m of care – aug 5

on in/out of other’s bodies.. by maurice bloch

following m of care – jul 15 – on beyond the monastic self

5 August, 2021 – ‘Going in and out of each other’s bodies’ by Maurice Bloch (available here). Facilitator(s) for this session: Steven.


notes/quotes from meeting:

michael reinsborough: talking about anti uni happening once/yr.. https://antiuniversity.org/

steven: this piece helped inspire david to write beyond the monastic self.. where he challenges this false premise of individuation.. question maruice trying to ask.. where does individual begin/end.. via science..

vassily: the idea that society is more than its constituent parts put forth by durkheim.. bloch burn in france but studied in uk.. london school of econ.. he met w marcel mauss when he was small.. but not that much influence on him.. he was interested in anthro.. but has anthro heavily engrained in science.. did phd at cambridge.. also interested in nature of the states.. against colonialism.. did most of his fieldwork in madagascar.. one of similarities w david.. so david quoted his book a lot.. and criticized him a lot.. ie: last chapter of value.. basically saying bloch had it wrong and didn’t see magic because he was a marxist..

durkheim: father of social science.. bhaskar: father of critical realism – philosophy of social sciences

theory of value

steve: starts w premise of indeterminacy.. humans don’t end at the skin.. so conclusion .. that humans go in and out of each other’s bodies.. literally in sex and birth.. but via science.. not just bio.. but nervous system as well.. humans strive to adjust minds to be in harmony of minds of others.. he calls this desire a shared intentionality

maté trump law.. i think that’s more whalespeak

steve: on how infants as they develop become more capable of what others are thinking.. imagine their intentionality..

yeah.. i think that’s whalespeak.. from scrambled ness

steve: neuronal org.. a distributed cognition not by skin.. so children assume everyone knows what they know.. but.. if do a false belief task.. ie: candy under hat

whalespeak.. experimenting in sea world.. on whales.. with already decided assumptions of how legit free people are/act/respond.. et al.. to things that only happen in sea world..

steve: using this ie in madagascar to say that people there have similar mind as people in advance capitalist world.. so.. if we share this.. theory of mind.. that becomes first step in human communication.. that this is necessary


steve: i’ve read into theory of mind.. because my son has spectrum of autism..

higashida autism law

steve: so i can’t decide if he’s saying theory of mind is what distinguishes.. or if it’s a continuum.. that it’s not have/don’t-have it.. but just on diff degrees.. i really like the theory of mind being this essential step to communication.. but how does this account for people on the autism spectrum.. where theory of mind doesn’t develop in these ways..

this is huge.. the reason i jump (film).. i think we’re missing the realm of communication between legit free people..

i think that people w autism are born outside the regime of civilization. i think that as a result of all the killings in the world and the selfish planet wrecking .. a deep sense of crisis exists.. autism has somehow arisen out of this..  we are like travelers from the distant past.. and if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the earth.. that would give us a quiet pleasure..

not yet scrambled ness

steve: p 295..ideologies of individualism.. sees individualism and interconnectedness things that happen to us.. thru material processes.. so an empirical phenom.. so occurring even if mystifying properties..

see .. i think they are ingrained in us.. and the material processes block them..

mark: something unnatural would be something we’d have to work towards.. might be one that resists individualization.. i don’t know

zinaida: i think humans influence everything else the way evolution happens.. so because of that i don’t understand what is more natural.. if we think there is an authentic nature somewhere w authentic human species..

matt: i would think of individualization as a construct.. maybe other constructs lay over legit human nature better.. i would argue that true/false/unknown is more reflective of natural .. what does it look like if not in the construct.. what is that communal collectivist construct look like in practice

nika: for me.. this new book of david’s is about new settings.. that could be very diff.. one of freedom.. that our belief that we can change them ourself.. which we desire.. et al.. but back to the betweens.. bio and this freedom of making decision of social design.. that we find more attractive/just and want to construct ourselves..

nika: do you think there’s a real diff between greek – with heroes/gods.. and indigenous.. are they contradictory ideas of social ideas that cannot be combined.. or not

zinaida: individual in greek culture changed frequently..

robin: if i were looking at greeks i’d want to look at early greeks.. may be more than one answer..

michael: also period that western civ traces back to on defining how we are individuals in some way.. that this in/out ness is attempting to undo

michael: to steve on theory of mind.. and the qualities of that.. ie: autism.. not that they don’t have a theory of mind.. just not sophisticated in a particular way.. just because certain people have clear skills/emotions.. by thinking about theory of mind as qualities of it.. then can be more specific about this.. idea is that someone else is someone else.. but you can have theory of minds that don’t see us diff in diff ways.. what happens if there is somewhere in between..

michael: i was quite interested on what steve was saying about p 295.. what is the argument here about durkheim’s collective self and solidarity.. that a lot of modern psych has moved away from.. ie: d’s book on suicide is the paradigm for modern psych/sociology.. i was just grown up with ‘durkhiem bad’.. so i was interested where free will and choice fits into these

vasilly: i would be interested to see what david says about that.. he doesn’t use durkheim much in his work.. many criticized him.. the way we read david now is thru these people.. it would be interesting to see what david had to say about that.. david wrote more about mauss..

nika: michael .. can i ask again on the greeks.. david was very suspicious about police, policy, politeness of same group.. and thinking citizen of public was questionable..

yeah.. that.. jensen civilization law et al

michael: to me i see it as the monastic self type or patriarchal hero type philosophy of being more.. i don’t have to care about other people.. so my theory of mind is affected by that.. doesn’t mean i don’t think others have diff minds..

vassily: nika are you referencing.. david has a paper.. about creative refusal.. this is a key idea.. most don’t live in isolation.. he brings this concept.. gregory bateson.. i think this is a key idea.. i think we should get rid of idea that we can live in isolation.. what is individual.. brain? or brain plus smart phone? when you start saying we are corporate individuals.. makes sense to talk about a connection between two minds.. i think really keen is to not look at individuals as separate..

gregory batesonschismogenesis

david on creative refusal

robin: i have autistic daughter.. i think i’m on spectrum.. i think discussions about autism are more interesting when autistics are involved.. go better when people aren’t othering.. the more you talk to them the more you realize how diverse it is.. not set characteristics.. because so many maths people have it..

i think we all have it.. diff degrees..

robin: detatchment when saying most of these things .. because ridiculed..

chappelle awake law

being ‘awake’ isn’t cool.. it means having to dumb down 98% of your conversations every day so you don’t sound like a lunatic. – Dave Chappelle

most awake – higashida autism law – et al

steve: on way he begins article.. that ‘i’m imposing my assumptions on all these people.. ‘

michael: something in world we share.. but can’t interpret.. completely.. like describing elephant metaphor.. and those interps actually change the elephant.. one kills them et al.. all this to objective science.. saying i did an experiment and this is the truth.. there’s got to be an in between.. thinking it’s the conversation..

maté basic needs – gets us deep enough to 2 things we all grok

robin: i think objectivity is a cluster of shared subjectivity..

michael: yeah.. to point that people think only objectivity is there’s and then they pose that

whalespeak.. science ness.. et al

zinaida: on ideas acquiring power..

i see that as whalespeak.. wrong focus..

steve: on 297.. bloch acknowledging his similarities to durkheim.. for block the critical distinction is the causation.. what is causing people to create a culture.. he says d’s is from religious and his is rational

nika: that’s a fundamental question of how society is constructed..

steve: yeah i think that’s the crux of david’s work.. we shouldn’t use individual/society as opposites.. but also not as one and the same .. ie: coral reef.. all of it’s coral.. but

networked individualism ness..

mark: i’d like to ask what people thought of bloch’s idea of trust.. ‘i trust other parts of my mind ..’.. where i think he was getting closer to religious side.. again.. with other people.. whenever we’re thinking together i think we are trusting each other

vassily: i think he goes back to important theme of solidarity.. two kinds: 1\ organic 2\ division of labor.. diff people doing small tasks and creating some kind of intell.. i think david is making an argument against that in his last book w wengrow.. more an everyday solidarity..

sounds like undisturbed ecosystem.. sans the intellect ness

z: also think on our incompleteness.. so can rely/trust on others to reach this complete understanding

this complete ness – not yet scrambled ness.. back to the children.. and perhaps if we were all free.. we’d be thinking more the same.. or rather even.. not enough diff to be relevant.. at least not enough diff to be hashing it out like we always spend our days doing..

shaw communication law et al

vassily: i wonder how much bloch influenced david’s work.. amazed at how many diff influences he had.. i wonder if he’s going from bloch.. because bloch is also founder of cog anthro.. uses social psych experiments.. david does that as well.. ie: theory of value.. he replied to them in a paper explaining main idea: using stanford experiment.. i just find it interesting how social psych is so important/present in his work

stanford prison experiment

mark shared quote in chat: “Recourse to ritual is ….to be understood not only as awareness of neural interpenetration, a submission to other minds, but also as a celebration of such awareness.”

to me.. that celebration of such awareness .. is what extreme autistics and not yet scrambled children are swimming in .. and unable to communicate that in whalespeak.. with all of the rest of us whales

vassily: one last comment about text.. in intro.. republished but don’t say why..

nika: next session week after next..

vassily: so maybe bhaskar in form of public lecture..

nika: i’d like to look into this article about creative refusal by david

nika: on david being happy to have david w.. to back up what he’s saying.. i’m sure it will be total victory

vassily: then on 29.. those in milan are going to do reading group on mitra

michael: i could research bhaskar’s critical realism if there’s no one else to do it and we want to go there..

nika: i think we can org dialogue w bhaskar person.. and maybe michael you can facil with him.. maybe in november..

nika: it’s much more comfortable for me to be in smaller group.. reading smaller amounts.. 10-15 pages.

steve: i like idea of reading creative refusal piece.. will help us get a sense of how bhaskar fits in with critical realism.. in new d&d book.. stuck in c because thinking tech is an independent variable.. what they argue is that people can creatively refuse techs.. and wengrows work shows this.. because of impacts would have on society.. when i was trained in history when everything was resistance.. i would love to think thru resistance and creative refusal.. i think it means something diff than just resistance.. so 19th creative refusal..

david on creative refusal




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