Monday, December 27, 2010

Aspects of a critique of the “positive” psychology of self efficacy

M.A. Cohn and B.L. Fredrickson,“Positive emotions” (ref.3), whom I’ve discussed recently (A, B, C) are modest in their terms, relative to how teachers and counselors might be expected to understand their short-term opportunities. Building “personal resources” results from “increases in daily positive emotion” (18) because reliably-recurrent good feelings lead to enjoyable “broaden-and-build” (generative) processes or developmental activities, thereby (I add) self-nurturing talents, self-cultivating interest, and honing one’s own skills (but how such recursive efficacy works remains mysterious in their research summary). C&F attend to a behavioral process happening that seems magically lacking life-centered minds or individuational enactivity: desire, aspiration, purpose, and identity (though all that is easily implied by them—just not focal, which all that should be for a theory of learning, which they claim to be conceptualizing).

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I need ‘mindality’ relative to terms—mentality and mind—that don’t work for what I have in mind.

When one says that something is “mental,” likely meant is that the something is brainy content or a piece of mind. Using ‘mentality’ likely doesn’t mean the condition of something’s being mental; ‘mentality’ usually means something like a frame of mind. There’s a gestaltism, if not holism, implied by “mentality.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

a preface to exploring empirical feeling

Thinking about feeling can be tenably understood as thinking about the holism of our embodied enactivity (our being, wholly comprehended), which is beyond my aim here.

Soon, I’m going to focus on some leading “positive” psychologists’ sense of “emotions,” which is much less than a rich comprehension of feeling (those psychologists might readily agree). The notion of “positive emotion” in empirical psychology is normalistically oriented (which is good for statistical methods), i.e., conventionalist and constrained, unlike a richness of feeling one may find in actual life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

feeling like an endless preface

I want to briefly discuss contexts of child development that can’t be fairly discussed briefly (I fear) without obscurity. But the contexts are integral background to where I’d prefer to go (e.g., explorations of “the” [?] Literary mind), for the sake of understanding human development broadly and deeply (inasmuch as I can). That’s my bias in venturing into senses of a highly meaningful life. But any meaningful life is individual, so a bias is proper. Mine’s philosophical (or literary psychological—interdomainal [I don’t like ‘interdisciplinary’]). It’s deeply important to me that the sense of Mind (let’s say) I want to explore is not something emerging from my own life, but is about human development as such—not that I want to proffer a sense of human development generally that should tend toward what interests me. But the sense of literary-psychological philosophy I want to garden is a developmental one, dependent on its sense of development (which ultimately weaves into a sense of our evolving, but that’s the long story).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

growing children as venue: packing for a conceptual adventure

Over the next few months’ postings and pages, I will use experience and research on good parenting and child development to work with conceptual aspects of that. I’m venturing to better understand growth (individuation) that becomes easily-empathic (non-egoistic) yet highly individual (ideally, very creative)—a healthy self centrism. Advice for a practice of good parenting doesn’t directly follow from such a venture, but I’ll cite good resources.

I’m also interested in how these two keynotes of exemplary individuation (empathy and creativity) may build on each other for the sake of authentic happiness (or a sense of authentic happiness that I take from recent inquiries in “positive psychology”).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

realization vs. actualization

Saying “I realized X” seems different from saying “I actualized X.” Actually, saying the latter seems odd to me. “Actualizing” something seems to belong to engineering or similar roles (relatively odd to me, though I’m around implementors daily). “Realizing” something is common. One actualizes a project. To realize this seems to be like saying: I appreciate this.

But someone might see no difference between calling something “real” and calling it “actual,” while readily seeing a difference between realizing and actualizing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

romancing conceptuality

Monday, 5.24 — 9:30 pm

Recently, I had a short romance with Edward Slingerland’s desire to shape a new sense of “consilience.”

His detailed sense of that is more or less the introduction to an upcoming book he has co-edited, Creating Consilience, in light of an interesting conference on integrating science and humanities (which he coordinated in 2008) and his 2008 book on the topic.

Friday, May 7, 2010

notes on Heidegger’s appropriative thinking

Professor Halteman-Zwart,

Thanks for your stimulating review of F.J. Gonzalez, Plato and Heidegger: A Question of Dialogue. You write very well. I’m being self-indulgent below, but this was fun. So, I might as well share with you what you occasioned, recalling and refocusing my sense of Heidegger, thanks to the event of your review of Plato and Heidegger.

“Affinities” indeed: It seems to me that Heidegger’s quotation from “The Sophist” at the beginning of Being and Time signals that the entirety of B&T is an appropriative response to Plato above all. Heidegger’s ’20s lectures on “the Sophist” could be regarded as a prelude to B&T, such that B&T deserves to be the hermeneutical, retrospective frame on Heidegger’s earlier, emerging sense of Plato.

But I’m looking at the matter from a perspective on the entirety of Heidegger’s career (which he recommended that one do, re: earlier work).

Friday, April 16, 2010

a note on self valuation

‘Ego’ has become such a common word, we might forget (or never knew) that it just means “I”. Egoism is just a concept of I-ism or selfism, which tends to be selfish in the worst sense: exclusive much more than inclusive. But ‘ego’ itself was initially a technical notion of selfidentification or active self conception, but narrowly: apart from fleshed-out instances of full persons who may be variably interested in their own (or ownmost) life.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

need, want, desire

The normal meaning of ‘need,’ ‘want,’ and ‘desire’ are such that a person may desire, but not need. But wanting may be either needing or desiring. Needing implies both wanting and desiring; if you need S, then you want it, and you desire it. If you desire S, you want it, but may not need it. So, I regard wanting as ambiguous (it could mean need; it could mean desire). Whether “want” associates to need rather than desire or the converse depends on context. I regard need and desire as basically different. There is much that one may desire but not need. But in cases of both need and desire, it’s normal to say that one wants.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Self/personal difference irt multiple perspectivity

life as literary psychology, part 1 of 5

Beyond “my” assimilating what others say (or accomodating it to one’s own interests), we commonly want to implicitly appreciate the other’s perspective, assess the other’s genuineness, or keep up with a play of perspectives. “Knowing They Know That You Know” renders so-called “mind reading” as “one person’s ability to interpret another person’s mental order to assess its validity” such that interaction—interpersonal action—involves “keep[ing] track of ... different mental states at [the same] time.” Selves can be considered irt “how well an individual is able to track multiple sources,” when the “source” is another person.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Individuality, individuation, thematics,
and living senses

Individuality is normally regarded from a social perspective. Even overt individualism is dependent on social perspectives (as anti-traditionalist, anti-socialist, etc., thus parasitic on sociocentric views).

Individuality can also be regarded relative to a given life, usually biographically or autobiographically. Theoretically, one might try to generalize from life studies to form an approach to individual development as such.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

a note on “selfidentity”

Yes: no hyphen. The identity that a person is is so much more than something one has, such that a wholehearted reflectivity or conception of oneself can be more and better than what’s standardly meant by ‘self-identity,’ which has two standard senses (according to M-W Unabridged online):

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a note on discursive reading

Consider a review of Enjoyment: the moral significance of styles of life by John Kekes. However accurate the reviewer Jason Raibley is, we have a narrative that one can work with, which is valuable relative to its cogency as discursive episode on, in this case, a sense of living well.

A keynote of the narrative’s accuracy is (1) one’s sense that the account of the author’s thought implies what one might expect an expert in the area to argue; and (2) the reviewer’s disagreements hinge on views of the author’s thought that one might expect the author to have, regardless of the reviewer’s preferred view (which would be assessed on its own apparent merits).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

a conceptual reverie

Wanting to understand art is an admirable thing to want. Failing to do so exemplarily has no bearing on the value of seeking to understand.

Idealizing that value is a good thing, even if the diversity of arts inhibits a generalizable understanding of art “as such.” If no generally valid sense of art is possible, due to the individualizing nature of art, then understanding that—the individualizing nature—may be possible in a general way, except inasmuch as the individualizing pertains to a specific art’s nature, i.e., the art individuates itself as such (a self-formativity of the art—or self-reconstitutive capacity of the art), such that various individualizing natures become evident, to the implausible limit point of each given work of art implying a genre all to itself (like highly-individuated persons, where a proper name becomes generic) in a garden of as many kinds of art as there are works (implausible because the talent required for such diversity of distinguished works is scarce).