of course :) "Writing" is, of course however, not actual but literal. Another reason for the loss of politics in our land :(

WHAT WAS W.'S ARGUEMENT FOR PRIVATE LANGUAGE!? I distrust the notion immentsely. But yet the arguement at the same time interests me greatly. I've heard the notion of "private language" referenced here and there. Even specifically in reference to W. But I didn't trust that person's low esteem of W. But then I don't really trust "private language." So...???

I am not a structuralist. I am not a structuralist. I am not a structuralist. I am not a structuralist. [picture Bart writing on the chalk board, being punished for...not being a structuralist, lol]

Jason Hesiak said...

Jenx to The Doyle. He can no longer speak here until I unjenx him :)) We asked about W.'s private language argument at the same time.

Just kidding about the jenx.

Jason Hesiak said...

You guys should see some of the industrial design pieces done by structuralists and post-structuralists. Example. Mario Botta (argh! - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Botta) designed this ugly water bottle that was meant to come in two sizes. One smaller and one larger, of course. The smaller one reminded me of a water buffallo with its haed chopped off. The larger one reminded me of a Minotaur with an oversized head and the legs of an anorexic 15 year old girl. OH! But the parts were standardized!! Blah blah blah kiss my ass about "standardized."

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ktismatics: We have a storehouse of language, but it's not organized in the form of preconfigured phrases and sentences that we pronounce when the need arises. Instead we produce, on the fly, wholly unprecedented strings of language.

I can't tell if this is your thought, or if you are summarizing me....in either case I would disagree with such a sweeping generalization. Can't one "memorize" a speech? Or similarly pre-prepare language for a situations? i.e. reciting what one would say if given another chance to interact with those rude customer service people at Best Buy. I think we all find ourselves rehearsing language - as well as thought, thought it is is doubtful that thought can exist without language, and language is primarily a social construction.

I think you are probably going the same direction here:
...we do tend to rely on memorized ideas to get the thinking started or when we're not too sure of ourselves. So maybe the storehouse of thoughts is a little more structurally "compiled" than our basic linguistic capabilities.

I just would not dichotomize "thought" from "language."

Jason Hesiak said...

"it is is doubtful that thought can exist without language"

Heiroglyphics!?

AND...if discursive reasoning is constructed of intelligibles ("thoughts" that are "stored"), and imitations (or participations) in "Forms" (or essences)...then...well...the Forms (or essences) aren't human words! They are more likely "images"! SUCH AS..."the image of God".

??

And why would we only begin to rely on the storehouse when we are unsure of ourselves!? If we are making sure not to say nasty pre-structured words and instead making sure to say nice pre-structured words to the mean guy at Best Buy, then - as they say - WHERE IS THE (acutal essential substance of) the LOVE!? :)

Is "love" just a word?

Jonathan Erdman said...

Wittgenstein's private language argument is recommended reading (as far as I'm concerned) regarding any philosophy of language or hermeneutics study.

Two good introductory resources:
Wikipedia's article on Priv. Lng.
Also the Stanford Ency. of Philosophy has a detailed write-up: Prv. Lng. Stnfrd

The essential idea is here from Stanford:
The argument is, apparently, readily summarized. The conclusion is that a language in principle unintelligible to anyone but its originating user is impossible. The reason for this is that such a so-called language would, necessarily, be unintelligible to its supposed originator too, for he would be unable to establish meanings for its putative signs.

It is probably mistaken to label this as "argumentation" because the later Wittgenstein was moving far away and breaking with his mainstream philosophical contemporaries and I don't know that he was really relying on "argumentation" to make philosophical points as much as he was relying on demonstrations and examples to illustrate points in a descriptive way. Hence, his Philosophical Investigations do not follow linear thought.

ktismatics said...

"I just would not dichotomize "thought" from "language.""

Me neither. I was suggesting just the opposite: that for both thought and language the storehouse works kind of the same way -- as a flexibly organized repository of tools and components with which we can build stuff as we go along.

This idea that we can create sentences we've never heard anyone say before was one of the pivotal insights (if obvious in hindsight) leading to the downfall of behaviorism in psycholinguistics. Otherwise all our verbalizations, and all our thoughts, would be like your pre-rehearsed interactions with Best Buy. I used this sort of rehearsed speech a lot in France -- very limiting compared to the free give-and-take of fluency.

ktismatics said...

So language is interpersonal by definition -- I would agree with that. Of course once you've learned the language interpersonally you can use it privately, "talking to yourself" as it were. But that notion implies that even self-talking is a kind of internal dialog, where you listen to your own silent discourse to yourself. And if you can't dichotomize language and thought, would you say that thought too is interpersonal? And that when you think to yourself you're also evaluating your own thoughts, as if you were having a debate with yourself?

Jason Hesiak said...

Fine. I'll play in my ousiological sandbox alone! Waahhh :(

(FYI I'm sort of just being goofy. I'm not mad...although I am sort of crying inside :)

ktismatics said...

"I am not a structuralist. I am not a structuralist. I am not a structuralist. I am not a structuralist."

Why not? On the fly, you have to rely on the ability to generate a well-formed sentence or idea. This ability to generate structured outputs that don't already exist pre-compiled in the brain's storehouse is the advance of structuralism over behaviorism. This was Chomsky's big scientific contribution by the way. He was kind of Kantian, asserting that the human brain is configured specifically so as to use the kinds of grammatical and syntactical structures we find in every human language we know of.

So in language and thought, it seems there has to be some version of structuralism in play. What alternative is there?

ktismatics said...

In architectural practice too you have to be able to structure a sound, er, structure. There has to be an interplay or synergy between free creativity and the form in which it can be produced. I suppose the version of structuralism that would be objectionable is one in which the structures themselves determine what can be created. This sort of hard-core structuralism would allow only so many kinds of designs, all of which are stored away in the true but repetitive, modular and boring praxis of structuralist architecture.

Jason Hesiak said...

Must respond later. Bosses over the shoulder. Second comment seems to be onto something about boring modular architectural praxis. That word "modular" is a hot button for me, though :) More to come...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Corbusier#The_Modulor

Jason Hesiak said...

that link didn't include the "r" on "modulor" for some reason...try again...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Corbusier#The_Modulor

Jason Hesiak said...

just add the "r" on the end...sheesh. i am confused.

Jason Hesiak said...

A) Structuralism over behaviorism? Does behaviorism explicitly assert that there is no underlying structure to the thought-shema that govern our behavior? Is that like part of the very difinition of behaviroism? Or are you referring to the individualism and moralism - and maybe even the politically conservative association - in saying that behaviorism isn't a good option?

On chomsky and Kant...I was thinking of Saussure, who is quite different from Kant, so far as I know.

But the relations between Saussure, Kant, Chomsky and behaviorism aren't exactly crystal clear in my head.

B) What I meant in saying that I'm not a structuralist? I had in mind someone more like Saussure. That guy makes me want to scream and run out of the room. The way everything is stystematically broken down and pieced together like an abstracted secularized puzzle. His elements and rules, although "structural" - and supposedly from what I've heard those things had transcendent meaning in structuralism - do not strike me as quite the same as what I think of as "essentials." And I would think that they are different from whatever the heck Kant was taking about, too.

C) On a very genreral historical level. I think that generally over time...as theories and their empirical evidence were supposed to match more and more closely and cover more and more topological area of the globe or universe (not even talking about the fact of dealing with theories and empirical evidence in the first place here)...we lost sight more and more of hidden and/or sacred metaphysical or essential or theological or whatever you want to call them realit(ies).

I don't see structuralism really doing a whole lot to help with that. Even though it is "structure"alism.

D) More to your point. Structuralism seems to be just sort of how it works.

I'd say you are probably right. Again, though, I don't really so much understand the difference between structuralism and behaviorism. I know that Thomisticguy would deride structuralism and "deterministic." Whoopie doo. He can kiss my golden ---. Basically, though, I don't really know how behaviorism would or does say that things actually work differently. So you change one's behavior by working on one's thoughts, or visa versa. Individually. Vs. the idea of one's already landing in a cultural environment that pre-determines much of your identity. However or on whatever terms you might want to describe that environment. You're still talking about thoughts that govern action or behavior, aren't you? Genuine question, BTW. I seriously think that my "genuine question" is coming mostly from a place of not having doven into the formal or professional arguements or debates between behaviorists and structuralists. But then maybe in my naivite I have a point?

E) My issue with Mario Botta's bottle isn't so much that it is boring and repetitive, assembly line standardized mass production, ect. My problem is that you simply can't or don't build things from pre-determined parts like that. His smaller version seriously looked like a headless horseman. Then the larger one looked...as I described it. My issue is not the fact that his design came out of the notion of pre-determined pieces, so much. Crap. What I'm trying to say?

I'm saying...if you are going to design for a water company (or packaging company or whatever), and they want a smaller and a larger version, then smaller one needs to have its own character and "personality", so to speak, which will ask for its own lineaments, proportions, little quirks and personality traits, so to speak. You could manage to design this water bottle and still mass produce it, I think.

Then the same exact thing, I think, can and should be said for the larger bottle. Its very own lineaments, proportions, personality quirks, ect.

In Botta's design, both the larger and smaller were basically cyllinders. With the same radius/width. With ugly little horizontal rings at the "neck", where the bottle did get a little bit skinnier, just like a neck. But then with nothing on top. But then it really did look like a headless horseman. Not only was it out of proportion and ugly because it was too short, but if you are going to suggest figurativeness, you can't cutt the head off. Which suggests to me that he was just imitating older figurative traditions where the symbolic figures were participating in something transcendent, but then the transcendent was lost, and he's just mass producing something that supposedly belongs in an "(not transcendent) abstract impersonal field" (to quote Badiou's quoting of Deleuze).

Then in Botta's larger version, the head itself - which is like just screwed on top of the smaller bottom (pre-determined stardardized/structural parts) - is itself out of proportion. But when you add the out of proportion head to the out of proportion bottom you don't get a proportionate overall bottle, but a whacked-out monstrosity of a water bottle.

But yes...again, I'd say you have a point. There is always something pre-given. And some interplay between what is pre-given and what is new. But my question is: HOW is that relationship supposed to play out? Do the pre-given parts have a trasncendent base in the first place? Is what shakes out its own personal being, so to speak, that itself participates in something transcendent and has points to something transcendent? Does the bell itself "ring true."

If Botta made a bell, would it even ring (just practically)? He would probably do a design in which it was forced to ring. And then make sure as to add no ornament so as not to be all...like that. But then that would probably be the only beautiful and proportionate thing he'd ever designed.

The mateiral itself, BTW, would partially determine the shape of the bell (I think...mabye a bronze vs. silver bell would be exactly the same shape...I'm not sure...but you get the point). Structuralism doesn't seem to aknowledge that so much.

Maybe post-structuralism. But then things seem to suffer from an imbalance on the side of immanence.

The Incarnation, man :) Seems to "ring true."

Jonathan Erdman said...

I have a thought for the crew here:

Anyone else see the E/emergent/ing Christian groups as strongly Structuralist in certain elements? Particularly with the stress on narrative? The underlying assumption seems to be that the biblical narrative provides a structure that can provide meaning for anyone's personal narrative. All are invited to "enter in" to the biblical story of Jesus and write their own story. (All within the underlying structure of biblical narrative, i.e. something like Fall-Redemption-Glorification.)

Crf. with the notions of Theo-drama found in Hans Urs von Balthasar and Kevin Vanhoozer.

Jason Hesiak said...

Yes. And because of the content of the narrative, it avoids the materialistic pitfalls (supposedly). But I think that structuralism is still offered in a scientific context. Kind of like how an English speaking person translating into Greek is still speaking English. So then you still (although I prefer narrative over propositions) don't have a Catholic mass that is a kind of alchemical union of spiriutal and mateiral and theoretical and pracitcal, but still a kind of praxis that is itself partially determined by its reaction to the machine of modern programmatic bla bla church. Maybe I'm reacting to my own tainted experience?

ktismatics said...

Saussure is more important to the PoMo crowd because he's French. His representation of structures is quite static and self-contained, where words have no direct correspondence to the things they talk about.

What might be called a structuralist explosion was touched off in France by the anthropological works of Lévi-Strauss (see below) and has since been the most visible manifestation of the movement. But linguistic structuralism was to take on a new direction and a new importance with the work of Noam Chomsky. Chomsky was one of the first to draw serious attention to a comparatively neglected aspect of linguistic behavior, namely its creative character (although he recognizes a precursor in Wilhelm von Humboldt). The structures dealt with by most grammarians are surface structures; generative grammar, Chomsky's main contribution to technical linguistics, takes its theoretical
point of departure from deep structures, basic grammatical forms from which the whole variety of surface structures can be generated. The existence of deep structures explains the ability of all speakers of a language to utter sentences that may never before have been uttered, and to be understood at once by other speakers of the same language. A language then is not an actual but a potential (and potentially infinite) set of utterances, governed by the laws of its deep structure.
(from this article on structuralism.

European structuralism gets hung up on the closedness of systems, and also the dialectics of the elements in the structures (hot always implies the existence of cold, etc.) American structuralism is more about the generative potential of structures -- in language use, in thinking, in performing most complex tasks.

I suppose you could say that the emphasis on embedding our narratives within the templates of already existing narratives is a kind of European structuralism. The idea of being able to use deep structural principles of storytelling to create entirely new narratives of our own would be an American sort of structuralism.

Jason Hesiak said...

"Saussure is more important to the PoMo crowd because he's French. His representation of structures is quite static and self-contained, where words have no direct correspondence to the things they talk about."

To figure out what you were talking about here, I had to visit wikipedia (on structuralism):

"Finally, he argued that linguistic signs were composed of two parts, a signifier (the sound pattern of a word, either in mental projection - as when we silently recite lines from a poem to ourselves - or in actual, physical realization as part of a speech act) and a signified (the concept or meaning of the word). This was quite different from previous approaches which focused on the relationship between words and things in the world that they designate."

Seems to be an interesting key on Derrida and company. Derrida, I had noticed, seems interested in what things mean in the mind, and not so much with the world itself. I also think of Lacan's relation between the symbolic and the real.

Anyway...my point is...Saussure here seems to contribute to modern histroy's slow Promethean hike up Mt. Olympus.

"Chomsky was one of the first to draw serious attention to a comparatively neglected aspect of linguistic behavior, namely its creative character"

Also quite interesting. I see a correlation between this and Saussure's interest in real time studies of language use, of which I was not aware until just now. The real time concern of Saussure's seems to offer a bit of a base for Chompsky's interest in creativity (?). Interestingly, though, Saussure still seems to have operated analytically, despite his interest in studies of real time language use (lol).

"A language then is not an actual but a potential (and potentially infinite) set of utterances, governed by the laws of its deep structure."

Hhmm...do you see a connection then between Chomsky and Baudrillard, even though Chomsky claims not to understand those deconstruction knuckleheads (which isn't Baudrillard, but I'll assume Chomsky was lumping those headliner Pomo guys into all one sandwitch, which may or may not be correct)?

Interestingly I ask about Derrida and Baudrillard...and your next line is about Chomsky's split with the Europeans.

Anyway...this Chomsky thing is making me think that the lines between cognitive/behavioral and structuralist/ect. are a bit more blurry than I had thought. So my question not only stands, but my curiosity is heightened:

"Structuralism over behaviorism? Does behaviorism explicitly assert that there is no underlying structure to the thought-shema that govern our behavior? Is that like part of the very difinition of behaviroism? Or are you referring to the individualism and moralism - and maybe even the politically conservative association - in saying that behaviorism isn't a good option?"

ktismatics said...

From this essay by Norman Holland, an American literary critic:

Lacan goes wrong by relying (quite uncritically!) on Saussure's signifier-signified conception of language. It is understandable that Lacan, when he began to write in the 1930s, should learn Saussure's turn-of-the-century linguistics. But even at the end of his life he and now his followers write about signifiers and signifieds as though the Chomskyan revolution in linguistics had never happened. Contemporary literary theorists tirelessly quote Saussure. But why? Today's linguists no more use Saussure's model than today's physicists use the concept of phlogiston.

I do not mean to suggest that linguists have all adopted Chomsky's views. They are still controversial, and he would be the first to acknowledge that they are subject to revision in the light of further evidence. Linguists who reject Chomsky's ideas, however, are trying to offer alternatives or to go beyond Chomsky. They are not turning back to Saussure. My point is not that Chomsky is right but that Saussure and Lacan are wrong.

Saussure's views are not held, so far as I know, by modern linguists, only by literary critics, Lacanians, and the occasional philosopher. "Wrong on a grand scale," cognitive linguist Mark Turner calls it them.12 And it has elicited wrong film and literary theory on a grand scale. One can find dozens of books of literary theory bogged down in signifiers and signifieds, but only a handful that even mention Chomsky...

Chomsky notes, as I do, the links between behaviorist psychology and this "structural linguistics." Both structural linguistics and behaviorist psychology avoid the notion of the active or autonomous individual in favor of a subject subject to linguistic laws or stimulus-response laws. In 1964, Chomsky correctly identified (as I am doing) the structural linguistics that derives from Saussure as "radical behaviorist reductionism."19 It is an extreme stimulus-response, behaviorist picture of the mind that among psychologists, even the most devout of Skinnerians might not endorse.

Now comes Lacan and confuses matters further. Saussure was trying to de-psychologize linguistics. But Lacan re- psychologizes Saussure's linguistics. Lacan is using a formal theory of language to explain empirical events in the mind. Saussure was trying precisely not to say what goes on in your or my mind when we understand a word or make up a sentence, and, within the limits of his theory, he succeeded. Lacan, however, applies Saussure's carefully apsychological theory to describe precisely what it avoided describing.

To be sure, Lacan radically changes Saussure. Lacan changes the signifiers-signified relation. For him, signifiers do not point to signifieds but to other signifiers. But what Lacan does not change is the principle that signifiers signify. That remains axiomatic. Lacan retains the basic idea that the signifier does things.

In Lacanian psychoanalysis the structuralists' behaviorist notion of signification still prevails. Its inventor, Saussure, never meant it to be a psychological process, and modern linguists no longer take it seriously. Nevertheless, Lacan substitutes signification for association, memory, learning, and ultimately all other psychological processes. The chain of signifiers, running along according to its own laws, determines the I, and the determinism is total, says Lacan. What results is a psychoanalysis which is really, underneath, a stimulus-response behaviorism...

Despite the claims of a "return to Freud" and the psychoanalytic subject-matter, Lacan, by re-psychologizing Saussure, posits a linguistic stimulus-response of the most radical kind. In other words, Lacan assumes that language combines and recombines itself apart from the speaking subject. Whatever his other changes from Saussure, he keeps the premise that words are the active ones in the psychological or, more precisely, the psycholinguistic process. It is language that means, not readers or hearers who make meaning. The chain of signifiers, running along according to its own laws, determines the I, and the determinism is total, says Lacan...

Lacan is profoundly anti- psychoanalytic. When Lacan adopts Saussure's idea of "signifying," he drops all of us out. He drops us out of speaking, out of understanding language, or out of feeling roused by a poem or a movie. He drops us out of understanding one another, understanding oneself, and out of psychoanalyzing and being psychoanalyzed. It is one thing for Saussure to drop out the human element. He did not want to try to do psychology. But what are we to say of a psychoanalyst who does not want to do psychology? And what can such a psychoanalysis contribute to literature, philosophy, or, quite simply, our understanding of the world around and within us?

ktismatics said...

"Hhmm...do you see a connection then between Chomsky and Baudrillard"

Not really. I see the connection between Baudrillard and Chaussure and the post-Chaussure trajectory. Signifiers without signifieds = simulacra without originals. Copies are easy to understand: once you've seen the pattern it doesn't take much brainpower to repeat it. Chomsky is all about the originals and how we are able to generate them.

ktismatics said...

Oops: Chaussure = Saussure.

Jason Hesiak said...

So that essayist doesn't really like Lacan, eh? Lol. I'll have to ruminate on that. That was a lot. I'll probably revisit it, too. Thanks for providing it.

And it seems like with Baudrillard there is a creative element. Or at least so far as I had noticed. Things are copies, but it seems with Baudrillard that doesn't mean that everything is deterministic (according to the system of signifiers in wich we are immersed) but that we then create the meaning of the signifiers that are disconnected from signified. I guess, though, that that's still different from Chomsky? And regardless, Chomsky and Baudrillard still seem to both rely on Saussure's notion that signifiers don't relate to the acutal raw stuff of the world.

Jonathan Erdman said...

So, K, what are your thoughts on the above quotation? I don't recall you ever being critical of Lacan, but neither do I remember you commenting on Lacan in the context of linguistics.

ktismatics said...

My was critical. When I first read Lacan I couldn't make heads or tails out of him, which is apparently the experience of most readers. Most of what I know I've gotten from secondary sources. And Lacanian analysis is the dominant school of psychotherapy in France, so he's certainly influential. Lacan is at his worst when he tries to justify his analytical ideas empirically, which is the argument against him in the quote from Holland. Lacan's idea that the unconscious is structured like a language I think isn't true. I also don't buy his ideas about Oedipus being universally valid, which Deleuze and Guattari rejected too. Heck, I don't even think most psychological disturbance can be traced to early childhood, which puts me at odds with the whole psychoanalytic tradition.

I find Lacan intriguing mostly in terms of the position the analyst occupies relative to the client -- as the voice of the unconscious. I've been trying to work out what that means. I've also been trying to understand the concepts and the jargon, since it is prevalent in certain circles. But I'm far from a Lacanian.

ktismatics said...

I see my html spazzed out again on that last comment. Must have been my unconscious at work.

ktismatics said...

Anyhow, that comment before last should say "my first post about Lacan was critical." The link takes you to that critical post, which is about Lacan's mirror stage.

Jason Hesiak said...

They say that the color blue "symbolizes" the presence of the Holy Spirit :)

ktismatics said...

Anyhow, I think Holland goes overboard in his anti-Saussure rant. An English speaker might be able to generate an unlimited number of proper and meaningful English sentences that he's never heard before, but he still won't be able to speak a single sentence in Japanese. Unlimited creative freedom within the constraints imposed by the structural parameters of the language itself -- that's the direction to go I think. Like architecture: unlimited creativity within a particular style.