Friday 20 August 2010

Grace, Madness, Play and Education

A lot of the discussion at the New York cybernetics conference conference concerned play, madness and viability. It's good to talk about this stuff again - it's was the central concern of Ashby, Bateson, Laing and Pask. The role of play in opening channels of communication is I think very important. It's making me think that Freire's pedagogy is systemic in the same way that Piaget's is, but at a different level (a moral level). I need to flesh out the mechanism here.

However, Bateson says that whilst we easily talk about madness/pathology, we struggle to talk about health. This is because the differences made in pathology are quite clear to us (and in making them, we become part of the pathology!), whereas health is a state of being where differences are absorbed and negotiated often pre-cognitively. This may be what we mean by a state of 'grace'. Grace may be the ultimate aim of any education. But what is it? How do we get there? I often find that grace in great art is in the 'silences', the white space, what is not done or said, rather than what is...

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