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Humanist Archives: June 12, 2019, 9:14 a.m. Humanist 33.81 - more on how the new becomes intelligible

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 81.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-06-12 07:56:31+00:00
        From: Dr. Hartmut Krech 
        Subject: Fwd: Re: [Humanist] 33.75: how the new becomes intelligible?

[The following fell victim to a problem with software somewhere
along the line. The problem is being investigated. Apologies to 
Dr Krech. --WM]

Dear Willard,

Isn't intelligibility the ability 'to read inbetween', that is, to
establish associations with other contents of the mind, placing a
certain perception into a different frame of mind? Something would
appear as 'new', if it seems not to occur within our 'kulturelle
Selbstverständlichkeit' (cultural self-evidence), which my revered
teacher René König (1906-1992) once called the 'Kulturbrille' (cultural
spectacles) through which the individual views the world around. To
recognize something as 'new' is necessarily a function of what is
already known. The ancient Greek concept of 'phusis' would identify
anything 'new' as another instance within a constant process of renewal,
whereas our modern European concept of the new stands within a tradition
of cultural discontinuity (modernity, the Querelle des Anciens et
Modernes, etc.). Almost half a century ago, I was once welcomed by the
Hopi Indians of Arizona as their white brother coming from the east. I
had an art brochure with me into which a pumpkin seed had been glued to
make the story more perceptible to the European reader. Within
traditional Hopi culture, a pumpkin seed in a booklet was matter out of
place, so my host tried to remove it. It would have required some
knowledge of European ready-mades to discover the newness of this modest
pumpkin seed.

Best regards,

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