2010년 12월 21일 화요일

[자료] Some readings in participating consciousness

자료 1: An epistemology of "participating consciousness": Overcoming the epistemological rupture of self and world

지은이: Sharon Warner
출처: Religious Education, Spring 1998

※ 메모(Except):

This paper posits that the "age of disbelief" is rooted in both Cartesian and positivistic epistemologies. The primary thrust of both of these epistemologies is a decisive separation between self and world. This paper explores the problems of such a separation and proposes an alternative epistemology, an epistemology of "participating consciousness." Drawing upon the work of Michael Polanyi, the paper uses the constructs of tacit knowing, indwelling, and fiduciary commitment to explicate how an epistemology of "participating consciousness" overcomes the self-world rupture. Faith knowing shaped by this epistemology is a knowing of integrative wholeness.

In his book, Coloring Outside the Lines, John Westfall tells the following story:
The Seattle Mariners, when owned by George Argyros, created a surprising controversy by firing God. It seems that God was being blamed for their losing seasons. The Owner thought that if he could just get God out of the locker room, the team might win more games. He thought there were too many Christians on the team, and that prayer and Bible study were causing them to lose ball games.... To my dismay, the director of the council of Churches agreed with [Argyros's] position. "If those players want to meet God, they can go to church like everyone else," he said. "They shouldn't take God into the locker room anymore than you would expect a banker to take his (sic) faith into the bank when he goes to work." (1991, 32-33)
The "culture of disbelief," as Stephen Carter has described it, is a culture in which religion is banished from the public square and its discourse relegated to the private affairs of its believers. In such a culture, Carter explains, religion is fine in private, "but there is something askew when those private beliefs become the basis for public action." Since public discourse and action are "bounded by requirements of rationality and reason," religious discourse and action are to be avoided. "The consistent message of modern American society is that whenever the demands of one's religion conflict with what one has to do to get ahead, one is expected to ignore the religious demands and act . . . well . . . rationally." This expectation, that religious belief can and should be left behind as one enters all public life, "reinforces the vision of religion as an arbitrary and essentially unimportant factor in the makeup of one's personality, as easily shrugged off as a favorite color" (1993, 8, 42, 13, 56). Carter argues that such superficial treatment of religious life within the public sphere shapes a "culture of disbelief."
Carter's provocative probe into modern American culture implicates many issues of cultural analysis. But one of the most fundamental is the epistemological roots of this "culture of disbelief." This "culture of disbelief ' is a product of our way of knowing the world. The ways we attempt to know and understand the world intimately shape our relationship with the world. Douglas Sloan says this well:
[O]ur ways of knowing directly affect the way we relate to the world and, hence, the kind of world we create for ourselves through our institutions, our technologies, and our conceptions of reality. The world we apprehend and live in is structured by our consciousness. (1982, 2)
Because the way we relate within our culture is shaped by our epistemology, it is important to ask epistemological questions as we try to understand what is going on in our culture. What kind of knower and knowledge is shaping (and is being shaped by) this culture of disbelief? What kind of knowing process is demanded by such a culture? What are the alternatives? These epistemological underpinnings of a culture of disbelief are crucial to discern, for as we name and, when need be, reform that epistemology, we find ourselves reshaping our public life, our culture.
The epistemological psyche of the culture of disbelief is formed and rooted deep in the mind of Cartesian thought. But there are epistemological alternatives. The splitting of the public and private self of religious people demanded by a culture of disbelief is grounded in the Cartesian epistemological split of self and world. In tension with this epistemological psyche is an epistemology of "participating consciousness." By an epistemology of participation we can begin to shape a public life and culture where the pluralism of modern life as well as the religious commitments of many are respected in the public square. The following discussion seeks to expose the Cartesian epistemological roots of this culture of disbelief and outline the contours of a more holistic epistemology

The process of knowing takes place through the relation between self and world. The modern epistemological assumptions about the relation between self and world are a product of the reformulation of self-world relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. The revolutionary work of Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, and Francis Bacon laid the foundation for the epistemology of the scientific era. However, the hinge point of the transformation of self-world relations that characterized this revolution resided in the epistemological propositions of Rene Descartes. (... continued on the source link above)

자료 2: Can humans survive automation?

지은이: Clive Hamilton
출처: Speech to the Manning Clark House conference, "Science and Ethics: Can homo sapiens survive?" Academy of Science, Canberra, 17 May 2005

※ 메모(Except)
(...) In Europe before the sixteenth century the dominant worldview was organic.  People mostly lived in coherent, whole communities in which spiritual and material phenomena were not clearly differentiated.  Individual needs were not so much subordinated to those of the community but found expression through those of the community.  
This is not to deny that these societies were often exploitative and sometimes impoverished, but only to make the point that the way people experienced themselves in the world was radically different from the way we experience ourselves today.  The organic view of the world was reflected in people’s innermost perceptions of themselves and their relationship with their environment.  Morris Berman has written:
The view of nature that predominated in the West down to the eve of the Scientific Revolution was that of an enchanted world.  Rocks, trees, rivers, and clouds were all seen as wondrous, alive, and human beings felt at home in this environment.  The cosmos, in short, was a place of belonging (Berman, 1981, p. 16).
The separation of self, with its detached intellect, that came with the European Enlightenment was unimaginable to those who lived a ‘participating consciousness’. Participating consciousness is the sense within the observing subject that the act of observation is not divorced from the observed, that the external world is alive and can be known through unmediated experience in a way different from that arising from deliberative reflection.  It encompasses the sense that the transformation of the external world is also a transformation of the world within. 
So for those possessed of participating consciousness, mind participates in the world instead of functioning as a detached organ of perception and cognition.  Traditionally, indigenous people have understood that the support the natural world provides to their survival must be repaid by nurturing and recreating the land each day.  In this way there is a mutually sustaining cycle between humans and their natural world just as there is for each creature that plays its own unique role in the reproduction of the cosmic cycle. In modern guise, this is perhaps the central insight of ecology.
Thus, the story of the modern epoch is one of progressive disenchantment, a transition that involved a profound psychological loss.  The world apprehended by nonparticipating consciousness becomes describable in terms of matter and motion, the twin conceptual pillars of the new ‘mechanical philosophy’. Non-participating consciousness is characterised by the rigid separation of the observer and the observed, subject and object. 
The psychology of non-participation and the self-definition it reflects are reproduced and reinforced every day.  We are bombarded by the ideology of science, the notion that all is knowable, that human development is a process of progressive discovery of a finitely knowable universe.  Every time we learn of a new discovery it suggests that a bit more of the unknown becomes known to us and is thereby conquered.  We have even begun to unlock the mysteries of space, conquering it with space travel, extending the physical boundaries of the known, as though by looking ever further outward we can avoid the pressure to look inward.  
This science of knowing is a science of control; the unknown is outside of us and therefore a threat.  Our non-participation in the world is doubly reinforced by the activities that dominate our societies - work whose aim is to put objects into the market, and recreation. Watching television is the ultimate act of non-participation.  The world is taken away, moulded, packaged and made ‘more exciting’ and then served up behind a glass screen. 
All of this was driven by the rise of commerce and the specific form of rationality that accompanied it.  The rationality of economics and commerce is in no sense timeless and universal.  As the early sociologist Max Weber (1968, p. 376) argued, the essence of modern capitalism lies in its peculiar form of rationality.  Market exchange and wage labour are the pillars of capitalism; market exchange is of its essence rational in the sense that all commitments other than pure economic self-interest are irrelevant. The material progress of the scientific-industrial revolution was built on the idea of calculability. Weber stressed the extraordinary importance of calculability as the basis for efficient capital accounting and thus profit making.  Rational decision-making depends wholly on the ability to calculate outcomes.  There can be no place for intuition. (...)

자료 3: Sensing corporeally: toward a posthuman understanding, Google books,
지은이: Floyd Merrell , University of Toronto Press, 2003

※ 메모:
(...) Figure 30 affords us an image of our lost enchantment of the world in the face of the imperialistic disenchantment that has suffocated sensuousness(signs 111-311) due in large part to the bully tactics of symbolicity(331-333_, the linear, logical, rational, either/or categories of symbolicity. It tells us that Polanyi's subsidiary awareness has made way for obsessive focus on particulars, which fall into predetermined pigeonholes of thought and behaviour. It also tells us that Polanyi's ^distal^ sensations (of 'secondary qualities'), and that Geertz's experience-near and participating consciousness are sent to the back of the tour bus schedules for a visit to those quaint folks at the hoedown, while detached experience-distant enjoys the big window of the bluegrass music. It implies how Wetern objective knowledge sees a two-dimensional strip as nothing more that a strip, whereas participating consciousness senses it in Mobius fashion: it is enfolded and enveloped within the strip, such that inside-outside become continuous with it and it becomes continuous with the strip. (...)

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