Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Heidegger

19 The Event of the World in Martin Heidegger’s Early Hermeneutical Phenomenology

Authors: Guelfo Carbone

Abstract:

The paper focuses on Heidegger’s 1919-1920 early research in order to point out his hermeneutical phenomenology of the life-world, arguing that the concept of world (Welt) is the main philosophical trigger for the phenomenology of factical life. Accordingly, the argument of the paper is twofold: First, the phenomenological hermeneutics of facticity is preceded both chronologically and philosophically by an original phenomenological investigation of the life-world, in which the world is construed as the context of the givenness of life. Second, the phenomenology of life-world anticipates the question of being (Seinsfrage), but it also follows it, once this latter is shattered, the question of world as event remaining at the very core of Heidegger’s last meditations on the dominion of technology and the post-metaphysical abode of human beings on earth.

Keywords: Heidegger, hermeneutics, life-world, phenomenology

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18 Enframing the Smart City: Utilizing Heidegger's 'The Question Concerning Technology' as a Framework to Interpret Smart Urbanism

Authors: Will Brown

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Martin Heidegger is considered to be one of the leading philosophical lights of the 20th century with his lecture/essay 'The Question Concerning Technology' proving to be an invaluable text in the study of technology and the understanding of how technology influences the world it is set upon. However, this text has not as of yet been applied to the rapid rise and proliferation of ‘smart’ cities. This article is premised upon the application of the aforementioned text and the smart city in order to provide a fresh, if not critical analysis and interpretation of this phenomena. The first section below provides a brief literature review of smart urbanism in order to lay the groundwork necessary to apply Heidegger’s work to the smart city, from which a framework is developed to interpret the infusion of digital sensing technologies and the urban milieu. This framework is comprised of four concepts put forward in Heidegger’s text: circumscribing, bringing-forth, challenging, and standing-reserve. A concluding chapter is based upon the notion of enframement, arguing that once the rubric of data collection is placed within the urban system, future systems will require the capability to harvest data, resulting in an ever-renewing smart city.

Keywords: air quality sensing, big data, Martin Heidegger, smart city

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17 Gabriel Marcel and Friedrich Nietzsche: Existence and Death of God

Authors: Paolo Scolari

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Nietzschean thought flows like a current throughout Marcel’s philosophy. Marcel is in constant dialogue with him. He wants to give homage to him, making him one of the most eminent representatives of existential thought. His enthusiasm is triggered by Nietzsche’s phrase: ‘God is dead,’ the fil rouge that ties all of the Nietzschean references scattered through marcelian texts. The death of God is the theme which emphasises both the greatness and simultaneously the tragedy of Nietzsche. Marcel wants to substitute the idea ‘God is dead’ with its original meaning: a tragic existential characteristic that imitators of Nietzsche seemed to have blurred. An interpretation that Marcel achieves aiming at double target. On the one hand he removes the heavy metaphysical suit from Nietzsche’s aphorisms on the death of God, that his interpreters have made them wear – Heidegger especially. On the other hand, he removes a stratus of trivialisation which takes the aphorisms out of context and transforms them into advertising slogans – here Sartre becomes the target. In the lecture: Nietzsche: l'homme devant la mort de dieu, Marcel hurls himself against the metaphysical Heidegger interpretation of the death of God. A hermeneutical proposal definitely original, but also a bit too abstract. An interpretation without bite, that does not grasp the tragic existential weight of the original Nietzschean idea. ‘We are probably on the wrong road,’ announces, ‘when at all costs, like Heidegger, we want to make a metaphysic out of Nietzsche.’ Marcel also criticizes Sartre. He lands in Geneva and reacts to the journalists, by saying: ‘Gentlemen, God is dead’. Marcel only needs this impromptu exclamation to understand how Sartre misinterprets the meaning of the death of God. Sartre mistakes and loses the existential sense of this idea in favour of the sensational and trivialisation of it. Marcel then wipes the slate clean from these two limited interpretations of the declaration of the death of God. This is much more than a metaphysical quarrel and not at all comparable to any advertising slogan. Behind the cry ‘God is dead’ there is the existence of an anguished man who experiences in his solitude the actual death of God. A man who has killed God with his own hands, haunted by the chill that from now on he will have to live in a completely different way. The death of God, however, is not the end. Marcel spots a new beginning at the point in which nihilism is overcome and the Übermensch is born. Dialoguing with Nietzsche he notices to being in the presence of a great spirit that has contributed to the renewal of a spiritual horizon. He descends to the most profound depths of his thought, aware that the way out is really far below, in the remotest areas of existence. The ambivalence of Nietzsche does not scare him. Rather such a thought, characterised by contradiction, will simultaneously be infinitely dangerous and infinitely healthy.

Keywords: Nietzsche's Death of God, Gabriel Marcel, Heidegger, Sartre

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16 Agency Beyond Metaphysics of Subjectivity

Authors: Erik Kuravsky

Abstract:

One of the problems with a post-structuralist account of agency is that it appears to reject the freedom of an acting subject, thus seeming to deny the very phenomenon of agency. However, this is only a problem if we think that human beings can be agents exclusively in terms of being subjects, that is, if we think agency subjectively. Indeed, we tend to understand traditional theories of human freedom (e.g., Plato’s or Kant’s) in terms of a peculiar ability of the subject. The paper suggests to de-subjectivize agency with the help of Heidegger’s later thought. To do it, ir argues that classical theories of agency may indeed be interpreted as subject-oriented (sometimes even by their authors), but do not have to be read as such. Namely, the claim is that what makes agency what it is, what is essential in agency, is not its belonginess to a subject, but its ontological configuration. We may say that agency “happens,” and that there is a very specific ontological characteristics to this happening. The argument of the paper is that we can find these characteristic in the classical accounts of agency and that these characteristics are sufficient to distinguish human freedom from other natural phenomena. In particular, it offers to think agency not as one of human characteristics, but as an ontological event in which human beings take part. Namely, agency is a (non-human) characteristic of the different modes in which the experienceable existence of beings is determined by Being. To be an agent then is to participate in such ontological determination. What enables this participation is the ways human beings non-thematically understand the ontological difference. For example, for Plato, one acts freely only if one is led by an idea of the good, while for Kant the imperative for free action is categorial. The agency of an agent is thus dependent on the differentiation between ideas/categories and beings met in experience – one is “free” from contingent sensibility in terms of what is different from it ontologically. In this light, modern dependence on subjectivity is evident in the fact that the ontological difference is thought as belonging to one’s thinking, consciousness etc. That is, it is taken subjectively. A non-subjective account of agency, on the other hand, requires thinking this difference as belonging to Being itself, and thinking human beings as a medium within which occurs the non-human force of ontological differentiation.

Keywords: Heidegger, freedom, agency, poststructuralism

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15 Approaches To Counseling As Done By Traditional Cultural Healers In North America

Authors: Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Barbara Mainguy

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We describe the type of counseling done by traditional cultural healers in North America. We follow an autoethnographic course development through the first author’s integration of mainstream training and Native-American heritage and study with traditional medicine people. We assemble traditional healing elders from North America and discuss with them their practices and their philosophies of healing. We draw parallels for their approaches in some European-based philosophies and religion, including the work of Heidegger, Levin, Fox, Kierkegaard, and others. An example of the treatment process with a depressed client is provided and similarities and differences with conventional psychotherapies are described.

Keywords: indigenous approaches to counseling, indigenous bodywork, indigenous healing, North American indigenous people

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14 Weapon-Being: Weaponized Design and Object-Oriented Ontology in Hypermodern Times

Authors: John Dimopoulos

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This proposal attempts a refabrication of Heidegger’s classic thing-being and object-being analysis in order to provide better ontological tools for understanding contemporary culture, technology, and society. In his work, Heidegger sought to understand and comment on the problem of technology in an era of rampant innovation and increased perils for society and the planet. Today we seem to be at another crossroads in this course, coming after postmodernity, during which dreams and dangers of modernity augmented with critical speculations of the post-war era take shape. The new era which we are now living in, referred to as hypermodernity by researchers in various fields such as architecture and cultural theory, is defined by the horizontal implementation of digital technologies, cybernetic networks, and mixed reality. Technology today is rapidly approaching a turning point, namely the point of no return for humanity’s supervision over its creations. The techno-scientific civilization of the 21st century creates a series of problems, progressively more difficult and complex to solve and impossible to ignore, climate change, data safety, cyber depression, and digital stress being some of the most prevalent. Humans often have no other option than to address technology-induced problems with even more technology, as in the case of neuron networks, machine learning, and AI, thus widening the gap between creating technological artifacts and understanding their broad impact and possible future development. As all technical disciplines and particularly design, become enmeshed in a matrix of digital hyper-objects, a conceptual toolbox that allows us to handle the new reality becomes more and more necessary. Weaponized design, prevalent in many fields, such as social and traditional media, urban planning, industrial design, advertising, and the internet in general, hints towards an increase in conflicts. These conflicts between tech companies, stakeholders, and users with implications in politics, work, education, and production as apparent in the cases of Amazon workers’ strikes, Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Facebook and Microsoft data scandals, and more are often non-transparent to the wide public’s eye, thus consolidating new elites and technocratic classes and making the public scene less and less democratic. The new category proposed, weapon-being, is outlined in respect to the basic function of reducing complexity, subtracting materials, actants, and parameters, not strictly in favor of a humanistic re-orientation but in a more inclusive ontology of objects and subjects. Utilizing insights of Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) and its schematization of technological objects, an outline for a radical ontology of technology is approached.

Keywords: design, hypermodernity, object-oriented ontology, weapon-being

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13 Video-Observation: A Phenomenological Research Tool for International Relation?

Authors: Andreas Aagaard Nohr

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International Relations is an academic discipline which is rarely in direct contact with its field. However, there has in recent years been a growing interest in the different agents within and beyond the state and their associated practices; yet some of the research tools with which to study them are not widely used. This paper introduces video-observation as a method for the study of IR and argues that it offers a unique way of studying the complexity of the everyday context of actors. The paper is divided into two main parts: First, the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of the kind of data that video-observation produces are discussed; primarily through a discussion of the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Second, taking simulation of a WTO negotiation round as an example, the paper discusses how the data created can be analysed: in particular with regard to the structure of events, the temporal and spatial organization of activities, rhythm and periodicity, and the concrete role of artefacts and documents. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ontological, epistemological, and practical challenges and limitations that ought to be considered if video-observation is chosen as a method within the field of IR.

Keywords: video-observation, phenomenology, international relations

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12 Being a Doctor and Being Ethical: An Existentialist's Approach to a Meaningful Doctor-Patient Relationship

Authors: Gamith Mendis

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Even though the doctors are knowledgeable, there's a gap between knowing and being ethical. This is a barrier to establish an ethical doctor-patient relationship. Current health system has oriented in a way that gives a meaning to both the doctor and the patient through intermediate entities. For the doctor, the meaning of the doctor-patient relationship is given through the financial benefits, promotions, and social status. For the patient, the meaning is given through curing of the disease. It is obvious that both are independent entities between the doctor and the patient. As the philosophers like Husserl and Heidegger have pointed out, our subjective world will give the immediate meaningfulness to us. We should seek this immediate meaningfulness of the doctor-patient relationship. The present research has used the existential methodology as guided self-reflections on the lived experiences of a doctor and his students. In this approach, two important aspects have been understood. The first is, establishing the fact that being ethical is itself giving meaningfulness to the doctor’s being without any mediate entities. Simply, it is enjoying being an honest being. The second is by being-with-the-patient while treating the disease; both the doctor and the patient can enjoy the meaningfulness of their human relationship. The medical students and the doctors should focus on this meaningfulness. For that, this discussion should be actively incorporated into the medical curriculum with programs of practical guidance to medical students and should be discussed in patient-care reviews in the health setting within a satisfactory framework.

Keywords: doctor-patient relationship, medical education, medical ethics, medical humanities, qualitative health research

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11 Nietzsche and Shakti: An Intercultural Analysis of Nietzsche's Experiment with the Eternal Feminine

Authors: Shruti Jain

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During its independence struggle in the early 20th century, India witnessed trends of politicisation of various spiritual paths, one of them being that of Shaktism. Interestingly, Nietzsche’s teachings were being interpreted as being essentially the worship of Shakti. The present paper aims at investigating this claim and hence undertakes an intercultural archaeological excavation in the realm of the Goddess archetypes that Nietzsche’s work invokes. Ariadne is placed next to Radha, Baubo to Lajja Gauri, Medusa to Chhinnamasta, Hecate to Kali and Dhumavati and Athena to Sarawati. Indeed, the Eternal Feminine plays a vital role in Nietzsche’s writings. One might recall that Nietzsche even declared himself to be the first Psychologist of the Eternal Feminine. The present paper aims to illustrate how, the matter of the Eternal Feminine, like all other matters, is subjected to Nietzsche’s basic creative principle of transvaluation of values and new meaning making. In order to achieve this, Nietzsche applies what Heidegger calls a 'cross-wise striking-through' technique in his analysis of what can be termed as his engagement with Shaktism. Hence, not only is the mystical ascent and descent of the creative energy (Kundalini Shakti) dealt with under erasure in Thus Spake Zarathustra, but coincidentally also the Three Metamorphoses emerge as an instance of such an erasure, making the Devi invisible and yet not so invisible for an Indian reader.

Keywords: eternal feminine, Nietzsche and India, Shaktism, transvaluation of values

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10 A Unified Theory of the Primary Psychological and Social Sciences

Authors: George McMillan

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This paper introduces the methodology to create a baseline equation for the philosophical and social sciences in the behavioral-political-economic-demographic sequence. The two major ideological political-economic philosophies (Hume-Smith and Marx-Engels) are systematized into competing integrated three dimensional behavioral-political-economic models. The paper argues that Hume-Smith’s empathy-sympathy behavioral assumptions are a sufficient starting point to create the integrated causal model sought by Tooby and Cosmides. The author then shows that the prerequisite advances in psychology and demographic studies now exist to generate the universal economic theory sought by von Neumann-Morgenstern and the integrated behavioral-economic method of Gintis—a psychological (i.e., behavioral) socio-economic model. By updating Hume-Smith’s work with a modern understanding of psychology, as presented by Fromm and others, a new integrated societal model as postulated by Harsanyi can be created that intertwines the social and psychological sciences. The author argues that this fundamentally psychology-based model also can serve as a baseline equation for all social sciences as desired by Kant and Mach, as well as the ahistorical (psychological) philosophic model noted by Husserl, Heidegger, Tillich, and Strauss. The author concludes with a discussion of the necessary next steps to generating a detailed model that fuses these disciplines.

Keywords: Unified Social Theory

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9 Placelessness and the Subversive Tactics of Mobility in Ernest Hemingway and Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

Authors: Ahmad Qabaha

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This paper teases out the ways in which the constructs of placelessness and mobility are articulated in modern exilic Palestinian literature and American expatriate writing. The mode of placelessness embodied by the characters of each of my two authors (expatriation in Paris Montparnasse for Hemingway's characters and involuntary exile in Europe for Jabra's) will be elicited from the orientations of their mobility. This paper argues that the proclivity of Hemingway's characters for centrifugal motion (moving away from the centre) is a strategy to increase their sense of freedom that space (expatriation), rather than place, secures. By contrast, the movement of Jabra's characters is centripetal (moving or tending to move towards the centre). It echoes his Palestinian characters' recurrent futile attempts to return to Palestine, and it expresses their resistance to the lures of exile. This paper asserts that the involuntarily exiled character (the Palestinian in this case) is a figure obsessed with and ache for a place, roots and 'a dwelling' from which he was uprooted - a place that defines his authentic existence and frames his understanding of the world in Martin Heidegger's, Simone Weil's and Gaston Bachelard's senses. In parallel, this paper explains that the expatriate character (the American in this case) views place as confining, restrictive and disagreeable, while mobility as a figure of freedom, resistance, wealth, self-fashioning and understanding/inhabiting the world. Place in this sense is associated with past, tradition, ideology, existence and being. Mobility is equivalent with modernity, progression, innovation, self-fashioning and freedom.

Keywords: American expatriate literature, exilic Palestinian literature, mobility, place, placelessness

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8 Thus Spoke the Mouth: Problematizing Dalit Voice in Selected Poems

Authors: Barnali Saha

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Dalit writing is the interventionalist voice of the dispossessed subaltern in the cultural economy of the society. As such, Dalit writing, including Dalit poetry, considers the contradictions that permeate the socio-cultural structure historically allocated and religiously sanctioned in the Indian subcontinent. As an epicenter of all Dalit experiences of trauma and violence, the poetics the Dalit body is deeply rooted in the peripheral space socially assigned to it by anachronistic caste-based litigation. An appraisal of Dalit creative-critical work by writers like Sharan Kumar Limbale, Arjun Dangle, Namdeo Dhasal, Om Prakash Valmiki, Muktibodh and others underscore the conjunction of the physical, psychical and the psychological in their interpretation of Dalit consciousness. They put forward the idea that Dalit poetry is begotten by the trauma of societal oppression and therefore, Dalit language and its revitalization are two elements obdurately linked to Dalit poetics. The present research paper seeks to read the problematization of the Dalit agency through the conduit of the Dalit voice wherein the anatomical category of the mouth is closely related to the question of Dalit identity. Theoretically aligned to Heidegger’s notion of language as the house of being and Bachelard’s assertion of a house as an ideal metaphor of poetic imagination and Dylan Trigg’s view of the coeval existence of space and body, the paper examines a series of selected poems by Dalit poetic voices to examine how their distinct Dalit point of view underscores Dalit speech and directs our attention to the historical abstraction of it. The paper further examines how speech as a category in Dalit writing places the Dalit somatic entity as a site of contestation with the ‘Mouth’ as a loaded symbolic category inspiring rebellion and resistance. And as the quintessential purpose of Dalit literature is the unleashing of Dalit voice from the anti-verbal domain of social decrepitude, Dalit poetry needs to be critically read based on the experience of the mouth and the patois.

Keywords: Dalit, poetry, speech, mouth, subaltern, minority, exploitation, space

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7 How Does Spirituality Manifest in the Lives of Jordanian Patients in End Stage Renal Failure: A Phenomenological Study

Authors: A. Tamimi, S. Greatrex-White, A. Narayanasamy

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Background: Spirituality has been increasingly acknowledged in the nursing literature as an important element of holistic patient care. To date there have been numerous studies investigating the meaning of spirituality in Western cultures. Spirituality in Middle Eastern countries however remains under-researched. We will present a study which aimed to address this gap. Aim: The study aimed to explore how spirituality manifests in the lives of Jordanian End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF) patients. Methodology and Method: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was adopted informed by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Participants (n=27) were recruited from four different dialysis units: in a public hospital, a private hospital, an educational hospital and a refugee’s hospital in Jordan. Data was collected through in-depth unstructured interviews. Data Analysis: Analysis was guided by the tenets of hermeneutic phenomenology namely: gaining immediate sense of what was said both during and after each interview, transcribing data verbatim, translating interviews into the English language, intensive reading and re-reading, seeking meaning units by line to line coding, developing situated structures (how spirituality was manifest in each text), developing a general structure from the individual situated structures (how the phenomenon ‘spirituality’ comes into being). Findings: Three major themes emerged from analysis: Religion, Relationships and Desperation. We will argue that a ‘secular’ concept of spirituality had no meaning for the participants in the study. Spirituality is fundamentally part of religion and vice versa. Discussion: The findings may have consequences for the use of spirituality in multi-cultural settings in Western countries. Additionally, findings highlighted an important emphasis on the practice of spirituality, often underestimated in previous literature for Arab-Muslim Jordanian patients. Conclusion: The study findings contribute to the existing gap in knowledge regarding how Arab-Muslim Jordanian ESRF patients experience spirituality during their illness. It provides valuable insights into the importance of spirituality for this patient group and suggests how nurses, educators and policy makers might help address ESRF patients’ spiritual needs and provide appropriate spiritual care. We suggest the findings may have relevance beyond the Jordanian context in educating nurses’ on the importance of appreciating the religious dimension of spirituality.

Keywords: spirituality, nursing, muslim, Jordan

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6 The Phenomenology in the Music of Debussy through Inspiration of Western and Oriental Culture

Authors: Yu-Shun Elisa Pong

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Music aesthetics related to phenomenology is rarely discussed and still in the ascendant while multi-dimensional discourses of philosophy were emerged to be an important trend in the 20th century. In the present study, a basic theory of phenomenology from Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) is revealed and discussed followed by the introduction of intentionality concepts, eidetic reduction, horizon, world, and inter-subjectivity issues. Further, phenomenology of music and general art was brought to attention by the introduction of Roman Ingarden’s The Work of Music and the Problems of its Identity (1933) and Mikel Dufrenne’s The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience (1953). Finally, Debussy’s music will be analyzed and discussed from the perspective of phenomenology. Phenomenology is not so much a methodology or analytics rather than a common belief. That is, as much as possible to describe in detail the different human experience, relative to the object of purpose. Such idea has been practiced in various guises for centuries, only till the early 20th century Phenomenology was better refined through the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and others. Debussy was born in an age when the Western society began to accept the multi-cultural baptism. With his unusual sensitivity to the oriental culture, Debussy has presented considerable inspiration, absorption, and echo in his music works. In fact, his relationship with nature is far from echoing the idea of Chinese ancient literati and nature. Although he is not the first composer to associate music with human and nature, the unique quality and impact of his works enable him to become a significant figure in music aesthetics. Debussy’s music tried to develop a quality analogous of nature, and more importantly, based on vivid life experience and artistic transformation to achieve the realm of pure art. Such idea that life experience comes before artwork, either clear or vague, simple or complex, was later presented abstractly in his late works is still an interesting subject worth further discussion. Debussy’s music has existed for more than or close to a century. It has received musicology researcher’s attention as much as other important works in the history of Western music. Among the pluralistic discussion about Debussy’s art and ideas, phenomenological aesthetics has enlightened new ideas and view angles to relook his great works and even gave some previous arguments legitimacy. Overall, this article provides a new insight of Debussy’s music from phenomenological exploration and it is believed phenomenology would be an important pathway in the research of the music aesthetics.

Keywords: Debussy's music, music esthetics, oriental culture, phenomenology

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5 The Audiovisual Media as a Metacritical Ludicity Gesture in the Musical-Performatic and Scenic Works of Caetano Veloso and David Bowie

Authors: Paulo Da Silva Quadros

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This work aims to point out comparative parameters between the artistic production of two exponents of the contemporary popular culture scene: Caetano Veloso (Brazil) and David Bowie (England). Both Caetano Veloso and David Bowie were pioneers in establishing an aesthetic game between various artistic expressions at the service of the music-visual scene, that is, the conceptual interconnections between several forms of aesthetic processes, such as fine arts, theatre, cinema, poetry, and literature. There are also correlations in their expressive attitudes of art, especially regarding the dialogue between the fields of art and politics (concern with respect to human rights, human dignity, racial issues, tolerance, gender issues, and sexuality, among others); the constant tension and cunning game between market, free expression and critical sense; the sophisticated, playful mechanisms of metalanguage and aesthetic metacritique. Fact is that both of them almost came to cooperate with each other in the 1970s when Caetano was in exile in England, and when both had at the same time the same music producer, who tried to bring them closer, noticing similar aesthetic qualities in both artistic works, which was later glimpsed by some music critics. Among many of the most influential issues in Caetano's and Bowie's game of artistic-aesthetic expression are, for example, the ideas advocated by the sensation of strangeness (Albert Camus), art as transcendence (Friedrich Nietzsche), the deconstruction and reconstruction of auratic reconfiguration of artistic signs (Walter Benjamin and Andy Warhol). For deepen more theoretical issues, the following authors will be used as supportive interpretative references: Hans-Georg Gadamer, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Johan Huizinga. In addition to the aesthetic meanings of Ars Ludens characteristics of the two artists, the following supporting references will be also added: the question of technique (Martin Heidegger), the logic of sense (Gilles Deleuze), art as an event and the sense of the gesture of art ( Maria Teresa Cruz), the society of spectacle (Guy Debord), Verarbeitung and Durcharbeitung (Sigmund Freud), the poetics of interpretation and the sign of relation (Cremilda Medina). The purpose of such interpretative references is to seek to understand, from a cultural reading perspective (cultural semiology), some significant elements in the dynamics of aesthetic and media interconnections of both artists, which made them as some of the most influential interlocutors in contemporary music aesthetic thought, as a playful vivid experience of life and art.

Keywords: Caetano Veloso, David Bowie, music aesthetics, symbolic playfulness, cultural reading

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4 Existential Affordances and Psychopathology: A Gibsonian Analysis of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Authors: S. Alina Wang

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A Gibsonian approach is used to understand the existential dimensions of the human ecological niche. Then, this existential-Gibsonian framework is applied to rethinking Hacking’s historical analysis of multiple personality disorder. This research culminates in a generalized account of psychiatric illness from an enactivist lens. In conclusion, reflections on the implications of this account on approaches to psychiatric treatment are mentioned. J.J. Gibson’s theory of affordances centered on affordances of sensorimotor varieties, which guide basic behaviors relative to organisms’ vital needs and physiological capacities (1979). Later theorists, notably Neisser (1988) and Rietveld (2014), expanded on the theory of affordances to account for uniquely human activities relative to the emotional, intersubjective, cultural, and narrative aspects of the human ecological niche. This research shows that these affordances are structured by what Haugeland (1998) calls existential commitments, which draws on Heidegger’s notion of dasein (1927) and Merleau-Ponty’s account of existential freedom (1945). These commitments organize the existential affordances that fill an individual’s environment and guide their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This system of a priori existential commitments and a posteriori affordances is called existential enactivism. For humans, affordances do not only elicit motor responses and appear as objects with instrumental significance. Affordances also, and possibly primarily, determine so-called affective and cognitive activities and structure the wide range of kinds (e.g., instrumental, aesthetic, ethical) of significances of objects found in the world. Then existential enactivism is applied to understanding the psychiatric phenomenon of multiple personality disorder (precursor of the current diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder). A reinterpretation of Hacking’s (1998) insights into the history of this particular disorder and his generalizations on the constructed nature of most psychiatric illness is taken on. Enactivist approaches sensitive to existential phenomenology can provide a deeper understanding of these matters. Conceptualizing psychiatric illness as strictly a disorder in the head (whether parsed as a disorder of brain chemicals or meaning-making capacities encoded in psychological modules) is incomplete. Rather, psychiatric illness must also be understood as a disorder in the world, or in the interconnected networks of existential affordances that regulate one’s emotional, intersubjective, and narrative capacities. All of this suggests that an adequate account of psychiatric illness must involve (1) the affordances that are the sources of existential hindrance, (2) the existential commitments structuring these affordances, and (3) the conditions of these existential commitments. Approaches to treatment of psychiatric illness would be more effective by centering on the interruption of normalized behaviors corresponding to affordances targeted as sources of hindrance, the development of new existential commitments, and the practice of new behaviors that erect affordances relative to these reformed commitments.

Keywords: affordance, enaction, phenomenology, psychiatry, psychopathology

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3 Sustainable Living Where the Immaterial Matters

Authors: Maria Hadjisoteriou, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

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This paper aims to explore and provoke a debate, through the work of the design studio, “living where the immaterial matters” of the architecture department of the University of Nicosia, on the role that the “immaterial matter” can play in enhancing innovative sustainable architecture and viewing the cities as sustainable organisms that always grow and alter. The blurring, juxtaposing binary of immaterial and matter, as the theoretical backbone of the Unit is counterbalanced by the practicalities of the contested sites of the last divided capital Nicosia with its ambiguous green line and the ghost city of Famagusta in the island of Cyprus. Jonathan Hill argues that the ‘immaterial is as important to architecture as the material concluding that ‘Immaterial–Material’ weaves the two together, so that they are in conjunction not opposition’. This understanding of the relationship of the immaterial vs material set the premises and the departing point of our argument, and talks about new recipes for creating hybrid public space that can lead to the unpredictability of a complex and interactive, sustainable city. We hierarchized the human experience as a priority. We distinguish the notion of space and place referring to Heidegger’s ‘building dwelling thinking’: ‘a distinction between space and place, where spaces gain authority not from ‘space’ appreciated mathematically but ‘place’ appreciated through human experience’. Following the above, architecture and the city are seen as one organism. The notions of boundaries, porous borders, fluidity, mobility, and spaces of flows are the lenses of the investigation of the unit’s methodology, leading to the notion of a new hybrid urban environment, where the main constituent elements are in a flux relationship. The material and the immaterial flows of the town are seen interrelated and interwoven with the material buildings and their immaterial contents, yielding to new sustainable human built environments. The above premises consequently led to choices of controversial sites. Indisputably a provoking site was the ghost town of Famagusta where the time froze back in 1974. Inspired by the fact that the nature took over the a literally dormant, decaying city, a sustainable rebirthing was seen as an opportunity where both nature and built environment, material and immaterial are interwoven in a new emergent urban environment. Similarly, we saw the dividing ‘green line’ of Nicosia completely failing to prevent the trespassing of images, sounds and whispers, smells and symbols that define the two prevailing cultures and becoming a porous creative entity which tends to start reuniting instead of separating , generating sustainable cultures and built environments. The authors would like to contribute to the debate by introducing a question about a new recipe of cooking the built environment. Can we talk about a new ‘urban recipe’: ‘cooking architecture and city’ to deliver an ever changing urban sustainable organism, whose identity will mainly depend on the interrelationship of the immaterial and material constituents?

Keywords: blurring zones, porous borders, spaces of flow, urban recipe

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2 Courtyard Evolution in Contemporary Sustainable Living

Authors: Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The paper will focus on the strategic development deriving from the evolution of the traditional courtyard spatial organization towards a new, contemporary sustainable way of living. New sustainable approaches that engulf the social issues, the notion of place, the understanding of weather architecture blended together with the bioclimatic behaviour will be seen through a series of experimental case studies in the island of Cyprus, inspired and originated from its traditional wisdom, ranging from small scale of living to urban interventions. Weather and nature will be seen as co-architectural authors with architects as intelligently claimed by Jonathan Hill in his Weather Architecture discourse. Furthermore, following Pallasmaa’s understanding, the building will be seen not as an end itself and the elements of an architectural experience as having a verb form rather than being nouns. This will further enhance the notion of merging the subject-human and the object-building as discussed by Julio Bermudez. This eventually will enable to generate the discussion of the understanding of the building constructed according to the specifics of place and inhabitants, shaped by its physical and human topography as referred by Adam Sharr in relation to Heidegger’s thinking. The specificities of the divided island and the dealing with sites that are in vicinity with the diving Green Line will further trigger explorations dealing with the regeneration issues and the social sustainability offering unprecedented opportunities for innovative sustainable ways of living. The above premises will lead us to develop innovative strategies for a profound, both technical and social sustainability, which fruitfully yields to innovative living built environments, responding to the ever changing environmental and social needs. As a starting point, a case study in Kaimakli in Nicosia a refurbishment with an extension of a traditional house, already engulfs all the traditional/ vernacular wisdom of the bioclimatic architecture. It aims at capturing not only its direct and quite obvious bioclimatic features, but rather to evolve them by adjusting the whole house in a contemporary living environment. In order to succeed this, evolutions of traditional architectural elements and spatial conditions are integrated in a way that does not only respond to some certain weather conditions, but they integrate and blend the weather within the built environment. A series of innovations aiming at maximum flexibility is proposed. The house can finally be transformed into a winter enclosure, while for the most part of the year it turns into a ‘camping’ living environment. Parallel to experimental interventions in existing traditional units, we will proceed examining the implementation of the same developed methodology in designing living units and complexes. Malleable courtyard organizations that attempt to blend the traditional wisdom with the contemporary needs for living, the weather and nature with the built environment will be seen tested in both horizontal and vertical developments. A new social identity of people, directly involved and interacting with the weather and climatic conditions will be seen as the result of balancing the social with the technological sustainability, the immaterial and the material aspects of the built environment.

Keywords: building as a verb, contemporary living, traditional bioclimatic wisdom, weather architecture

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1 The Practices Perspective in Communication, Consumer and Cultural Studies: A Post-Heideggerian Narrative

Authors: Tony Wilson

Abstract:

This paper sets out a practices perspective or practices theory, which has become pervasive from business to sociological studies. In doing so, it locates the perspective historically (in the work of the philosopher Heidegger) and provides a contemporary illustration of its application to communication, consumer and cultural studies as central to this conference theme. The structured account of practices (as articulated in eight ‘axioms’) presented towards the conclusion of this paper is an initial statement - planned to encourage further detailed qualitative and systematic research in areas of interest to the conference. Practice theories of equipped and situated construction of participatory meaning (as in media and marketing consuming) are frequently characterized as lacking common ground, or core principles. This paper explores whether by retracing a journey to earlier philosophical underwriting, a shared territory promoting new research can be located as current philosophical hermeneutics. Moreover, through returning to hermeneutic first principles, the paper shows that a series of spatio-temporal metaphors become available - appropriate to analyzing communication as a process across disciplines in which it is considered. Thus one can argue, for instance, that media users engage (enter) digital text from their diverse ‘horizons of expectation’, in a productive enlarging ‘fusion’ of horizons of understanding, thereby ‘projecting’ a new narrative, integrated in a ‘hermeneutic circle’ of meaning. A politics of communication studies may contest a horizon of understanding - so engaging in critical ‘distancing’. Marketing’s consumers can occupy particular places on a horizon of understanding. Media users pass over borders of changing, revised perspectives. Practices research can now not only be discerned in multiple disciplines but equally crosses disciplines. The ubiquitous practice of media use by managers and visitors in a shopping mall - the mediatization of malls - responds to investigating not just with media study expertise, but from an interpretive marketing perspective. How have mediated identities of person or place been changed? Emphasizing understanding of entities in a material environment as ‘equipment’, practices theory enables the quantitative correlation of use and demographic variable as ‘Zeug Score’. Human behavior is fundamentally habitual - shaped by its tacit assumptions - occasionally interrupted by reflection. Practices theory acknowledges such action to be minimally monitored yet nonetheless considers it as constructing narrative. Thus presented in research, ‘storied’ behavior can then be seen to be (in)formed and shaped from a shifting hierarchy of ‘horizons’ or of perspectives - from habituated to reflective - rather than a single seamless narrative. Taking a communication practices perspective here avoids conflating tacit, transformative and theoretical understanding in research. In short, a historically grounded and unifying statement of contemporary practices theory will enhance its potential as a tool in communication, consumer and cultural research, landscaping interpretative horizons of human behaviour through exploring widely the culturally (in)formed narratives equipping and incorporated (reflectively, unreflectively) in people’s everyday lives.

Keywords: communication, consumer, cultural practices, hermeneutics

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