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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 17, 2011

Conformity and resistance as cultural process in postmodern globalizing times

Floyd Merrell
From the journal


Mind has played the starring role in the West's arts, humanities, and sciences, while an embodied notion of oneself, others, and the physical world has been customarily pushed under the rug. In view of radical new theories, methods and techniques that have emerged during the past century and a half, the notion of complementary, sympathetic co-participation, and its accompanying re-enchantment, merits attention. C. S. Peirce is at the crossroads between modernism, enchantment, and misplaced concreteness, on the one hand, and postmodernism and its attendant poststructuralism, on the other. His categories of feeling, sensation, and thought, and his triadic, all-encompassing concept of the sign, can help bring all facets of human creativity, concrete living, and understanding into a proper balance. Three coined terms — homogeny, hierogeny, and heterogeny — serve to elucidate how Peirce's triadic vision can offer a middle path, a way of mediating between antagonistic modes of sensing, living, and thinking. This middle path follows traditional tenets of logic and reason — identity, non-contradiction, and excluded-middle — while at its fringes, it allows deviation — by way of process, inconsistency, and incompleteness (in concert with complementary, sympathetic co-participation) — from the rigidity that lies therein. Studies of feminist postures and various cultural processes in Latin America bear out the premise that a dose of conformity accompanying a tendency toward resistance can synethnically help keep broad cultural processes on an even keel, balancing mind and body, conflicting theories and methods and modes of living, and styles of reason and unreason in equilibrium.

Published Online: 2011-03-17
Published in Print: 2011-February

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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