20.550 synthetic work & its possible fallout

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 07:49:02 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 550.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: Francois Lachance (64)
         Subject: analytic, synthetic, aesthetic

   [2] From: peter jones <h2cmng_at_yahoo.co.uk> (49)
         Subject: Re: 20.548 synthetic work & its possible fallout

         Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2007 07:31:46 +0100
         From: Francois Lachance <lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca>
         Subject: analytic, synthetic, aesthetic


The following Hassidic tale is orthogonal to the matter you proposed
for discussion in the dual approach
(analytic & synthetic) to the aesthetics of scholarship but it raises
the subtle imbrications between
conduct and the production of beauty. It suggests to me that in the
circumstances of humans and their
artefacts mere dualism is fault of interpretation and furthermore
that the beautiful can be anticipated and
awaited but has no truck with economy even an economy of the gift.
The beautiful happens. It cannot be
given. What can be given is the patience to expect.

Martin Buber
Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters
trans. Olga Marx
New York: Schocken Books, 1947

The Baal Shem Tov

p. 73
The Jug

Once the Baal Shem said to his disciples: "Just as the strength of
the root is in the leaf, so the strength
of man is in every utensil he makes, and his character and behavior
can be gauged from what he has made."
Just then his glance fell on a fine beer jug standing in front of
him. He pointed to it and continued:
"Can't you see from this jug that the man who made it had no feet?"

When the Baal Shem had finished speaking, one of his disciples
happened to pick up the jug to set it on the
bench. But the moment it stood there it crumbled to bits.


The easy gloss is to read the tale as a reflection on the prosthetic
thesis (our tools are projections of
our bodies).

Another soon to be easier gloss is ecological in its outlook and
hears the "every" and understands that
given the proper attention the fate of one is wrapped in the fate of all.

On a similar theme I quote Australian writer, Gay Bilson, who in
introducing a section <i>Plenty:
Digressions on food</i> quotes Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz, in an essay in his collection <i>Convergences</i>, wrote
about 'seeing and using'. He
suggested that craftsmanship 'in its perpetual movement back and
forth between beauty and utility, pleasure
and service ... teaches us lessons in sociability'. He wrote of the
'rationality' of industrial design, the
impersonal uniformity. The handmade bowl is, by his definition,
already sociable. So too is food prepared
with discrimination and offered at the domestic table.

Note that the origin of the object does not determine its being
imbued with the sociable. Use does.
Industry is quite capable of producing the mock-handmade.

Use is the key to judging the artfulness of scholarship whether or
not it is of the sythesing sort.
Judgemenet does not rest on what it does but how it does what it
does. (and such a judgement is likely to
recursively affect judgements about what it is that it does do).

Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large

Everyone is a little bit crazy; everyone at some time has a learning
No one is ever a little bit positive.

         Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2007 07:43:35 +0100
         From: peter jones <h2cmng_at_yahoo.co.uk>
         Subject: Re: 20.548 synthetic work & its possible fallout

Douglas, Willard and All,

Although I arrive at this via other routes (which is also
significant?) your points ring several bells:
     * models of
     * models for
     * higher levels
     * plurality
     * abstraction
In health and social care to be 'holistic' (ontologically speaking
not necessarily 'new age') we have to recognise four patterns or signatures:

1. interpersonal (emotional, behavioural, mental health,
psychological, educaiton, communication)
2. sciences (problems, signs and symptoms, pathology, medication, anat. + phys)
3. social (family, community, relationships, culture, social skills)
4. political (self-advocacy, enpowerment, rights, legal status,
consent, capacity)
5! + spiritual.

As for plurality in health care we need to take account of subject
and agent(s) in the following ways:

* Purpose
* Process
* Policy
* Practice

*Content* applies to all.

This is not a unique formulation, but is represented here:


I have a post drafted on CONTENT : PROCESS, which I have been rather
preoccupied with these past few months in relation to information
standards in health care. (Hope to post this after holiday 3-18 April).

Would it be fair to say that Hodges' model facilitates the creation
of a meta-signature or meta-pattern across these (usually) disparate
knowledge domains? As the semantic web emerges will it be possible to
identify and examine the conceptual crossover points between
sciences-humanities. What concept(s) denotes 'humanities' the most
'love'? Which are most associated with the sciences - 'energy',
'force', 'matter'?

[If anyone has any references/pointers on this I would greatly
appreciate hearing from you.]

Or will the semantic web (has it already?) highlight our artificial,
synthetic dichotomising shorthand way of describing the 'real'
external world? In Hodges' model I am merely playing Descartes' game
applying (semantic) 'co-ordinates' to concepts not just in the
SCIENCES domain , but the others. The validity of the exercise
varying accordingly.

Thanks for a very interesting discussion.

Kind regards

Peter Jones
Hodges' Health Career - Care Domains - Model
h2cm: help2Cmore - help-2-listen - help-2-care
Received on Tue Apr 03 2007 - 02:56:47 EDT

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