17.341 theory

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Oct 26 2003 - 01:53:24 EDT

  • Next message: IATH Unix Admin: "testing mail"
  • Next message: Here to Help jfhamberg@yahoo.com : "Zero Balance your credit card debt"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 341.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 05:31:18 +0000
             From: lachance@origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: Re: 17.337 theory

    Geoffrey I

    [the focus is on what is doing theory]
    [the performative]

    > The relevance of this story is that we need to expand the question to look
    > not only at theory but the practices associated with theory. What does it
    > mean to theorize? How do we do it? How do we exchange theories? Is all
    > theory performed, even if the performance is a reading?

    Geoffrey II

    [the focus is on the whatness of theory]
    [the reificative]

    > Willard is to kind to ascribe a coherent position to me when I was reacting
    > to a performance. One of the directions I was headed was to assert that a
    > computer model could be a theory the way we could say that a work of
    > philosophy is a theory.
    > This raises the question of what is the incarnation of a theory. Is a

    Geoffrey III
    [the focus is on a recursive imbrication of the question of performance
    with that of existence]
    [the historical]

    > The artefact is interpreted during theorizing as a theory.

    Lachance is tempted to suggest that theory making and theory reading are
    comparative exercises. The possibility of dialogue is inscribed in the
    very gesture of theorizing is a gesture of demarcations. One set of
    readers & commentators & theorizers will approach a theory from the
    elements to be found within the boundaries it delimits. Other subjects
    (readers, commentators, theorizers) will approach from a place sensitive
    to the repressed, occluded and unheard.

    quoting de Certeau and inviting subscribers to subsitute "theory" for
    "historiographical discourse":
    This relating of systems to what displaces them, or metaphorically
    transforms them, corresponds as well to the way time appears to us and is
    experienced by us. From this perspective, historiographical discouse is,
    in itself, the struggle of reason with time, but of reason which does not
    renounce what it is as yet incapable of comprehending, a reason which is,
    in its fundamental workings, _ethical_.

    There is a particular conjunction of poesis (the reificative "this is
    that"), drama (the performative "this moves from this place to that") and
    the narratological (the historical that mediates between the events of
    poetic reification and the objects of dramatic performatnce). I believe
    that the awareness and articulation of such a conjunction is indeed
    inflected by humanities computing:

         I am reminded that for Turing machines a state is both a description
         and an instruction. For a technological imagination, a picturing and a
         telling are tools. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of translation
         between picturing and telling because for me this represents a test of
         the analytical tools at hand.
    <quote from http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance/dolezel.htm

    A theory is a tool. A tool resides in intersubjective space. And that is a
    space that is accessed through the picture making of poesis, the staging
    of theatricality and the reiterations of narrative and narrations.
    Precisely what a computer in a networked environment is designed to do:
    make, move and go meta.

    Happy is the scholar who finds joy in theory and theory making.

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sun Oct 26 2003 - 01:05:30 EST