Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cheirokinesthetics of the Question

"A misleading philosophical education," Corradi Fiumara warns, "silently assumes the task of curing students of unprofessional ways of thinking, of that vital epistemophily which is conducive to asking unfamiliar questions" (Metaphoric, p. 39). Surely she is not alone in placing value on the expedition into the unfamiliar, or in holding that in the course of inquiry our reach must regularly exceed our grasp. How could such a regularity be established except through a method of learning—a learnt method, it might go without saying, that is, a method of learning that emerges from learning, an inculcative materialization decidedly from a praxis of curiosity?

Our institutional instructors are in general critical of overreach. The criticism of overreach may appear to be criticism of reach itself, as if grasping could be accomplished without any reaching. "That's reaching" or "that's a reach" mean effectively "you don't get it," there is no grasping nor very much hope of grasping in that direction, the direction indicated by the reach. "That's a leap" functions as a similar criticism, though it may be specifically intended to teach syllogistic thinking, and it may be a stretch to say that syllogism is hostile to epistemophily. If setting off into the unfamiliar necessarily involves a leap, it doesn't follow that a leap necessarily sets off into the unfamiliar. Nonetheless I value the leap. Does this placement of value represent a harmonic of the value placed on the expedition, or on the unfamiliar? Would it be consummately displacement, or a displacement by reverberation? Can we disentangle all these values and still understand what they do as values? Would a deterritorialization of values be of values in any localizable sense? Must there be an integrability of values? Of questions?

The question as question is—inherently, transmogrificationally—metaphoric. Corradi Fiumara advances the idea, intelligently, that metaphor transforms not merely belief, that is, the mind's perdurable sifting of its noetic objects, its schemes and manners of classification, but rather perception and also therefore chthonic as well as metachthonic interrelation, suggesting that perhaps relation itself is malleable. (*Re- represents the breach of malleability, the setting off of tractability.) She says, "Heterogeneous as they may be, even stimuli deriving from external sources and images emerging from our psychic depths are commonly thought to interdigitate in our different ways of shaping reality" (p. 30). Is heterogeneity any less a quality of relation than it is of stimuli or of physis?

In reaching do we forget grasping? Must we? Or does there effectually exist a cheirokinesthetic memory, an indelible or more or less persistent knowledge of the grasp, intrinsic to the reach? As handmade, the question would be privileged. Would this be a privilege we knowingly afford, or does it appear to come as if by nature from its being handmade. Is the reach handmade? The leap? A coordination of stereoscopic vision and the reach? What color is the reach? What color is coordination of hand and eye? What can't metaphor *re-member?

A young chimp's reach exceeds its grasp:

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:40 AM.


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