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Summary

The present article is a partly ontological, partly Gestalt-psychological discussion of the thinkability of structures in which parts and whole are interdependent (MI). In the first section, I show that in the framework of E. Husserl’s formal part–whole ontology, the conceptualization of such an interdependence leads to (mereo)logical problems. The second section turns to and affirms the experience of this interplay between parts and whole, exemplified with B. Pinna’s recent research on meaningful Gestalt perception. In the final section, I take the experienceability of MI as a justification to suggest a way of rethinking it. This entails an implementation of the process of foregrounding and backgrounding displayed by reversible figures and originally described by E. Rubin. This can avoid both an identity relation between parts and whole and their mutual exclusion as well as hierarchization due to their apparent differences. It would also guarantee the inherent dynamics of interdependence.

Summary

The present paper introduces the theoretical conceptualization of perceptual communication through expressive qualities. Initially, the difference with respect to the modality of perceptual communication mediated by signs is analyzed. Conversely, the theory of expressive qualities reflects the psychological conception of direct perception: any assumption of a cognitive stage of representation is excluded. Perceptual communication immediately expresses the specific character of the structural essence of the object. The structural essence is well studied by the perceptual paradigms of Experimental Phenomenology. Plurivocity, the case in which the same objects can share many expressive characters, is also considered.

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Abstract

Since the 1970s, new therapeutic practices, involving the interaction between humans and dolphins - Tursiops truncatus in particular, have developed. Such practices are known as dolphin-assisted therapies (DAT), a specific case of a more heterogeneous set of experiences with dolphins called dolphin-assisted activities (DAA): these include programmes of dolphin watching and swimming in high seas, as well as shows in dolphinariums and marine parks. DAT has grown rapidly as a highly attractive form of therapy, due to the well-liked animals used in an aquatic, and often exotic, environment. This kind of co-therapy seems to testify the enchantement that dolphins - in myths and chronicles often reported in rescue at sea, perceived as especially charismatic - exert on people; the human attempt of bonding with them, possibly in response to the need of building a human-animal bodily intersubjectivity.

Abstract

The current theory of social policy is characterized by considerable inconsistencies and analytical gaps. Disciplinary one-sidedness goes together with nontransparent and partially incompatible epistemological considerations. In this paper, it is shown that the Gestalt theory can be a sound starting point for the theory of social policy. Gestalt theory provides a groundwork for the selection of behavioral assumptions, the understanding of self-organization processes and the formulation of basic normative questions.

Abstract

The international research on teams, which is inspired by the input-process-output model, is mostly empirical. Researchers in this field look for causal explanations between independent (e.g., team size and team composition) and dependent (e.g., team performance) variables. Recently, some critics have pointed to the deficits in this model. Especially, the temporal, contextual, and dynamic aspects of teams need to be investigated further (multilevel approach). Emergent states, such as team cognitions, team emotions, and team hierarchies, comprise a promising field of study that leads to a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of teams. These emergent states offer an opportunity to reconcile former concepts (Lewin’s gestalt, Koestler’s holarchy, and Cattell’s syntality) with topical team research. Therefore, the future of research on teams may partly lie in its past.

Abstract

The author exemplifies the congruency of essential foundations between the critical realism of the Berlin School of Gestalt Psychology (Gestalt theory) and Nicolai Hartmann`s Critical Ontology. For instance, this congruency manifests in the importance given to critical-realistic epistemology - purified from idealistic prejudices, not least prejudices such as production-theoretical ones - connected with an unconditional phenomenology. Altogether, it results in a shared critical distance from scholars of Brentano, such as Husserl and Meinong, as well as from Neo-Kantianism.