Thursday, April 30, 2015

Part 31: (Coupling; Narcissus, and the Drepressed Academic): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 30, in which Betita Horm Pepulim (BHP) responds to  Larry Catá Backer, with a brief follow up.

Contents: HERE



(BHP) Dear Larry, no doubt you're right, here in Brazil the labor conditions and the work relationships are becoming more precarious for university lecturers. The psychological violence generated for one deteriorated context cause illness and suffering.

By which is meant, the precarious conditions and labor relations are the reality these workers. The moral violence made possible by this degraded context, has as one of its possible consequences situations sickness and suffering of this worker. Are the relationships established between these workers and the university, that give rise to practices of various types of moral violence, including bullying is a known issue, recognized and studied.

According to some Brazilian researchers, the accumulation of knowledge in the field of study of health and labor relations allow to suppose associations between health problems identified in the category of teachers and ergonomic working conditions also described in the literature.

For these researchers would be useful, study designs focusing on understanding the inadequacy between educational changes proposed and implemented, and the reality that these workers face. The contradictions perceived can be the source exposure to risk factors for the illness category of education workers.

With regard to this subject, Foucault's words fit nicely, when he says that "power is what essentially represses. It's what represses nature, instincts,and a class of individuals. "

To him people are not dominant or dominated all the time. He argues that "you need study the power out of the Leviathan model, off the field delimited by the legal sovereignty, and by the state institution; it's about analyze it from the techniques and tactics of domination. "

It was this line of thought: nobody is ever, only, dominant or dominated, which I found to this day most of the suggestions for solutions to this problem.

Here, the synthesis of some suggestions of solutions that I had access. Some research concludes what the problem of illness of the teaching worker, It requires the individual rethink, about their ability to think and meet the challenges of life. These findings say workers need to rescue the self-worth, making smart choices. For the researchers who made these research, it is a matter of self-respect, and of realize their feelings and emotions and of fight any situation that disrespects their individuality and against the lack of recognition.

Particularly, I do not think this proposal is consensus in the scientific community. I would have to research a lot to see other proposals that overrides this. Anyway, I have not read anything that combats the operating structure of the University in relation to its public. The I believe, that can be a error.


Caro Larry, sem dúvida você está certo, aqui no Brasil a precarização das condições e das relações de trabalho são a realidade de muitos trabalhadores docentes. A violência moral possibilitada por tal contexto degradado tem como uma de suas possíveis consequências situações de adoecimento e de sofrimento deste trabalhador. Pelo que se entende, são as relações estabelecidas entre estes e a Universidade que dão origem às práticas de diversos tipos de violência moral, inclusive assédio moral é um problema conhecido, reconhecido e estudado. De acordo com alguns pesquisadores brasileiros, o acúmulo de conhecimento na área de estudo da saúde e relações trabalhistas permitem supor associações entre problemas de saúde identificados na categoria dos docentes e as condições de trabalho ergonômicas também descritas na literatura.

Para esses pesquisadores, seria útil, desenhos de estudo com foco na compreensão da inadequação entre as mudanças educacionais propostas e implementadas, é a realidade que estes trabalhadores enfrentam. As contradições percebidas podem ser a fonte de exposição a fatores de risco dos trabalhadores docentes. No que tange a este assunto, as palavras de Foucault quando ele afirma que “o poder é o que essencialmente reprime. É o que reprime a natureza, os instintos, e uma classe de indivíduos.”

Para ele as pessoas não são dominantes nem dominadas o tempo todo. Ele defende que “é necessário estudar o poder fora do modelo do Leviatã, fora do campo delimitado pela soberania jurídica e pela instituição do Estado, trata-se de analisá-lo a partir das técnicas e táticas de dominação.”

Foi essa linha de pensamento: ninguém é nunca, somente, dominantes ou dominados, que encontrei até hoje a maioria das sugestões de soluções para este problema.

Aqui, a síntese de algumas das sugestões de soluções que eu tive acesso. Algumas pesquisas concluem que o problema da doença do trabalhador docente, requer a reconsideração indivíduo, sobre a sua capacidade de pensar e enfrentar os desafios da vida. Estes resultados dizem que os trabalhadores precisam resgatar a auto-estima, fazer escolhas inteligentes. Para os pesquisadores que fizeram estas pesquisas, é uma questão de auto-estima, e de perceber seus sentimentos e emoções e de lutar contra qualquer situação que desrespeita a sua individualidade e contra a falta de reconhecimento.

Particularmente, eu não acho que esta proposta é consenso na comunidade científica. Eu teria que pesquisar muito para ver outras propostas que substituem estas. Enfim, eu não li nada que combate a estrutura de funcionamento da Universidade em relação ao seu público. O que eu acredito, que pode ser um erro.

(LCB) Indeed Betita, though it should be remembered that Foucault also was concerned with the application of outside power inward--that is power by its nature in the universe Foucault described, was a sophisticated illumination of the grounding semiotic premise within the societal sphere.  That is, power was itself manifested precisely by the ways in which it projected itself inwards within the individual.

But what of power beyond the domestication of control techniques within the body of the individual? That is the question that is not asked.  And it is not asked because individuals are still concerned principally with the basic necessity of accommodating the mass individual (the aggregated other composed of the amalgamation of individuals and reflected in the norms and expectations of societal group at every possible level of aggregation--it is not for nothing that both Aristotle and Confucius were concerned with the social unit from family to state)) in order to make a life for themselves within the social sphere.  The starving person has little time for philosophy; the laborer beholden on her master has little time for the elaboration of the differentiated self--Ordem e progresso (Order and progress) as they say in Brazil.

And thus, there are certain consequences for philosophy, especially in this world in which data--the incarnation of the very foreign aggregation, the mass of individuals which projects itself into the individual--assumes, quite deceptively, a role as a neutral arbitrator of truth or reality or whatever other ideological objective it is extracted for use. The data does indeed suggest that the individual, at war with the totalizing effect of the embedded societal individual within her body, might find methods to reduce that tension, by effectively putting the differentiated individual to sleep, or hypnotizing her to conformity with the realities of the life situation in which she finds herself.  This the consensus of the scientific community is itself merely an expression of the impressions that data gives when subjected to the constraints that the borders of the realities produce.  Scientific consensus is itself the imposition of meaning on fact, the molding of the impression of signs, that are themselves a function of the vision of the interpretant--and her customs, politics, morals, etc.  Yet that scientific consensus itself becomes object, and sign, for the interpretation interpretation of politics, morals, etc. from out of which momentary consensus is crafted.

And thus the limits of therapy, as the embodiment of the politics, customs, cultures and objectives of those aggregations it must serve. Indeed one can understand therapy, and the therapeutic method, as a form of ideological medicine, disguised as a neutral approach to normality and happiness.  Indeed it may serve other ends.  Those ends are meant to advance the objectives of institutions and political orders for peace and efficiency and order--for progress-- inuring to the benefit of the mass by subsuming the entirely of the differentiated self within the body of the mass. This has become particularly apparent within the university, a subject on which I have written before, e.g., The Social Dimension of the Eugenics of Employee Benefits;   The New Eugenics--The Private Sector, the University, and Corporate Health and Wellness Initiatives. The undifferentiated self may, like young cows in the field on a late spring day, frolic among the flowers and grasses, but that frolic is mere prelude to a life, arranged for it, and appearing perfectly natural and entire, for which she is to give her milk to another. If she is lucky she will always believe that what she does is not natural and necessary, it is the entire fulfillment of a life well lived, whose direction has been autonomously assumed. If she is unlucky she will at some point see out of the corner of her cow's mind's eye the distinct shadow of her differentiated self, the briefest glimpse of a life left unexplored and unknown, uncertain and frighteningly ambiguous. That is the spectre we human cows must embrace.  Or perhaps, as Nietszche suggested, that is a path left only to a very lucky, or unlucky elite, and in secret.  

1 comment:

Betita Horn said...

Larry, I read your text about eugenics. Very good. I will read it again. You're right. All efforts are geared to accommodate the individual. Never to leave it. Your text opened some horizons for me. Thank you. After I re-read, I send a response.
PS. If I imagine that you knew both about this subject, I would have kept my mouth shut. rsrsrsrsrs