Wood and Flinders posit that intentionality and motivation are critical sites of analysis when determining whether an act is, or should be made out to be, political or apolitical. I agree with this assertion—both the intention behind an actor’s act, for example, what motivates the action, must be taken into consideration before such classifications are made. Yet, intentionality and motivation are more complicated and problematic than the authors make them out to be—especially online.
A Response to Flinders and Wood
In Being and Nothingness, Sartre explains that being-in-itself is transphenomenal and becomes a phenomenon only through the process by which consciousness qualifies itself as its negation. Thus, there can be no phenomenon except as the object that consciousness (consciously) negates. This ontology of phenomena proves contradictory because one does not understand how consciousness can negate what does not appear to it, especially if it needs to do so as an existentialist freedom, which has to choose (in terms of phenomena) the end towards which it negates being. Sartre's theory of facticity as 'body' then comes as an alternative conception of phenomena, answering these problems by ultimately tending to present being-in-itself as a non-objective, hence non-conscious, phenomenon. Intentional consciousness thus becomes a transcendental condition for objectivity only and not for phenomenality in general.
Materialism with and without Marxism
Penny McCall Howard
What are Marxists to make of the new wave of materialism that has become influential in anthropology and across the social sciences and humanities? An ethnography of fishing in coastal Scotland and an analysis of Tim Ingold’s ecological anthropology demonstrates both the usefulness and gaps in contemporary ecological and materialist anthropology. It finds that the reduced role for political economy, human intentionality, and material results in this literature significantly reduces their explanatory power. Efforts to unite analysis of humans and nonhumans have led to a lack of attention to the divisions within human societies, particularly the alienation of labor and therefore of ecological relations in capitalism. Understanding these dynamics is essential to contending with the current planetary ecological crisis.
Daniel T. Levin and Caryn Wang
Levin and Simons (2000) argued that perceptual experience in film and the real world share a deep similarity in that both rely on inferences that visual properties are stable across views. This article argues that the perception and representation of visual space also reveal deep commonalities between film and the real world. The article reviews psychological research on visual space that suggests that we not only attend to similar spatial cues both in film and in nonmediated settings, but also that the rules for combining and selecting among these cues are similar. In exploring these links, it becomes clear that there is a bidirectional relationship between cognitive psychology and film editing that allows each to provide important insights about the other.
Eric James Morelli
I am not interested in examining the development of Sartre’s view of pure reflection or in extracting a general notion of pure or purifying reflection from Sartre’s entire corpus. Instead, I am interested in understanding with Sartre’s help an experience that his account of pure reflection in the second chapter of Being and Nothingness, ‘Temporality’, concerns, namely the experience of founding a phenomenological theory.
This article explores the question of what we are actually afraid of when we are scared at the movies. It is usually claimed that our fear derives from our engagement with characters and our participation through thought, simulation, or make-believe in fearful situations of the filmic world. These standard accounts provide part of the explanation why we are afraid—this article complements them by showing that we often literally fear for ourselves as well. Concentrating on an anticipatory subspecies of cinematic fear dubbed “dread,” the article argues that we often fear a negative affective outcome, namely our own fearful experience of shock and/or horror that usually ends scenes of dread. By looking at viewers' action tendencies and actions proper activated in dreadful moments, the article suggests that we appraise scenes of dread as potentially harmful to our current (and even future) psychological well-being. Dread thus turns out to be a specific kind of metaemotion.
Toward a Causal, Intentional and Systematic Analysis of Interests and Elites in Public Technology Policy
Gunnar K.A. Njálsson
When administrative scientists look to the current scholarship surrounding the phenomenon of technological development, they will inevitably be forced to grapple not only with an entire battery of abstract theories portraying technological development as more or less socially determined or autonomous. These policy analysts will also be obliged to struggle with the daunting task of developing a coherent, causal, subject-oriented and systematic framework for describing, comparing and even creating public technology policies. Understanding the spectrum of theories available when examining public information technology policy development (hereafter IT-policy) from an administrative sciences perspective, including how these theories relate to each other and differ in nature, is paramount to any attempt to formulate such a systematic framework regarding the subject. Indeed, it is crucial in order to defend one’s choice of methodology.
Sartre and Barthes on Memory and Fascination
This article extrapolates a theory of memory as an intentional consciousness from Sartre’s early, scattered references to memory. There are three key questions: How does Sartre conceive of memory’s intentional structure? Its temporal structure? And how does memory display both continuity and discontinuity in the stream of consciousness? Starting from the Sartrean insight that memory is a ‘double consciousness’ the article offers an analysis of how memory helps to constitute a temporally complex mode of being-in-theworld. Aside from memory’s usefulness in this regard, memory also has the power to disturb consciousness and disrupt its projects. Roland Barthes’s concept of the punctum – which is connected to analyses of mourning – helps to clarify this. A synoptic analysis of Sartre and Barthes allows for a phenomenological description of how consciousness can be stuck in the past, confronted by something that was, and which holds the mind captive.
Magic, Sorcery, and Warrior Shamanism in Venezuela
In the area of the Upper Orinoco River in Venezuela, Yanomami shapori (shamans) engage in hostile acts against their colleagues and people (especially children) living in distant villages in order to inflict misery and death. These combative magical practices are primarily motivated by retribution for past assaults of a similar kind. While in most cases the shapori perform these activities intentionally, this article argues that the malevolent non-human acts are also driven by the cannibalistic nature of hekura spirits, which demand human souls. In this way, although shapori intentionally engage in bellicose activities, they must sometimes kill in order to appease the ancestral spirits and thus spare the lives of their own kin. This article focuses on the dark side of Yanomami shamanistic practices in order to counterbalance tendencies that emphasize the more positive, therapeutic aspects of shamanism, namely, its socially integrative roles.
Einat Bar-On Cohen
Training toward 'perfect timing' in karate entails deciphering small movements and interpreting them as signs of an opponent's decision to launch an attack. It includes the aptitude to perceive those signs and react to them before the attacker is aware of her own decision. It also depends on the ability of the body to perceive and move without recourse to cognition. This article considers the body in its own right as well as how it is involved in social construction. Following Sheet-Johnstone, the article contends that movement as it is performed is a tool of data collecting, sense making, and action. It attempts to show how movement organizes a social setting that enables intentionality and also opens up the possibility of violence obstructing that intentionality.