Thursday, 26 April 2007

Context is king

You have to be wary about trying to summarise a presentation that says, not long after it has begun, "we have to get away from essentialising explanations", but Anne Galloway also stressed the point that we are all mediators, and what is blogging if it is not a form of mediation? So ... Galloway talked about the differences between morals, ethics and ethos. She characterised morals as being the kind of top-down values that we get from things like fables (and the moral of the story is ...) and Biblical commandments, whereas ethics and ethos were much more fluid and bottom-up and are often much closer to etiquette and manners. It's a lot more complicated than that but i am just essentialising.

The point here, I suppose, is to help us understand the nature of collaboration. Towards the end of her presentation she said that we need to articulate the things that are important to us and be able to listen back. “Behaving ethically is about using each other in a positive way,” she said, before eloquently describing a positive form of manipulation; not trying to force others into your world view, but rather using their views as a material for you to manipulate, almost like a piece of clay, into your own personal ethical view and vice versa. In doing so, she said, “we can go forward together, but separate.”


Rob said...

She could look at Varela's notion of enaction and take it from there.

anne said...

Thank you Sean - I quite like the second paragraph characterisation!

rob - I struggle with autopoietic theories applied to social and cultural interaction, but I do like Simondon's work on individuation and maybe you could explain how Varela's 'enaction' overlaps please?