Monday, June 18, 2007

Girard, Gans & Imitation in Children

Athos and I touched on GA lightly and briefly in the comment boxes. Not directly related, but there is an interesting and informative article by Richard van Oort in the new issue ofAnthropoetics.


Athos said...

Thanks, Porthos! A good read. I always think these students of Prof. Gans never really read Girard very closely. It may a converse problem to mine: sort of an inability for it to sink the way Girard does for my mind.

IMO, Girard does consider the object as a part of the triad of desire, and in just as nuanced manner as Tomasello (whoever the heck he is).

As an erstwhile pastoral counseling student of Whole Object Relations, Tomasello squints at one aspect and one aspect alone of early childhood development. Of course, all modalities of research here can lay claim to this or that aspect of understanding the early stages of child development.

Van Oort ought to do more w/Tomasello and Gans; the two do not track hand in hand, do they?

Athos said...

Here I think is an answer to van Oort's question about why we do not see more fighting, outbreaks of violence in the young. We do -- only it is in the form of "playing" and practicing for later eventualities.

David Nybakke said...

I agree with Athos, not only Tomasello squints at one aspect, but so do most all social scientists (like in the GA link of this post, my friend Dan). Of course the harder one of those social scientists squints the more they are trying to protect their little silo. Granted, one could say that we have made some great strides in “zeroing” in on all things and problems, but without the global or big picture to frame our discourse, we usually miss the mark.

How do we help broaden people's viewfinder? It is like when they get stuck on the “word” imitation. The narrow concept of this word does not get to the heart of mimesis or what Girard is trying to help illuminate in MT. (The same could be said of the word, desire.) You have made a few great posts lately on the crisis of distinction, but do people really get that? People need to wake up and focus on the similarity – we are the body of Christ – not independent individuals as we are indoctrinated into believing.

Again, I point to Raymund Schwager’s book, “Banished from Eden” as one example of providing some interesting aspects to what it is to be human and helping us see the intelligibility of original sin. Rusty Palmer’s comment to you off blog was right on when he said that most people do not delve deep into MT and therefore they often miss the mark of it.