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Subject:

Re: Theory and originality

From:

Catherine Smith <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Catherine Smith <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 30 Aug 2000 16:35:57 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (51 lines)

Hi Norm, Keith and other interested people,

I wondered if Norm was more pointing out the need to have an alternative to 
the traditional, rational conception of design rather than eliminating its 
position in history? This alternative allows a space for people who have 
been traditionally excluded from this form of epistemological 
discourse..ie. women, indigenous etc., - this exclusion arises in the way 
in which the knowledge is validated -rational acceptable or irrational 
unacceptable - rather than according to potential similarities in 
ontological premises, such as the relationship between concerns embedded in 
rationalism and traditional cultures etc.. Certainly, the ancient Greek 
agora, the site of academic debate and civil discourse, excluded women and 
slaves - perhaps the danger in resuscitating the ancients without an 
explicit recognition of this problem is the replication of another 
exclusive agora for design?

Regards, Cathy.

Keith wrote:

While I can agree about the general features of rationality, as she be seen in
the West, I am concerned that the real urgency is disguised in a quick resort
to polarities. That is, the ancient Greeks were on to something when they grew
near the fire of rationality - there are things that can be located within a
relationship - the fixity, or the fascination with fixity may have led up dark
pathways such that root 2 is a problem of irrationality (surd=sounds wrong
hence absurd). This point either leads to a deeper fascination as in the case
of musicians who quite love this stuff, denial as in the case of many trivial
commentators, see The Ascent Of Man, by J. Bronowski, or indifference as in
the case of most Eastern views. The general quest, as frequently revived, that
animated the ancients, I suggest, is best described in Freud's project: where
the ID was there shall the EGO be - or, in plain English: where the IT was
there shall I be found. This then moves (in an earlier and more comprehensive
form), through Hegel, in the form of the dialetic relationship between the 
self
and other/object. The initial stages of denial, where the self is held over
against the other/object need to be gone beyond. This is done through a giving
over of the self to the object as the mediation of self. In a similar vein and
time to Hegel, William Blake was announcing a similar project - in Blake's 
case
the account of the connections between rationality and creativity are 
explored,
a dynamic moments in the growth of the soul towards knowledge of the active
imagination. Aspects of the passive/active imagination can be found in the
Korean distinction between the tiger and the dragon - tigers react and are
therefore inherently passive - dragons pro-act and are therefore active.



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