Witches, Psychiatrists, & Evangelicals with Tanya Luhrmann

lots to admire about Tanya’s work and her willingness to try and foreground her own not-knowing, but I don’t think that our task is like the novelist (or the actor) who might try to know what it is like to be someone else or to represent someone else, we just need to learn how to try and co-operate with them if we can, or work around/against them if need be.

2 responses to “Witches, Psychiatrists, & Evangelicals with Tanya Luhrmann

  1. I’m wondering why understanding and working with them need to be separated Dirk? I mean, why can’t we do both: try to take up the other’s perspective, language, and understand their way of being at the same time as coping-with and working with them? For me its a combination of affective resonance and cultivating shared references as a means of alinging embodied intentionalities on the way to cooperate action. I know you don’t like the notion of a shared “framework” but doesn’t social coupling require some sort of mutual structuration at the level of cognition?

    • well I wouldn’t equate understanding with “taking the other’s perspective” (be-ing as I suggested in the post),first I don’t think that this is possible and I don’t think we should try and be in their place, rather we should work like hell (and we will come up short) to work as if we don’t know their “minds” and so need their input where their interests are relevant.
      I don’t know exactly what you mean by “mutual structuration at the level of cognition” but if it means something more overarching/systematic than using/creating perspicuous-re-minders (architectures,charts, shorthands, rallying-cries, etc, affordances&resistances if you prefer) than I don’t think it’s possible.
      Where enthusiasm(s) might help we should try and encourage them and where other moods/affects are helpful/productive we should work on them too, as for what will work to create what in what circumstances not sure we know yet (might be helpful to look at fields like theater and magic where they have been experimenting with various production techniques for many generations).

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