William James, The Dialogical Self

I’ve wanted to dip back into some psychology research for my thesis as I feel at home there, considering the nature of my undergrad. I’ve also pulled a lot from psychology where human-nature interaction is concerned so I feel that self-reflection would be the next area I’d like to tackle in this vein. Once I’m back in school I look forward to investigating William James’ work in more depth–I also feel this will give my discussion on the ‘self’ a sturdy foundation.

Officially on the reading list.

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Sherry Turkle, Technology and the Self

“We’re letting technology take us places that we don’t want to go.”

I really enjoyed this TED Talk by Sherry Turkle. She is an amazing storyteller and paints such a convincing picture of the ‘dark’ places technology is taking us. I really value the discussion surrounding self-reflection from her work as I feel it is very much in line with the motivation for my thesis project; an overabundance or data and its organization radically change our communication. What is too often overlooked is that communication in the external world is highly congruent with our own internal communication–thoughts are words, no?

Below I’ve included some important notes and connections from Turkle’s talk and her book ‘Alone Together':

Not only do we lose the ability to relate to others, but we lose the ability to understand and relate to ourselves. We learn from conversations with others how to have conversations with ourselves. This is self-reflection–are we destroying our ability and capacity for this? What happens when we can no longer reflect on ourselves or our thoughts? Our attention shifts from us and our …

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Nikolas Rose: The Politics of Life Itself

In reading “The Politics of Life Itself” by Nikolas Rose I gained insight on how to better define and refer to the self–which will help me greatly in writing my thesis.

In his book, Rose dissects the processes that have distanced the ‘self’ from the individual–resulting in the loss of autonomy. Specifically, Rose contrasts the nineteenth and twentieth centuries where the former had individuals more concerned with the corporeal self versus the latter where emphasis is placed on the molecular self. This shift accompanies a need to be directed by those who have access to the molecular self; medical professionals are able to evaluate MRIs and various microscopic developments within our bodies and more importantly present us with their meaning–these practices build on ways of seeing that were initially more symptom-driven and assessed at the corporeal level. What I find interesting is the concept of the ‘medical gaze’ that takes power away from individuals and lends itself to subjectivity. In conjunction with a shift that suggests that personality and mood are products of fluctuations within the molecular body there is …

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Ken Rinaldo

Ken Rinaldo is a multidisciplinary media artist whose work explores the confluence and coevolution of organic and technological cultures. Because my thesis research is very much focused on wellbeing and technology, with nature playing a key role in healing of the self in ways that benefit individuals psychologically and physiologically, I am interested in works that aim to reproduce nature or other lifelike qualities through technology as a means to encourage self-reflection and stress relief.

Standout Project: Autopoiesis (2000)