KantCassirerLangerSymbolistsMind has forms. Practical de-ontologyMind emerges myth to symbolic form.Art is virtual performance of form.ModernThinkingAnimal symbolicumLanguage, myth, art, and science aresymbolic forms richly grown from biological beginnings.
Myth, Metaphor and Language Is myth a corruption of experience by substituting wordsthat forget steps in the arrival of a sensuous truth? “even the most primitive verbal utterance requires atransmutation of a certain cognitive or emotive experienceinto sound, i.e., into a medium that is foreign to theexperience, and even quite disparate; just as the simplestmythical form can arise only by virtue of a transformationwhich removes a certain impression from the realm of theordinary, the everyday and profane, and lifts it to the levelof the ‘holy,’ the sphere of mythico-religious ‘significance.’Cassirer, 88 Meaning is the product of focusing light on a subject, butthe unmarked myth diffuses light. In the “ideational realmf myth and language there are always, besides thoselocations from which the strongest light proceeds, othersthat appear wrapped in profoundest darkness.” 1. The lawof leveling and extinction of specific differences. Wholeimminent in parts. 2. The law of participation andgeneration. The parts become transcended by the whole.Relevance as a “momentary god.”
Modern Culture Wars BeginMATTHEW ARNOLD C. P. SNOW“Dover Beech” elite genius vs. massimitation“Two Cultures” Science versus the Arts1822-1888 1905-1980
HANNAH ARENDT1906-1975From ‘good society’ of enlightened individualsto le peuple of the French Revolution.Mass society is made possible by leisure. Thecrowd is analogous to human condition ofmass society. Loneliness, flexibility,excitability, lack of standards, consumption,flabby judgment, egocentricity and “fatefulalienation from the world.”
HANNAH ARENDTNostalgia is a temptation for those who resistmass culture by connecting with good societyelites of the past. On the other hand masssociety “wants not culture butentertainment” to pass away vacant timeseizing a hiatus in the ‘metabolism of manwith nature.’” Arendt, 349 Consumption is“devouring” at an increasing rate to fill vacanttime.Vita Activa / Vita ContemplivaPrivate Life & Public Life“the thread of tradition is broken, and we must discover the past for ourselves—that is, read its authors as though nobody had ever read them before.” Arendt348Philistinism is cultural value, half-baked.the threats are not the elites but those who organize, disseminate, and change cultural objects” to make them palatable to masses. These“digesters, re-writers and changers of cultures” Arendt, 351.
PALIGENESIS “Especially in the magic realm, word magic is everywhereaccompanied by picture magic. The image, too, achievesits purely representative, specifically ‘aesthetic’ functiononly as the magic circle with which mythical consciousnesssurrounds it is broken, and it is recognized not as amythico-magical form, but as a particular sort offormulation.” Cassirer 98 “If language is to grow into a vehicle of thought, anexpression of concepts and judgments, this evolution canbe achieved only at the price of forgoing the wealth andfullness of immediate experience. In the end, what is left ismerely a bare skeleton.” Cassirer 98 Paligenesis “at once a sensuous and a spiritualreincarnation. This regeneration is achieved as languagebecomes an avenue of artistic expression. Here it recoversthe fullness of life; but it is no longer a life mythically boundand fettered, but an aesthetically liberated life.” Cassirer 98“Was it a vision, or a waking dream?Fled is that music: - Do I wake or do I sleep?”Keats Ode to a Nightingale
HANNA ARENDT &MARTIN HEIDEGGER“Culture relates to objects and is a phenomenon ofthe world; entertainment relates to people and is aphenomenon of life. If life is no longer content withthe pleasure which is always coexistent with the toiland labor inherent in the metabolism of man andnature…then life may reach out for the things of theworld, may violate and consume them.” Arendt, 352.“Culture can be safe only with those who love theworld for its own sake…” Arendt, 354.Cultura—colere “to take care of andAnd preserve and cultivate.” 353authenticity
LEO LOWENTHAL &C. WRIGHT MILLSDespite a surfeit of new technology, “we arelonelier that ever before—and certainly ourcommon human need for world peace seemsfurther removed than ever.” p. 335More = Less Why?
Mass Media Fueled by Social Science: Critique “Communication has been almostcompletely divested of its humancontent, a content suggested by theword itself. For true communicationentails a communion, a sharing ofinnermost experience. Thedehumanization of communication hasresulted from its annexation by themedia of modern culture” as written upby social scientists. p. 336 “Mass communication relies upon theideological sanction of individualautonomy in the very process ofexploiting individuality to serve massculture.” p. 336
EZRA POUND “(WHO IN SPITE OF HISABBERATIONS, RETAIN THE STATURE OF THEPOET AND THE HUMANIST).”“As language becomes the most powerfulinstrument of perfidy, so language alone canriddle and cut through the meshes. Used toconceal meaning, used to blur meaning, usedto produce the complete and utter inferno ofthe past century…against which, SOLEY a carefor language, for accurate registration oflanguage avails.” p. 339As one speaks, so he is. SenecaBut does language cure loneliness?What is the word to the crowd?
Anthropology of Communication 1. Concerned with language as a historical product and a ‘department’ ofculture, where communication is related to “process and event.” 2. Saussure structuralist formalism. Sapir concern with “use of language inpersonality, in maintenance of social roles, in abuse and derogation, inpoetry, in drum and other instrumental communication.” Hymes, 3 3. American stress functionalism which opposes cognitive versus expressiveapproaches to language in the process and practices of communication. 4. Synchrony identifies structure of language as form. Diachrony investigatesits divergence in use, change over time, and use over and against multiplecodes making up regional communication.
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis “The Sapir-Whorf theory, named after the American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, isa mould theory of language. Writing in 1929, Sapir argued in a classic passage that: “’Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarilyunderstood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expressionfor their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of languageand that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. Thefact of the matter is that the real world is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of thegroup. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. Theworlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached...We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our communitypredispose certain choices of interpretation. (Sapir 1958 , p. 69)’” “This position was extended in the 1930s by his student Whorf, who, in another widely cited passage, declared that: “’We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from theworld of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the worldis presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds - and this means largely bythe linguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do,largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way - an agreement that holds throughout ourspeech community and is codified in the patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit andunstated one, but its terms are absolutely obligatory; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organizationand classification of data which the agreement decrees. (Whorf 1940, pp. 213-14; his emphasis)’” http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/whorf.html
Anthropological Inquiry What constitutes the function efficiency of communicative use of languagein society? How does language mark hierarchy and preserve order within socialpractices and customs of usage? What distinguishes (insect, fish, bird, warm-blooded)from early hominidfrom fully human communication? What are paralinguistic forms of communication—and how do analog anddigitally formed communication work together and apart? How do ethnographers recognize cultural differences in kinesics? How do communicative modalities and events emerge, sort, and change?
Communication Enclosed and Escaped “Communication is the basic metaphor for the human interpretation ofexperience, and anything may count as communicative, if a person takes it as so.Not everything is so taken.” “The difficulties of determining the boundaries to communication in acommunity do not justify ignoring them.” Hymes, 18 Anthropology is concerned with “the growth and spread, the attrition anddecline, of systems of shared meanings manifest in cultural objects, and with thedynamics of their use in personal lives.” Hymes, 19. An anthropological approach regards communication in society as problematic.Ethnography discovers patterns in actual communities. Intrapersonal? Dreams? Myths? Artistic transformation? *Critical Communication Inquiry studies the discovered and undiscoveredboundaries of communication for a time and place, a way of being, for humanbeings as finite in time.
Sunset?Ritual confirms meaningful reading as communication.
An Ethnographic Approach to Communication “1. What are the communicative events, and their components, in acommunity? 2. What are the relationships among them? 3. What capabilities and states do they have, in general, and in particularevents? 4. How do they work?” Hymes, 25. The thrust of such work is to see how signs as codes are transmogrified intomessages that serve as symbols thereby generating a Communicative Event. “The concept of message is taken as implying the sharing (real or imputed) of (1) a code (or codes) in terms of which a messageis intelligible to (2) participants, minimally an addressor and addressee (who may be the same person), in (3) an eventconstituted by transmission of the message, and characterized by (4) a channel or challenges, (5) a setting or context, (6) adefinite form or shape to the mssage, and (7) a topic and comment, (the message says something about something).” Hymes,25-26.
HANS BLUMENBERGAn Anthropological Approach studies communicativeevents to appreciate:1. The significance of overlooked forms acrosstemporal dynamics and cultural roles.2. The interchanges between universal attributionsgenerated from local metaphors.3. The language of symbolic spheres as they fuelpractice, expand and connect.4. The enduring but varying attributions ofcommunication that are taken for granted aslegitimate.1920 - 1996Critical Communication Inquiryas appreciative intervention.
The lack of fixed biological dispositions Human beings must act throughdisciplining imperfect knowledgewith progressive measures ofcontrol. The uncanny is converted to thefamiliar by representation. Human communication is imperfectbut the consequences are absolute. Temporal disjunction betweenknowledge as theory and action aspractice. Know how. Human beings always imitate andvery to adapt traditions andovercome difficulties. “Human relation to reality isindirect, circumstantial, delayed,selective,” and metaphorical.” 439 Roles are tried on and changed byconvention. Expectations change;satisfactions vary. Knowledge and action situated inrhythms, pauses, accelerations. Know why.
Archeological Approach to CommunicationThe history of ideas versus the archeology of knowledge. Ideal vs. Material
CRITICAL COMMUNICATIONINQUIRY IN THE EXERCISE OFHEGEMONIC CRITIQUERepresentations are discursive activities that articulatepower relationships.Institutions distribute power through rationalizations thatlegitimate confinement, constraint, and resources.Skepticism turns toward master narratives in play andinward into communicative norms.Governmentality is the process of justifying interventionsto preserve social order.Madness is an exemplary case of rules developed overtime.Archeologist does not share the time, but comes tocommunication as fragments of a time to be reassembled.
Critical Communication InquiryPERSPECTIVE BY INCONGRUITY SURVEILLANCE & RATIONALIZATIONAppreciate human ingenuity & change. Advance resistance & skepticism
MetaphorsTHE LIBRARY THE ARCHIVE Expert-client relationship toprovide access to preservedknowledge. Duty divided between expertcatalogue and training clients. Libraries adapt to local values informulating rules and events. Literacy broadens access to thehuman condition trumping class. Space and time are adapted tocategories of clientele. The archive is a structure dedicatedto preserving materials ofreference and representation. Archive collects documents from atime that is special and over. Reconstructive work is a matter ofgenealogy. Synchrony discovers links amongrationalized justifications at onetime; diachrony, change over time.
InterventionNEWT GINGRICHGENEALOGY OF THE DEMAGOGUEGABRIELLE GIFFORDSTHE HEROIC & LYRIC ELOQUENCEThought-style Set Untimely Rhetoric
David Rotchild, The Signal, January 24As Gingrich’s fate rises, so does Obama’s