1.323 Region of Copresence

Michael P. Ford
Oct 18, 2020 · 3 min read

Our construction of the notion of whole person attempts to do justice to the multiple relations through which persons define themselves in commercial practice by effectively combining society’s working relations with the learning curriculum that is demonstrably present in those very relations. The K-function is precisely the combination of the two, laying out a plane in which economic organization is inseparable from a profound form of human development (or arrested development) that is operative and consequent, yet until now has managed to evade detection and therefore remains largely taken for granted (see Figure 1.28).

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Fig. 1.28

As the ethnographer of copresence and shaman’s apprentice explains with reference to his study of the complex relations that obtain between an “action-centric field” and “absolute cardinal space” in Maya shamanic practice, “It is only when the process is nuúp ‘complete’ that the performance space itself is constituted as a zone of proximal copresence of shaman, patient and the spiritual lords.”¹³⁹ This account represents a major contribution to “a long tradition in European thought regarding the field of copresence…made up of three basic dimensions: space, time and person. From the first we get contiguity as proximity, the space between here and there. From the second we get it as diachronic immediacy, the interval between now and then. In the final one we have participant roles, speaker = I, addressee = you; the two are contiguous in their engagement with one another. Thus each dimension establishes a subfield of indexical relations that jointly make up the we-here-now of speech. It is relative to this actional-manifold that reference is achieved and within it that intersubjectively shared knowledge is accessed.”¹⁴⁰

In very much the same way, it is only by following K until his apprenticeship is complete that we can effectively map the performance space that obtains between the action-centric field of society’s working relations and the absolute space of its learning curriculum. By drawing up such a map, it becomes impossible to see learning as a distinct and isolated process that necessarily precedes work as we see the school boy put down his textbooks and pickup a shovel or wrench as he makes his way to the factory floor. Instead, learning and work now appear as inextricably linked in a zone or region of “copresence or simultaneity”.¹⁴¹ When the field of participation is determined as such, organization appears as the forward thrust of society’s working relations and development appears as the folding and unfolding, the contraction and relaxation of its learning curriculum.

While profound, such a determination only tells part of the story and represents only a partial perspective on the whole person. It assumes a stock of shared knowledge and is principally concerned with the productive activities that are informed by that stock and the reproduction of subjectivities that are determined as a function of access granted or denied to it. Recognizing as much, the question becomes: who besides the master and the apprentice, the boss and the worker make up the we-here-now of the contemporary “economic instance” that now functions on a global scale?¹⁴² At the moment, we do not know who else the performance space of everyday commercial practice — that “planetary technology” — is capable of conjuring.¹⁴³

[139] William F. Hanks, Referential Practice: Language and Lived Space Among the Maya, p.351.

[140] William F. Hanks, Language and Communicative Practice, pp. 148–9.

[141] Gilles Deleuze, “An Unrecognized Precursor to Heidegger: Alfred Jarry,” in Essays Critical and Clinical, p.94.

[142] Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, p.186

[143] Gilles Deleuze, “An Unrecognized Precursor to Heidegger: Alfred Jarry,” in Essays Critical and Clinical, pp.93–95.

SALESMANISM

INTRODUCTION TO THE NON-FASCIST LIFE

Michael P. Ford

Written by

Public Servant, Independent Scholar & Social Entrepreneur

SALESMANISM

Using the representational strategy most congruent with its subject matter ― Plato’s “likely story” ― Salesmanism is the first of a two-volume publishing program that answers Albert Lautman’s call by attempting to “remake the Timaeus”.

Michael P. Ford

Written by

Public Servant, Independent Scholar & Social Entrepreneur

SALESMANISM

Using the representational strategy most congruent with its subject matter ― Plato’s “likely story” ― Salesmanism is the first of a two-volume publishing program that answers Albert Lautman’s call by attempting to “remake the Timaeus”.

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