dbasuki's blog

Language as Symbolic Action

We here confront a mere matter of terministic policy. And since the body does, beyond question, affect our thinking by providing us with analogies, to that extent the policy can serve. We'd go along with him, just for the ride, were it not that he later uses this terministic device to the ends of faulty interpretation as regards our current quandaries. On that point, more anon. (Pg. 412)

A Rhetoric of Motives

“In public relations, most expressions are as though wigwagged from a great distance, or as uttered behind masks, or as transmitted by hearsay. Hence, one must go to the first frank level of analysis, the extra verbally behavioristic.” pg 185

The Human Motives - Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives (xii-180)

“… Aristotle lists the kind of opinion you should draw upon if you wanted to recommend a policy or to turn people against it; the kind of motives which in people’s opinion lead to just or unjust actions; what personal traits people admire or dislike; and what opinions can be used as means for stirring men to rage, friendliness, fear, compassion, shame, indignation, envy, rivalry, charity, and so on.” Page 56

Proposed Title: Identification through visual representation as a function of politician’s persuasive appeal

Dramatism compares life to a drama and provides the most direct route to human motives and human relations. This research proposal attempts to analyse an identity construction and self-representation of a profile picture posted by an Indonesian presidential candidate. Burke, in Permanence and Change (1984), points out that the manner in which we communicate determines the manner in which we relate as social beings. Prabowo, a current Indonesian presidential candidate, uses social media to reach out to the public.

The Delayed Action

… Korzybski’s usual attitude of delayed action. And so, recalling what we have said about the tragedy of learning: by participation in the Korzybski mathema, through the medium of delayed poiema we may avoid a disconcerting pathema (Grammar of Motives, pg 241).

poima, pathema, and mathema

“We can discern something of the “tragic” grammar behind the Greek prover’s way of saying “one learns by experience”; “ta pathemata mathemata,” the suffered is the learned. We can also catch glimpses of a relation between dialectic and mathematics (a kind that might have figured in Plato’s stress upon mathematics) in the fact that mathemata means both things learned in general and the mathematical sciences (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy) in particular.

Burke’s twelve propositions

“It is of great importance to study the various strategies of “prayer” by which men seek to solve their conflicts, since such material should give us needed insight into the processes of prayer (“symbolic action,” “linguistic action,” “implicit commands to audience and self”)."

The Philosophy of Literary Form, 313

another -ism?

I believe that ‘humanitarianism’ can also be singled out as an integral aspect of the debunking strategy. For, unless the thinker is totally antisocial, humanitarian elements must be engrafted upon modes of thinking that attribute human actions to motives low in the scale of value. The typical debunker might write a book to prove, for instance, that ‘all people are crooks.’ The logical conclusion from such a book would be, ‘so let’s try to cheat them before they cheat us.’ But a purely humanitarian afterthought is usually added to the thesis.

The language of real life

"We set out from real, active men, and on the basis of their real life-process we demonstrate the development of the ideological reflexes and echoes of this life-process. The phantoms formed in the human brain are also, necessarily, sublimates of their material life-process, which is empirically verifiable and bound to material premises. Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence.

Burke, Permanence and Change (Part III, 167 – 272, Appendix, and Afterword)

“Basically, the pattern proclaims a principle of absolute ‘guilt’,’ matched by a principle that is designed for the corresponding absolute cancellation of such guilt. And this cancellation is contrived by victimage, by the choice of a sacrificial offering that is correspondingly absolute in the perfection of its fitness." (Permanence of change, p. 283-284)


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