Harold me and MIke were having a chat about the implications of SWS, partly given my frustration that for many of us (see for instance, Russell and Trevor's recent remarks) SWS simply does not address a real problem. Anyone interested can trace the past couple of messages that lead to this one - a response from me to Harold.

Not at all, Harold, but it is instructive for me that you see it this way - indeed, it gets back to my statement to Mike that we need to reflect.

The thing your comment suggests to me is that you (Harold) believe somethigng very concrete about 'human knowledge' which you are not sharing,. My guess is that your belief is so fundamental that, indeed, you do not believe it is worth sharing because (you believe) we already share it, but that some people (perhaps Roger or Mike or Paul Pangaro or Pask) are perverse about this belief of yourself which is self-evident.

Pasks' point is simple (and is very much not what you describe). It is that there are many different but overlapping dynamics going on in human social living - some personal, some shared, some half-stated, some not stated at all, some hypocritical, some honest, some devious, some loving and so and and so on. And nowhere in the midst of all this is 'human knowledge'. Human knowledge - if anything - is the dynamic itself.

And - so this point of view goes, because all these dynamics are braided together in a very confused and tangled manner - our passion gets confused with our reason, our fondness with our dislike, our loyalty for our family with our loyalty to a close friend or with our local community - because of all the ONTOLOGICAL confusion (these things are ACTUALLY all tangled together in our living - this entanglement forms the fundament of human living), because of this NATURAL confusion, it is incumbent on us if we seek a better world, to do things that perhaps ameliorate or lessen the degree of confusion, in order that - for example, we can begin to 'agree to disagree' rather than simply 'disagree' (and fight each other).

In this view, Harold, 'human knowledge' is not in itself a given. 'Human knowledge' is simply a shorthand through which we refer to human beings living together in languaging and community. I believe that this is closer to your heart than you might assume, Harold - and that this view is committed to a view that it is process rather than objects which generate meaning.

Best wishes,


On 2011-11-18, at 8:11 PM, Harold van Garderen wrote:

Aaaaaahhhhh, this is the linguistic part of science that thinks human knowledge is objects (concepts). Right?

2011/11/18 Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]>
Well, Harold......

In Pasks' sense, 'conversation' does not mean human interaction in I keep saying, it does not mean 'normal conversation'.

The reason his books are lengthy and indecipherable are because what he is saying is not obvious - though indeed, it is quite simple ☺☺.

For Pask, the fascinating thing was the degree to which 'normal conversation' had no connection with meaning or understanding but with a 'flow' (as in phenomenology) of linguistic interchanges. Gordon didn't think this had anything to do with what he meant by 'conversation'. He separated from a flow of 'linguistic interactions' something that he envisaged as was two (or more) individuals conveying what was their internal understanding and meaning to each other. Thus he differentiated between language and concepts. he saw only a very loose connection between language and concepts - and indeed, for most of the time he felt there was no connection. He felt that for most of our lives, our dynamics of concepts and understandings has little or no relationship with the linguistic exchanges we have with others.

So 'conversation theory' was a theory to do with how the concepts of different entities can be exchanged or shared or compared with those of other entities of the same class (dogs, or humans, or cities, or stars). Leaving aside problematical classes (such as 'stars'), he wanted to encourage there to be such an exchange, because he felt that without it, individuals are all-too-often engaged in meaningless linguistic interactions which lead to misunderstandings, confusion and conflict (because each party believes that there is some sort of a meaningful interaction).

So - in respect of SWS - the idea is not to replicate conventional conversing, but to create a space in terms of which two of more individuals may share a clearer understanding of what each of them means or intends.

Now, obviously, that is NOT what people react against when they react (such as Trevor or Russell).

Hope that helps. Does it, Mike?


On 2011-11-18, at 7:04 PM, Harold van Garderen wrote:

> Hi Roger,
> I was rereading the first message and the sentence "powerfully dismissive comments of Russell and Trevor (and perhaps you too, Harold?)" struck me. Just want to say, I was not dismissive. I simply don't get the importance of SWS.
> Following the other tread I see again things being said like "all human interaction is conversation" which I think is an overreaction on what is actually going on in most cases (as Trevor righfully said) as interaction (say it is on left side) in itself is quite rich and "reaching agreement" is far further to the right on in the spectrum of human conversation. So its for me:
> interaction (see, move, change course on the street, etc) .................. conversation (talk, discuss, dialogue) ...................................... reach agreement (OK, lets do it).
> BTW: I always get nervous when TV commentators state that a dancing couple "communicate" so well while dancing. For me it is anticipation and due to practicing.
> Hope this helps.
> Harold

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For more information go to: For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~