8th Annual Qualitative/Critical Methods Conference - Critical Methods Society


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Something for nothing
  Paper presented at the 8th Annual Qualitative Methods Conference: "Something for nothing"
1 May to 30 September 2002 (http://criticalmethods.org/p126.mv)
The divorce of a love affair that lasted more than a hundred years
Vasi van Deventer

Contact e-mail: vdevesh@unisa.ac.za
Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of South Africa




In a recent lecture at Unisa the philosopher Fanie de Beer remarked that we are still too much in love with our own identities. The image we project of ourselves in the mirrors of philosophy and psychology still shows us as an intact identity, as a thing that has substance, a thing that has a self, a subject that looks out at the world in which it has a certain locus and a sure foundation of existence, a self we can gather in our own arms and hold and love till death do us part in body and in soul. But this love affair with our own identities runs against the entire project of the 20th century. For at least a hundred years psychology, mathematics, physics, philosophy and economics have been raising voices in resistence to this narcissistic love affair. The impossibility of objectification and the lack at the heart of identity have been a major theme throughout the nineteen-hundreds. Yet, despite these cracks and in the face of the inevitable we have chosen to maintain the pretense of the happy union in our identity.

The aim of this paper is to describe the divorce of this love affair. We have to give up the pretense of our union. We have to recognise the lack that exists at the heart of our existence. We have to accept a separation, and move on into a very different world.

The full-length paper starts here. Successive drafts can be pasted in, edited online or e-mailed to papers@criticalmethods.org to be placed here.
 
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Name
14 Aug 2002 - As the motion(being) of a wheel(selfhood) is defined in relation to its axis(self) and the road/path(society/culture), perhaps self is the still point at the centre of movement, redefined moment by moment by its motion in relation to its environment/culture. Perhaps self is the synergism of experience at any particular fraction in time, a fixed point continually moving.

Switches in conception and perception, perhaps, creates the illusion of a lack of a true centre or identity when in "fact" it's only the circle(conceptualisations of reality) broadening. Positivism is at the heart of an attempt to "anchor" the radius of this circle - an attempt to freeze the iris. Self being thus, the "willing" agent at the heart of the iris.

Maybe the "happy union in our identity" is the inevitable result of the nature of our own(human) intelligence, and the seeming lack thereof just one "take on the spin"….at the centre(axis) of which we return to the self…the still point…eternally moving…
- St. Duffer
13 Aug 2002 - Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

The Matrix

5 Aug 2002 - 'Romancing the self' to the tune of 'I will survive' .... - Lizbé