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The Primordial Dance

Diametric and Concentric Spaces in the Unconscious World

Paul Downes

This book argues that a silent axis of the unconscious world rests largely undiscovered. It recasts foundational concepts in the psychology of Freud, Jung, Carol Gilligan and R.D. Laing, as well as in cognitive science, to highlight this hidden unconscious axis: primordial spaces of diametric and concentric structures. The author generates fresh approaches to understanding the philosophy of early Heidegger and Derrida, with the idea of cross-cultural diametric and concentric spaces fuelling a radical reinterpretation of early Heidegger’s transcendental project, and challenging a postmodern consensus that reduces truths and experiences to mere socially constructed playthings of culture.
The book, which also examines projected structures in modernist art, suggests a systematic refashioning of many Western assumptions, but it is more than a deconstruction. It also attempts to offer a new interplay between structures and meaning, as a spatial phenomenology. This significant expansion of the boundaries of human subjectivity opens alternative pathways for imagining what it means to be human, in order to challenge the reduction of experience to instrumental reason.

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Acknowledgements xiii List of Figures and Tables xv Part I Setting the Stage for the Primordial Dance 1 chapter 1 Introduction 3 1.1 Dimensions of primordiality 5 chapter 2 A Spatial-Phenomenological Approach 13 2.1 A search for blind spots in the spatial assumption structure of a text to uncover a more fundamental primordial truth level 14 2.2 The need to develop spatial structural criteria for priority of some modes of experience and truth as being more primordial 24 2.3 A dif ferent, complementary phase to the narratives of lived experience in phenomenological accounts 26 2.4 The need for a primordial cross-cultural phenomenology to go beyond ethnocentrism 31 2.5 Dynamic a priori structures of diametric and concentric space 36 viii chapter 3 Participants in the Primordial Dance: Diametric and Concentric Space 43 3.1 Concentric and diametric structures as a cross-cultural truth 43 3.2 Concentric and diametric structures as a dynamic unity 50 3.3 Features of the primordial dance 56 3.3.1 First entailment of the relative dif ferences between concentric and diametric spaces: Assumed connection and assumed separation 56 3.3.2 Second entailment of the relative dif ferences between concentric and diametric spaces: Symmetry as unity and mirror image inverted symmetry 62 3.3.3 Third entailment of the relative dif ferences between concentric and diametric spaces: Foreground-background interaction versus noninteraction 65 Part II Spatial-Phenomenology: Interpersonal and Intrapsychic Dimensions 69 chapter 4 A Spatial-Phenomenological Reinterpretation of the Relational Subject in Gilligan’s Ethic of Care 71 4.1 Diametric and concentric spatial frames for moral choice 71...

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