Re: 100 Years of Sri Aurobindo on Evolution: Anticipating Science and Society (part 3 of 6)
by Debashish on Wed 25 Mar 2009 03:49 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
I have referenced the work of Dipesh Chakrabarty. According to him, cultural history conditions experience. Contingency offers a palimpsest of ontological possibilties which the creative agent evokes and which instrumentalize the creative agent in the negotiations of culture.
In my own work as a cultural historian, I have identified a number of agents in the "field of cultural production" (Bourdieu's phrase). These include the sponsor/patron, the user (if the cultural message is coded into a materially or socially utilitarian medium), agents of cultural tradition, agents of ideology and creative agents. Of these, the agents of cultural tradition and of ideology canonize and transmit forms of taste, perception and ontic possibility which represent continuities. However, none of these are without contestation.
Struggles of power among each of these agents (and within their variants) mark every cultural product. What is of interest is not merely to see what persists but what and how it is ruptured, modified, transformed or substituted. As with the individual, purusha takes up mental-vital-physical prakritis with their characteritsics and expressions but breaks and replaces them from life to life. In each life, one may speak of a development of persistent characteritstics over a certain period of time, but from life to life (or even within a life), to talk of such development may be irrelevant.
I see the ruptures of India, for example the destructions of Islam or of modernity to be as much the life of the nation soul as its iconic persistences. All prakritic development and change continues to co-exist in the ontological possibilties of any time. Purusha's evolution is less visible than these; it voices its specific questions and its movement towards integral answers only sporadically and as works of experiment, always in the making. DB
It does seems to me that one must judge things on an individual basis and be ever so cautious in adopting any systematic strategy of evaluation especially with regard to culture. Re: 100 Years of Sri Aurobindo on Evolution: The Illusion of Human Progress and the Ideal of Human Unity (part 5 of 6) Tony Clifton Science, Culture and Integral Yoga 10:37 AM
The transcendental realist does not deny the functioning of the transitive dimension or the social, but instead argues that the relationship between this transitive dimension and the intransitive dimension of natural powers is one of assemblic relations rather than system based relations. That is, it is not, for example, the Kuhnian paradigm or the Foucaultian episteme that makes Copernicus “right” or Freud “true”. If there is truth in these theories it is a real that operates regardless of whether any humans conceive it or conceptualize it.
Rather, the movement of the planets, gravity, libido, etc., enter into an assemblage with human actors, human history, human concepts, human language, etc., in such a way that the intransitive nonetheless maintains its separation and independence. Such would be the beginnings of a non-naive realist conception of being that was also able to take the best from the social sciences. Roy Bhaskar: Transcendental Realism and the Transitive and the Intransitive from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects 5:46 PM
The Basic Paradox– A Brief Note from Larval Subjects . by larvalsubjects
It could be argue that the debate between the realists and the anti-realists revolves around a set of basic paradoxes, or perhaps antinomies, arising from our contemporary state of knowledge today. It will be recalled that Husserl claims that Nature cannot be the condition for Consciousness because Consciousness is the condition of Nature. With this claim, Husserl reveals the inner logic of correlationism. If correlationism is to be an internally consistent position, then the transcendental subject upon which it is based must be rigorously separated from the knowledge that it is to ground lest it fall into a paradox or contradiction. Like Russell’s set of all sets that are not members of themselves, this sort of self-membership to the object is grounds must be excluded.
Yet within our current state of knowledge or within the scope of our best working hypotheses, this thesis generates a set of paradoxes or apparent absurdities [...]
I do not know how to resolve these apparent paradoxes but I do not think they can be swept under the rug as so many correlationists would like to do. When Ben, in comments to my “Naturalism” diary describes an encounter between a supporter of Jean-Luc Nancy claiming that science is identical to faith and a Kantian claiming that science is pure speculation and therefore irrelevant, it seems to me that he describes an attitude of willful ignorance endemic in Continental philosophy whereby it is fought that one both maintains a position of superiority with respect to science, knowing a deep and fundamental (grounding) truth not known by scientists, and that therefore they can simply ignore our present or what we have found in these fields. This position of willful ignorance strikes me as being based more on a defensive posture than anything else. At some point, however, lest this entire form of philosophy eventually become entirely irrelevant, those coming from the Continental tradition will have to follow the lead of thinkers like Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze and stop denouncing these sciences as merely dogmatic or outside of philosophy and start taking them seriously as things that demand to be thought and which demand a critique of a certain way of doing philosophy itself.