The desire to learn vs. the desire for recognition

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Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 02:14 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;133463 wrote:

Mutual recognition also seems to be a step towards a more objective understanding.


Yes, indeed. I agree. And isn't the objective largely a product of the "transcendental"? It's as if the corners of a pyramid meet at its peak. Perhaps we are all going to the same place but do not know it till we get there?
 
William
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 03:49 am
@Deckard,
Absolutely great thread Deckard and thank you so much. The one place selfishness is acceptable is the desire to help others and the reward that offers to self. It is our innate knowing that we are responsible for passing on to another who will set the stage for us.................again. There is joy in that offering and it has many levels. Mentor protege, journeyman/apprentice, parent/child. Where we get twisted up is professional/amateur and compensation and how good/better/best creates envy and animosity in our judgment and how we grade human beings on their ability to learn. If they do not fall into a set of preexisting parameters indifferent to what each has innately in their being, we grade them poorly even though they may have other attributes that are more valuable than knowledge alone. No one is useless. That is a word that shouldn't exist as it relates to being human. If we so recognize, cognition arrives to each and every one of us in our continuum and allows us to resume in that continuum as we continue to fill out our resume'. Ha!

William
 
awareness
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 06:06 pm
@Deckard,
How can you learn if you do not recognize first?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2010 01:47 am
@awareness,
awareness;137335 wrote:
How can you learn if you do not recognize first?

The op is about the desire for recognition as being learned (smart, clever, wise) and not the ability to recognize what is to be learned.

However, your question could be rephrased and maybe this is what you meant: How can you learn if you do not recognize a teacher when you find one? And also how can you teach if you are never recognized as a teacher?

Personally, I have perhaps a too healthy (and thus unhealthy) distrust of authority figures and consequently of being someone with authority. I've been fooled too many times by teachers who turned out to be cons or fools and perhaps also failed too many times when the role of teacher fell to me. The cure for the former is called trust and critical thinking. The cure for the later is called courage and preparedness. But maybe someone has a better answer.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2010 06:14 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;133028 wrote:
I don't always have the discipline to read through all the posts on a thread because the original post inspires some response that I want to voice right away. I think this is my desire for recognition surfacing and trumping my desire to...well um...it is what it is...my desire learn. Now when a thread is extremely long then this is excusable but with shorter threads I don't think it is. So I'm calling myself out on this.

Anyway, this does bring up an interesting conflict...the conflict between the desire to learn and the desire for recognition. I think that the desire to learn is a desire of the higher order and the desire for recognition is of a relatively lower order. I think this conflict arises quite often especially in an environment such as a forum and also the environment of the classroom and edifying conversations in general.

Thoughts?

Any one who desires to learn, and puts their back and shoulders into it deserves all the recognition they receive...

So few can do it, and so few have the desire, and fewer still have the will that recognition is in order...And why do we relate??? Every form, as a form of relationship is about realization and recognition...Each form gets us closer to the goal of survival, but we need on a regular basis the recognition of the relationship, which is a living reminder that we yet exist, and are some body to some one...I love to call folks by their first name at the Y...And I love it when they call me...I get closer to survival, and feel I am already there...
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:28 am
@Fido,
Fido;138029 wrote:
Any one who desires to learn, and puts their back and shoulders into it deserves all the recognition they receive...

So few can do it, and so few have the desire, and fewer still have the will that recognition is in order...And why do we relate??? Every form, as a form of relationship is about realization and recognition...Each form gets us closer to the goal of survival, but we need on a regular basis the recognition of the relationship, which is a living reminder that we yet exist, and are some body to some one...I love to call folks by their first name at the Y...And I love it when they call me...I get closer to survival, and feel I am already there...


I do agree. I'm trying to put my finger on the difference between being recognized as learned and the learning itself. The two are separate in an important way. What is it? Learning is experienced subjectively and the fact of being recognized is stretches into the objective realm. I'm having trouble articulating it. In an ideal world the two experiences 1) being learned and 2)being recognized as learned would be inseparable.

The disconnect arises when some are recognized who don't deserve to be recognized and when some who deserve recognition do not receive it. But then you can learn incorrectly (is this still learning). Recognition of others offers that confirmation that one in fact knows something. Sometimes the confirmation is an illusion.


In seeking demanding and even gaining recognition of others rather than learning we can delude ourselves into believing that we know more than we do - Imagine a tyrant who demands all his subjects to recognize him as a great genius... but without the confirmation that recognition offers we are left more uncertain about our knowledge - imagine a slave who is in fact a genius but is never recognized as such.

Hey, that's interesting, I just realized that [being recognized as learned/actual learning] is very similar to Foucault's [Power/Knowledge]. Foucault would say that they are inseparable - two sides of the same coin - even in this less than ideal world.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 05:05 am
@Deckard,
I would hold with Sacrates that knowledge is virtue...It is not power, unless that power is self control...To use a well known example, its is one thing to have a considerable amount of knowledge as was accumulated in the quest for the nuclear bomb, but to put such knowledge as soon into the hands of people who are mere political creatures having no sense of time, purpose, meaning, or understanding was criminal...It did not make the Tellers or the Oppenheimers of the world more powerful, but less so and the common man as well... Technology led us out of cannibalism and into slavery, and there progress has been eternally halted...The only power knowledge should give is self control, and having that a person can give justice to all, and be fit for democracy...The people of Athens were right to convict Socrates, because he was wrong to the extent that he thought morals could be taught...The immoral are better left untaught, and that one who teaches them should suffer Hemlock..
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 06:56 am
@Fido,
Deckard;138541 wrote:
Hey, that's interesting, I just realized that [being recognized as learned/actual learning] is very similar to Foucault's [Power/Knowledge]. Foucault would say that they are inseparable - two sides of the same coin - even in this less than ideal world.
More on that? I think that intellectual arrogance is part of learning. A person who starts out thinking they're stupid is apt to become an under-achiever. An arrogant moron will soak up whatever is available because he doesn't realize he's not supposed to be able to do that. He becomes an over-achiever, maybe. Arrogance is like a sail on a boat. Does that go with what Foucault said?

Fido;138569 wrote:
The immoral are better left untaught, and that one who teaches them should suffer Hemlock..
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing?
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 07:17 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;138581 wrote:
More on that? I think that intellectual arrogance is part of learning. A person who starts out thinking they're stupid is apt to become an under-achiever. An arrogant moron will soak up whatever is available because he doesn't realize he's not supposed to be able to do that. He becomes an over-achiever, maybe. Arrogance is like a sail on a boat. Does that go with what Foucault said?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing?

A little knowledge is the best any of us can manage, which isn't bad so long as we realize that is all we will ever have, and use what we have with a great caution... Ignorance dressed as knowledge is faith, and it may move mountains, and over the mass of humanity...The object of knowledge is not to do, but to do well, or as little as possible...First, do no harm...It is not just good medicine, but good advice...
 
JPhil
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 09:10 am
@Deckard,
The desire to learn is higher than of recognition. When a person wants to learn that is really the person wants, rather than trying to please someone. This is the real difference between someone who is real or fake. Think about it: in a social setting when friends are conversating, are they learning or are they wanting to be recognized just to stay in the group. As I said a real person would be learning during the conversation but a fake person would be speaking what their friends want to hear rather than something of their own.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:53 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;138581 wrote:
I think that intellectual arrogance is part of learning. A person who starts out thinking they're stupid is apt to become an under-achiever.

Arrogance is at least a recognition of the divine, albeit in an imperfect, narcissistic form, so consumed by its own reflection that it fails either to reflect or transmit, and, blinded by what it supposes to be its own light, ironically cannot even recognise itself. (I speak as one who knows!)
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:21 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;138581 wrote:
More on that? I think that intellectual arrogance is part of learning. A person who starts out thinking they're stupid is apt to become an under-achiever. An arrogant moron will soak up whatever is available because he doesn't realize he's not supposed to be able to do that. He becomes an over-achiever, maybe. Arrogance is like a sail on a boat. Does that go with what Foucault said?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing?


There are several different Foucaults - he reinvented himself several times and tried to keep his philosophy and himself ambiguous and undefined perhaps in an attempt to escape the grip of Power/Knowledge. But Foucault is consistent in that he doesn't really offer any hope for resistance to Power/Knowledge unless that hope lies in what he does not say. Unfortunately, he said a lot and it is very dry, boring reading.

At first, Foucault's doctrine of social construction seems to be a useful tool for founding resistance; however, social construction can be applied to everything including more desirable constructs like the individual, love, and hope. We consider ourselves individuals only because Power/Knowledge makes us consider ourselves to be individuals. We love because Power/knowledge makes us love. We only hope for that which Power/knowledge makes us hope for. We resist only because Power/knowledge makes us resist. And what Power/Knowledge giveth it can also taketh away.

I think the movie Network says something about Power/Knowledge. TV being the tool not so much of the corptocracy as it is a tool for Power/Knowledge. Howard Beale wakes up, or tries to wake up, and tries to wake up everyone else, he tries to start a resistance but then he sees "the face of god" and is crushed by [Power/Knowledge]. Beale realizes that resistance is futile and it was resistance itself that brought him to the thrown of power/knowledge. So Beale's speech at the end of the film incorporates his new understanding "It's the individual that's finished." Since the concept of the individual is socially constructed, it too can be destroyed. Power/Knowledge no longer has any use for the individual. Power/Knowledge created the individual in the first place. In the end Power/Knowledge incorporated Beale's resistance into more Power/Knowledge.

I get the same depressing feeling from Foucault's (more or less) final conclusions as I get from Beale's final speech.

I've been indulging in a fair amount of unavoidable anthropomorphosism here but power/knowledge is really an impersonal, inhuman, mindless, centerless force or at least that's what power/knowledge is making me describe it here.

That said, an image comes to mind of Foucault's Power/Knowledge manifesting on this plane as some horrible Lovecraftian god, older than time, covered with a billions of tentacles and billion of eyes. Each tentacle has a puppet string attached to it and there is a human being flopping around at the end of each of these puppet strings.

But there are more than a few philosophers who disagree with Foucault's final conclusions but I am even less prepared to speak on them than I am to speak on Foucault. There may be hope in Habermas but don't have enough power/knowledge to say anything coherent about him at the moment.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:48 pm
@Deckard,
Quote:
That said, an image comes to mind of Foucault's Power/Knowledge manifesting on this plane as some horrible Lovecraftian god, older than time, covered with a billions of tentacles and billion of eyes. Each tentacle has a puppet string attached to it and there is a human being flopping around at the end of each of these puppet strings.
Welcome to my world. Smile
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:51 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138686 wrote:
There are several different Foucaults - he reinvented himself several times and tried to keep his philosophy and himself ambiguous and undefined perhaps in an attempt to escape the grip of Power/Knowledge. But Foucault is consistent in that he doesn't really offer any hope for resistance to Power/Knowledge unless that hope lies in what he does not say. Unfortunately, he said a lot and it is very dry, boring reading.

At first, Foucault's doctrine of social construction seems to be a useful tool for founding resistance; however, social construction can be applied to everything including more desirable constructs like the individual, love, and hope. We consider ourselves individuals only because Power/Knowledge makes us consider ourselves to be individuals. We love because Power/knowledge makes us love. We only hope for that which Power/knowledge makes us hope for. We resist only because Power/knowledge makes us resist. And what Power/Knowledge giveth it can also taketh away.

May Power/Knowledge be with you. There is a conspiracy theory that the super elite foster rebellion to give people the illusion they actually have the power change things. Or was that the knowledge to change things? I'm reading a book by Walter Kaufman. He's suggesting that Plato's vision of the ideal man was the basis for his metaphysics and that this vision is related to the bifurcation of society into the elite vs. masses... which corresponds to body vs. soul... senses vs. ideals.

He divides philosophy up into existential vs. analytical. The existentialist, he says, is always saying that people need to change so that some ideal may be manifest here on earth as it is in the imagination (the specs on this ideal vary).

He then concludes that the analytic types also have a vision of the ideal person which emerges despite their preoccupation with simple questions (like do you have a headache if you're not aware of it?) And that image is a person who basically has no emotion and lives in an ivory tower. Where's my ivory tower? Where do they get all that ivory anyway?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 03:23 pm
@Arjuna,
Last thing on Foucault's Power/Knowledge. I think it is more to Foucault's meaning to say:

We do not have Power/Knowledge; Power/Knowledge has us.

That's the post-structuralist flip.

Following Foucault, we could say something like recognition is a mechanism through which Power operates. Recognition/Knowledge is just a subcategory of Power/knowledge. We do not acquire recognition; recognition acquires us. We do not acquire knowledge(learn); knowledge acquires us.

But I don't want to follow Foucault.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 03:38 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138704 wrote:
Last thing on Foucault's Power/Knowledge. I think it is more to Foucault's meaning to say:

We do not have Power/Knowledge; Power/Knowledge has us.

That sort of thing tends to remind me of this sort of thing:

Demiurge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:

Gnostic myth recounts that Sophia (Greek, literally meaning "wisdom"), the Demiurge's mother and a partial aspect of the divine Pleroma or "Fullness," desired to create something apart from the divine totality, and without the receipt of divine assent. In this abortive act of separate creation, she gave birth to the monstrous Demiurge and, being ashamed of her deed, she wrapped him in a cloud and created a throne for him within it. The Demiurge, isolated, did not behold his mother, nor anyone else, and thus concluded that only he himself existed, being ignorant of the superior levels of reality that were his birth-place.
The Gnostic myths describing these events are full of intricate nuances portraying the declination of aspects of the divine into human form. This process occurs through the agency of the Demiurge who, having stolen a portion of power from his mother, sets about a work of creation in unconscious imitation of the superior Pleromatic realm: He frames the seven heavens, as well as all material and animal things, according to forms furnished by his mother; working however blindly, and ignorant even of the existence of the mother who is the source of all his energy. He is blind to all that is spiritual, but he is king over the other two provinces. The word dēmiourgos properly describes his relation to the material; he is the father of that which is animal like himself.
Thus Sophia's power becomes enclosed within the material forms of humanity, themselves entrapped within the material universe: the goal of Gnostic movements was typically the awakening of this spark, which permitted a return by the subject to the superior, non-material realities which were its primal source.
Foucault must be colour-blind.

"Here, swallow this red pill!"

"Uh, Michel ..."

"Quickly! No argument! Agent Smith is on his way!"

"But Michel, that's the bl..." (he gags - Michel has stuffed the blue pill down his throat)
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 03:45 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;138710 wrote:
That sort of thing tends to remind me of this sort of thing:

Demiurge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Foucault must be colour-blind.

"Here, swallow this red pill!"

"Uh, Michel ..."

"Quickly! No argument! Agent Smith is on his way!"

"But Michel, that's the bl..." (he gags - Michel has stuffed the blue pill down his throat)
Whoa. Synchronicity. My introduction to structuralism was a book about gnosticism. Coincidence? Or part of a divine plan written in the dna from the get-go? My pill was purple. I complained about it, but nobody listened.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 03:52 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;138581 wrote:
More on that? I think that intellectual arrogance is part of learning. A person who starts out thinking they're stupid is apt to become an under-achiever. An arrogant moron will soak up whatever is available because he doesn't realize he's not supposed to be able to do that. He becomes an over-achiever, maybe. Arrogance is like a sail on a boat.


I don't think so. If you are intellectually arrogant, you assume that your current positions are correct and ignore arguments to the contrary. If you start out thinking you don't know much...well that doesn't come naturally to most people. But if you try for it, you don't discard/accept as much information based on assumptions you've never questioned.

I would think curiosity is part of the desire to learn. Also, if you see yourself as a learned person or want to see yourself that way, it can be a motivator.

I think it's important to avoid learning things that don't have significant value outside of being status symbols so to speak. That indicates that you are being suckered in by desire for recognition.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 04:10 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;138719 wrote:
I don't think so. If you are intellectually arrogant, you assume that your current positions are correct and ignore arguments to the contrary. If you start out thinking you don't know much...well that doesn't come naturally to most people. But if you try for it, you don't discard/accept as much information based on assumptions you've never questioned.

I would think curiosity is part of the desire to learn. Also, if you see yourself as a learned person or want to see yourself that way, it can be a motivator.

I think it's important to avoid learning things that don't have significant value outside of being status symbols so to speak. That indicates that you are being suckered in by desire for recognition.
The thing about intellectual arrogance is that it tends to go before the fall, assuming a person wanders beyond the ivory tower from time to time. But yea: curiosity is a biggee.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 04:14 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;138719 wrote:
Arjuna;138581 wrote:
More on that? I think that intellectual arrogance is part of learning. A person who starts out thinking they're stupid is apt to become an under-achiever. An arrogant moron will soak up whatever is available because he doesn't realize he's not supposed to be able to do that. He becomes an over-achiever, maybe. Arrogance is like a sail on a boat.
I don't think so. If you are intellectually arrogant, you assume that your current positions are correct and ignore arguments to the contrary. If you start out thinking you don't know much...well that doesn't come naturally to most people. But if you try for it, you don't discard/accept as much information based on assumptions you've never questioned.

But there is all the difference in the universe between "thinking you don't know much" (like Socrates) and "thinking you're stupid". You are aware of the folly of arrogance, but you seem unaware of the folly of thinking oneself stupid. (Again, I speak as one who knows! "I've looked at clouds from both sides now.") There is a very delicate balancing act to be performed here, and it bears directly on the theme of the whole thread. In order to learn anything effectively, one has to be aware of one's own ridiculous stupidity, ignorance, inexperience, and general folly, but one also has to have the greatest respect for that in oneself which enables one to transcend those limitations. (I'm not saying I'm any good at this!)
 
 

 
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