[lit-ideas] Re: All is quiet

  • From: John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 May 2015 11:37:00 +0900

In my case, there is a strong tendency to respond too quickly to words
without pausing to consider context. There is also a kind of forgetfulness
that seems to increase with age. Rejoining a conversation on line is like
one of those increasingly rare occasions when I find myself in the bar at
the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club. I know the people who are there. I
have some, largely stereotyped, notions concerning what they are talking
about. But do I really know what they are talking about? I am reminded of
Gilbert Ryle's discussion of winks, from which Clifford Geertz developed
his thoughts about thick description. We see an eye blink? Is it just a
blink? Or a wink? Or a parody of a wink? Or a moment in a play where an
actor is mimicking a blink, wink, or parody of a wink? In offline contexts
we have enough additional information to make an informed judgment. Online
we rare do, unless we have the ability to remember conversations, when were
they? Yesterday? Or twenty years ago?


On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 11:19 AM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>

I don't, I hope that he is okay.

It's not in me to write long autobiographies - would have thought that
some things would have gottten through in all those years.

On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 4:13 AM, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>

I make no claim to be free of prejudice. But in this case, I do take the
time to indicate where I am coming from, describing the stuff I was taught
in the sixties to create a contrast with what Michael Agar is arguing. That
I don't cling obsessively to what I was taught as an undergraduate suggests
that I may be at least a bit open-minded. Open-minded does not preclude
being bored by the endless dance of Popper, Grice and Wittgenstein, in
relation to which only Ritchie's chickens and Lawrence's poetry seem to
have anything new to say. Which reminds me, does anyone know what has
become of Lawrence?


On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 10:49 AM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>

Those who can think beyond the prejudices I am pretty sure don't include

On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 3:47 AM, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>

For those who can think beyond the prejudices with which the encrust
the notion of social science, I recommend Michael Agar's new book, *The
Lively Science.
on figures as diverse as Brentano, Dilthey, Charles Pierce and Stephen
Toulmin, Agar makes a strong case for reviving the notion of
*Geisteswissenschaft*, while retaining the fundamental requirements of
a science: empirical evidence, systematic search for falsification, and use
of abduction to define a space of possibilities. Induction and deduction
are not rejected, but rather put in place as components of rational
reconstruction. The aim is a science that deals intelligently with subjects
with ideas and feelings of their own, neither reducing them to robots
programmed by social forces, nor drifting off into art where empirical
evidence and systematic falsification cease to be relevant.

The "social science" that Omar and Paul have in mind is, I suspect, the
stuff I was taught in the sixties, during the heyday of logical positivism
and quantitative analysis. Yes, left to its own devices that sort of social
science is monstrous. But that was half a century ago, already decades
after Popper, Grice and Wittgenstein, nearly two centuries after Kant. And
now it's a red herring.


On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 10:03 AM, Paul Stone <pastone@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

"social science" is an abomination
On May 14, 2015 8:49 PM, "Omar Kusturica" <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Would it be fair to say that you evaded discussion of social sciences
when I tried to bring it up ? If my memory serves.

On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 2:39 AM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>

We could use new members, of course.

On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 2:30 AM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx

Well, I'd hardly think that this is a typical case, I mean we have
been off and on communicating for some 20 years now. If the social
anthropologist must force everything into some crude mould so be it.

On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 2:26 AM, John McCreery <
john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Philosophy hasn't been exhausted. We have. After being on line for
as long as there has been a line to be on, this social anthropologist
seen it happen over and over again. A new list/site/forum/whatever
with a burst of excitement as people introduce themselves and start
to sort
out where they stand. Then things settle down to predictable
Most folk drift away. Only the hard core are left at the bar. The
hour is
late, the air is stale, it's time for the last round. This process is
predictable-regardless of subject matter. The only examples where it
doesn't happen are a few group blogs where the founders make it their
responsibility to continually add new material and actively invite new
voices to join the conversation. In my field, anthropology, the
case is Savage Minds (http://savageminds.org). Even though some
of the founders have drifted away, a strong core remains and is
periodically refreshed through a process of using invited blog posts
as a
try-out for joining the core.

Gossip? What about? David's chickens are a great topic, but, let's
face it, he has all the poop.


Sent from my iPad

On 2015/05/15, at 5:27, Mike Geary <
jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight, near
the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps tonight. Hush, my
darling, don't cry, my darling, the lion sleeps tonight.

So it's my guess that philosophy has been exhausted. All
questions answered. All problems solved. A doubts decided. We
thank God
for that. Now we can get on with gossip.

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John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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