Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 306. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2019-10-09 09:32:28+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: what are we not ready for? In a typically wonderful introduction to Moore and Dunham's Joint Attention: Its Origins and Role in Development (2014), the cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner takes up the problem of how infants come to share knowledge with adults, or as he entitles his piece, "From Joint Attention to the Meeting of Minds". He remarks that, "Indeed, so powerful are these reciprocal human patterns of intentional action that they even seem to 'humanize' young chimpanzees, at least Pan paniscus." Then the remark that jolted me into writing this note: "But we had better postpone that issue, for we are not quite ready for it yet." There is value beyond the rhetorical for bringing up a subject, such as cognitive coordination on this level with chimps, and then drawing back from it because one's field is not, as he says, "quite ready for it yet." A somewhat cruder way of putting it is to spell out a "grand challenge", but let that one go. My question for here is, following Bruner, for what are we not ready? And, if not much of a stimulating as well as practical nature comes to mind, how do we find out? (Hint, likely unnecessary: other disciplines can help a lot.) You may have noticed on Humanist this morning that tacked onto the Jackman Institute's advert for a postdoc, following the service- orientated functions of the person who is appointed, is the duty or opportunity to fulfil "a broader agenda that also encompasses interpretative or theoretical work on digitality, and a wide variety of computational approaches to humanities research." Here is a very welcome hint of an all-too-seldom look into unexplored reaches of digital humanities. Service as descibed is a good way to get a leg up, as I know from my own experience. But there is so much more that doesn't involve being helpful to the older disciplines, however politically strategic that may be. Comments? Yours, WM -- Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org) _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
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