Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
In the latter half of the chapter on Humanist theory, the traditions and thoughts of many influential thinkers stemming from both Platonic and Aristotelian thought have been examined. Before even attempting to consider what these thinkers have put down in literature and philosophy as their own traditions, it is necessary to examine exactly what the oral traditions of Plato and Aristotle themselves is.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
In his essay on Culture within Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Williams begins by tracing the origin and development of the word. For him, it is one of the most complicated words in the English language not just due to its intricate historical development but mainly due to its relevance and undisputable impact in other systems of thought.
Williams then goes on to map the treatment that the word has undergone (in Latin and French), along with the range of meanings it has been a host to, until it got passed on to English. "The primary meaning was then in husbandry, the tending of natural growth." This then explains the metaphoric meaning (a noun of process) it undertook when "the tending of natural growth was extended to the process of human development". This, along with the meaning in husbandry, was the main sense until 1C18 and eC19.
Williams points out that this sense developed crucially towards a "degree of habituation" being added to the metaphor as well as "an extension of particular processes to a general process, which the word could abstractly carry". It is from here that the independent noun 'culture' began its complicated modern history with its complicated latencies of meaning.
Williams refers to a letter from 1730 (Bishop of Killala to Mrs. Clayton) which he cites from John H. Plumb's England in the Eighteenth Century as one of the earliest recorded references of 'culture' in English appearing as an independent noun, an abstract process or the product of such a process. He then quotes Mark Akenside (1744), William Wordsworth (1805) and Jane Austen (1816) on their uses of the word 'culture' to make clear the fact that "culture was developing in English towards some of its modern senses before the decisive effects of a new social and intellectual movement".
Williams then looks at the developments in other languages, especially in German, to follow the development of 'culture' in English. German borrowed the word from French, Cultur and later spelt Kultur, its main use synonymous to 'cultivation': first in the abstract sense of a general process of becoming 'civilized or cultivated'; second in the sense which had already been established for civilization by the historians of the Enlightenment as a description of the secular process of human development. Then Johann Gottfried von Herder, according to Williams, in his unfinished Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind (1784--91), brought about a decisive change of use in the word where he challenged the universal histories' assumption that civilization or culture - the historical self development of humanity - was a unilinear process; an assumption that led to the "high and dominant point of C18 European Culture" and thereby attacking that very dominant claim to a superior culture. Taking up from Herder, "cultures in the plural" were looked at; to speak of "cultures of the plural: the specific and variable cultures of different nations and periods, but also the specific and variable cultures of social and economic groups within a nation." This sense of culture was widely developed in the Romantic movement as an alternative to the orthodox and dominant 'civilization'. And from here, the new concept of 'folk-culture' emerged, emphasizing national and traditional cultures. this sense of culture was primarily a response to the emergence of the "mechanical character of the new civilization", and was used to distinguish between "human and material development". However, the 1840's in Germany saw Kultur being used very much in the sense of civilization as used in the C18 universal histories. Williams uses G F Klemms' Allgemeine Kulturgeschichte de Menschheit - 'Genreal Cultural History of Mankind' (1843-52) - to show this use of Kultur in the sense of tracing human development from savagery through domestication to freedom.
These various treatments of 'culture' contribute to its modern usage and complexity. There is then the literal continuity of physical process as used in say 'sugar-beet culture' or 'germ culture'. Beyond this physical reference, Williams recognises three broad categories of usage:
(i) The independent and abstract noun which describes a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development, from C18.
(ii) The independent noun, whether used generally or specifically, which indicates a particular way of life, whether of a people, aperiod, a group, or humanity in general, from Herder and Klemm.
(iii)the independent and abstract noun which describes the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity.
The third category, a relatively late category according to Williams, seems to lend itself to the widespread usage of 'culture' to be music, literature, painting and sculpture, theatre and film.
The complex and still active history of the word, along with the complex senses, "indicates a complex argument about the relations between general human development and a particular way of life, and between both and the works and the practices of art and intelligence". Embedded within the complex argument are also the opposed as well as as overlapping positions, thereby further complicating the argument. Rather than trying to reduce the complexity of usage, Williams advocates that "The complexity, that is to say, is not finally in the word but in the problems which its variations of use significantly indicate".
Original Text: Williams, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Britain: Croom Helm. 1976.
[Note: This is part of an article contributed by me on Wikipedia as CIA II for Mr.Pinto's 'Cultural Theory' paper, II MA English. Link: Click here for the Wikipedia entry]
Thank you Mr.Pinto for encouraging us to be 'givers' and not just 'users' of cyber resources! :)
Following are the questions that have come to me from the classroom while teaching various courses. I do not have answers for them, either because of my lack of exposure to the disciplines, or schools of thinking from where these come from, or because of the limitation of my own intellectual work, or ….
I put them here so that they are not lost to me or to someone else who might be asking similar questions.
I wish to address them either through guest lectures, or through falling back on accessible resources. In case someone out there wishes to help us from any part of the globe with a guest lecture via skype or similar technologies, you are most welcome. You may also refer to a book or essay which we can read.
Your response can
a. help us understand or articulate the question better
b. resolve the issue raised in the question.
While giving out the questions I will also attempt to give the title of the course where the question came up, the essay that gave rise to the question and the date and place. Names of the those who came up with these questions will be disclosed only with prior permission. However, some acronym will be used to identify the person in case of need for further clarity in the future.
2. Do feminists, esp. Cixous and Irigary believe that experience is accessible only through language?
3. How are sense perception, experience, thought, and language different?
( All the above questions come from Translation Studies Course taught for MA English while discussing Roman Jakobson’s “On the Linguistic Aspects of Translation on 10 Dec 2010 @ CU. Came in the discussion with DR)
4. What is knowledge? Is there a difference between knowledge in sciences and knowledge in social sciences? Is social science knowledge not sound?
9. Is there a difference between calling something 'theoretical' and 'philosophical'? In other words, what is the difference between theory and philosophy? Within Kantian epistemology, isn't philosophy supposed to do what theory is doing today - Reflect on and issue/subject?
10. What is the philosophic distinction between emotions and thoughts? "Tagore was keener on expressing his emotions rather than strictly translating his Bengali work." In this sentence how do we know we really are referring to emotions? (23 April 2011, Anil)
11. What is the distinction between thought, idea, concept, word, term, category? (6 July 2011, BA English Honours class, CU)
12. Do we have translation a concept for translation? If yes what is it? (6 July 2011, BA English Honours class, CU)
13. What is the difference between ideology and discourse?
14. When and why did the ideas of holistic renaissance humanist scholar change? (14 July 2012, IMA English class)
10 Sept. 2012 (MPhil Psychology)
15. Can sensory experiences be quantified?
16. What do we quantify in research in psychology?
17. What is the purpose of quantitative research in psychology?
18. When did psychology feel the need for quantitative research?
19. What is the value of geometry to psychological research?
20. How do you establish truth through empirical research methods
21. What is the need of quantitative research in psychology?
22. Is psychology trying to imitate science through quantitative methods? If so, why does it need to imitate?
Thursday, December 09, 2010
I you wish to seek any clarifications, please use the comment section below.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Hello there! Are you alive right now? Yes, I believe? Well then you have been structured in many ways by ideologies, mainly economic, emerging from the United States of America in the last one century.
This film festival aims at presenting several issues which are usually not taken up in mainstream media (or hide behind the workings of mainstream media, as you shall see in a few of the films to be screened). We shall screen a personal selection of six films - a mix of mainstream movies and documentaries.
Entry is free, and you can come and go as you please.
December 4th, Saturday
2:00pm - 6:00pm
Start of film festival. Screening of the documentary War on Democracy and the movie Team America: World Police. Discussion [optional].
December 5th, Sunday
10:00pm - 1:00pm
Screening of documentaries The Corporation and Story of Stuff.
1:00pm - 2:00pm
2:00pm - 6.15pm
Screening of the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media and the movie Wag the Dog. Discussion [optional].
Jaaga Screening Room, Jaaga
Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps/
No. 16/1, Rhenius Street
Off Richmond Road
Opposite Hockey Stadium
Bangalore - 560025.
>> If you are getting here via auto-rickshaw or cab:
The primary landmarks are "Opposite the Hockey Stadium near Richmond Circle in Shanthinagar" once you get close we're "8 buildings to the right of the TV9 building, across from the Hockey Association Club main gate on Rhenius Street"
>> If you are driving:
- Get onto Richmond Road, going towards Richmond Circle (it's a one way road in the right direction)
- Take a left just before Richmond Circle at the Coffee Day (you'll be turning onto Rhenius St but the sign is hard to see)
- Just go straight and you'll pass TV9 on your left and the Hockey Stadium on your right.
* Look for a strange building with a red gate :)
For more information, visit: http://americanhegemonyff.
[on the festival, schedule, contact, venue, location]
For more details, contact Mohan at 810 577 4016.