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Old 03-16-2007, 12:45 PM   #121
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 632
Re: Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center?

Erick Mead wrote: View Post
So, if this report is accurate, he was editor and reviewer of their notes of his own statements. He adopted them by approving them for publication. How is this evidence, on the specific point I laid on the table, that he did NOT believe that scientific inquiry was warranted, or that it was, in any way, incompatible with his more classical, metaphorical view of describing their operations?

Giving all due weight to your concern, his students took definite meaning from what he said and preserved it. He reviewed their understanding of his meaning and approved it for purposes of informing and directing his successors in their defintion of the art. The translators should similarly not be impeached without some reason. It does nothing to change my conclusion on that basis. The statement itself was definitive -- I take it definitively.
Erick --

With all due respect, you are resorting to classic straw man arguments and infelicitous double-think.

I did not make any comment about the utility or inutility of scientific inquiry. Any assertion that I did is categorically false.

With regard to the "compatibility" of metaphorical versus empirical description, I assert that the two modes depend on two utterly different sets of descriptive symbols with utterly different rules of operation and thus, are not directly comparable. Each can accord quite well with the phenomenon it is describing while according not at all with another description. To this extent, discussion of "compatiblity" or "incompatibility" of metaphorical or empirical descriptions is of less relevance than the possible complementary utility of the descriptions, which is a rather different matter.

While Ueshiba is supposed to have reviewed and approved the text, the apparent fact that it was approved with the stipulation that it be distributed only to yudansha may be taken to indicate that the work was intended as an outline or detailed mnemonic of lessons already imparted through oral and kinesthetic instruction, which was regarded as primary. Thus, not only would the role of the text and drawings be secondary, tertiary, or quaternary, not primary, but I would also suggest that the distribution was restricted because the text might be regarded as misleading to an individual who had not received individual oral and kiinesthetic instruction. To put a fine point on it, my assertion is that it can not be shown that the authorial or editorial intention was to approach the "definite" or "definitive," much less that such an intention was successfully realized.

Your position that Ueshiba's language was, on the one hand "metaphorical" and on the other hand so "definite" that you can reify that "definite" meaning into a "definitive meaning" is heremeneutically suspect as anything other than a statement of faith.

Your suggestion that anyone has "impeached" the translators is overblown hyperbole. At best, it betrays a series of fundamental confusions about the nature of languague, the nature of metaphor, the relationship between language and mathematics, and the fundamental nature of translation that would take a total change of viewpoint to redress. I have reached a point in my life where I rarely go for the "at worst" half of the proposition because experience has taught me that reality has more resourcefulness on that count than my imagination has ever manifested.

Not that any of the above has jack to do with actual practice, which remains primary.


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