A&O 2022 meeting 2 – Feb 1




notes for meeting 2

TUESDAY January 31, 2023

including likely agenda & Outcomes from first meeting


    • CHECK-IN: a few comments identifying yourself to the rest of us
    • Q&A
    • CHECK-OUT: what stood out for you (from notes taken during seminar) if there are doodles and/or a mind-map, attach to e-mail after class

Today we will continue threads that began last week’s A&O meeting 1, 24 Jan 2021  (click to review)

much of our concern will be about the relationships of reason to passion and how they co-constitute MEANING for us   

 ALSO watch the short video about art, paying close attention to the words the narrator uses and how the idea of “resonance” (mentioned in week 1) is represented: https://aeon.co/videos/why-caspar-david-friedrich-pits-natures-grandeur-against-the-humble-human?   THEN look at the A&O website on “The Sublime”  – watch for rabbit holes (beware &/or enjoy) & while there, read something William Wordsworth wrote when he was 21.


ABOUT CHECK-IN: Class will usually begin with a verbal account of your recent experiences related to course content.  In this I encourage “authenticity”– the expression of consciousness and the deepest meanings accessible to us that you can be comfortable sharing. We are pursuing a meeting of minds as well as a heart-to-heart conversation.  (sapience and sentience)


Tuesday, January 31, 2023,   Hi All:  In my greeting letter a couple of weeks ago, I urged you to start thinking about how “the MEANINGS of terms we employ in art and biology depends on their CONNECTIONS to our beliefs and the ways we represent them … thereby refreshing our sense of the importance of “MEANING” in several different ways.  As you have detected,  IDEAS based in art (the humanities) and biology (science) will be often intermixed—partly to create a sense that facts (mostly from outside us) and feelings (inside us) co-constitute meaning in ways such that yours and mine will never be exactly the same. Since much of art emphasizes feelings, we have engaged the questions.  IF  ANY CONNECTION is not obvious … keep trying (and the psychosemantic mind map is a helpful tool).   BUT there is also an argument that any thing is connected to all things (re-read the A&O notes on this idea)


Soon we’ll see why “meaning is more than words and deeper than concepts.”    Start thinking about “BALANCE – the interplay of reason and passion both within and between us, and how our basic biology manages this, usually to our advantage.” This is culturally anchored in the Maxims of the Delphic Oracle

BTW:  explore the INTRODUCTION to A&O and then the calendar and syllabus.

The path to the INTRODUCTION and the course syllabus is: Neilgreenberg.utk.edu > CLASSES  > Art & OrganismA&O 2023 SPRING SEMINAR


In a follow-up letter:

  • Catch up on my theme and the Powerpoint I used in class from my on-line version of my  presentation to a recent conference: Please look at my 2021-IACEP presentation/   
  • Also asked you to think of the word  “Sonder” & watch the video that inaugurated the word:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkoML0_FiV4
  •  We discussed tension between apparent opposites … which reminded me of resonance (as in a stringed instrument)  (do we want the greatest possible tension without breaking?) We need to get a sense of the incredible creative power of resonance (look at our website on that: ao-resonance-notes/ )  “resonance” will be an important word for us.  It is a highly technical term in physics and mathematics… but As we use in poetically, it refers to something in me that evokes or speaks to something in you
  • In speaking about the philosophy & practice of “Phenomenology” – it is attitude more than detailed philosophy. (look at our notes on existential-phenomenology)
  • Also based on discussion and your feedback, this is the right moment to read two papers that speak to our interest in “making a virtue of necessity”  (facis de necessitate virtute”)


The idea of “scaffold” is  big deal here: we need all the support we can get: This week start thinking about DEEP ETHOLOGY – the A&O website: https://neilgreenberg.com/deep-ethology/.  


DEEP:   especially CHANGE:  comparing DEVELOPMENT to EVOLUTION




After today’s meeting and my reading of your check-outs, assignments for next week will be posted here and then at the spring calendar