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PHD-DESIGN  October 2007

PHD-DESIGN October 2007

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Subject:

Re: Disciplines, Fuss, etc.

From:

Keith Russell <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Keith Russell <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 1 Oct 2007 09:12:17 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (78 lines)

Dear Johann

Me fears I have been well disciplined by your challenge?

The approach taken by Socrates in the Meno can be seen as
anti-discipline and/or as the discipline of anti-discipline.

The Zeno paradoxes are only slightly different to the Zen koans. The
paradoxes accumulate attempted answers and alternative hypotheses as if
the answer could not be formulated; the koans accumulated commentary as
if the answers don't exist but answering does.

Both these methods are disciplines. The discipline of using a flat file
to make a key for a key way has some of the cognitive and psychological
and experiential features of paradoxes and koans. It can have a
successful outcome in terms of skill-as-knowledge. To deny a student
access to such skill-as-knowledge would seem to be perverse?

the real football is now over so back to less serious things

cheers

keith

>>> Johann van der Merwe <[log in to unmask]> 09/30/07 9:49 PM >>>
To all
This, from Keith, I simply cannot allow to pass unchallenged = According
to Plato (writing on behalf of the supposed Socrates), the words were:
"Do you observe, Meno, that I am not teaching the boy anything, but only
asking him questions?" - which to me means asking transformational
questions, while "the boy" is kept looking at the context of the
problem-based environment, NOT the so-called context of the non-existing
"discipline", and NOT kept looking at "the master" of the discipline who
has all the answers. That is exactly the point of Plato's dialogue with
the wilful Meno. Your example is somewhat unfortunate - as my own
students will testify - students are not keys to fit a lock, but
"unlockers" of any key-like (very "wicked") real world problems,
something they cannot achieve by being programmed with pre-digested
"knowledge" (another of my pet hates = "knowledge" in the
world-out-there does not exist, merely a surfeit of information).
I quite agree with the idea backing your view of theory (vey much like
ethics, which cannot be addressed directly). Students of design cannot
and must not be "shown" anything at all (and I for one flatly refuse to
"discipline" anyone) - they are quite capable of "seeing" for themselves
- once they have been shown the various and possible ways of seeing
(Klauss) that exist at the moment ... and what "shows itself" when using
theory as a way of seeing is the knowing structure of the
student/designer - NOT the enabling structure of the disciplne (which is
non-existent, information being no substitute for individual (unknowable
to others) knowledge).
Johann
Nog eenmaal 'n klip in die bos

Plato.  Meno.  Benjamin Jowett, translator.  URL: 
<www3.eu.spiritweb.org/Plato/Meno/part-01.html>

>>> Keith Russell <[log in to unmask]> 09/30/07 8:17 AM >>>
Dear Klaus and Terry,

The point I would make about discipline as the ground of
skill-as-knowledge is: a particular skill cannot be acquired without
discipline - that is, persistent practice, with formative advice, feed
back and encouragement. My example might be, the use of a flat file to
make a key fit a key-way.

In this respect, discipline (skill-as-knowledge) is like theory - theory
is the showing of that which does not show itself (theorem versus
maxum). The slave in Plato's Meno needs to be shown - to be disciplined.

All the other negatives come about through the abuse of power in the
unequal relationship of teacher/learner.

the ARL final will start in a few hours. I am practicing patience as
part of my discipline.

cheers

keith

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