March 13 Reading Questions!!

 Unflattening by Nick Sousanis

(p.38) 

While most of us see an argument as a battle of words between two opposing sides, Nick Sousanis in Unflattening  considers an argument as a dance. “This doesn’t mean erasing or ignoring differences. Instead, it’s a complex dynamic,”what Simeon Dreyfuss calls “holding differences ways of knowing in relationship”(38). Is the author trying to start a new argument by addressing inconclusiveness of classical arguments? Approaching an argument as compromising, listening, or basically seeing the other side’s perspective not just our own and to embrace each other? Isn’t he just repeating the Rogerian theory of argument? But the question is validity of an argument. Not all of the arguments are valid to be embraced by opposing side. I am wondering how Sousanis would address the validity of arguments by visual tools. [SK]

(p.31)

Is Sousanis by asking which view is the truth trying to refer to Plato’s perspective of truth? Does he mean that what we see is the shadow of the truth not the “Truth”? Can we  trust the multidimensional view of our visions? [SK]

4 Comments

  1. Good questions, Shari. You asked, “Can we trust the multidimensional view of our visions?” I think we have to trust them in order to function because we cannot spend our lives constantly questioning our vision without some semblance of a foundation of knowledge upon which to draw. I think we trust our vision until we are persuaded otherwise, regardless of the source. This multidimensional view of the world allows us to see the different depths and different levels in our field of vision, and the images work together to help broaden our perspectives of the world. I think this is true in both a literal and a figurative sense. As our perception of reality shifts to include more knowledge, as well as the perspectives of others, we respond and expand our perception to include these news noticings.

    1. This is a fascinating conversation. So, in a lot of ways, I have to echo Meg. I think we have to start by trusting our vision–to acknowledge that we are seeing something. Yet, this trust does not seem to equate a multidimensional view (aside from the fact that both eyes give different readings of the world). I would argue that our trust in what we see–thanks to our eyes’ ability to create a cohesive image–puts us at risk of seeing only one dimension/perspective of the world: Our own. A blind trust in our own vision puts us at risk the flatness that Sousanis describes and warns against. In order to embrace a truly multidimensional view of images or the world, we need to acknowledge the multiple view points that are available–either from our two eyes, or the lived experiences of countless other people who inevitably perceive the world differently due to different life experiences. As Meg notes, after we construct that social knowledge for ourselves, we are able to shift our perception.

      1. Natasha, I love what you wrote “In order to embrace a truly multidimensional view of images or the world, we need to acknowledge the multiple view points that are available–either from our two eyes, or the lived experiences of countless other people who inevitably perceive the world differently due to different life experiences”. Then isn’t Multidimensional Seeing definition of acknowledging diversity in acquiring and transferring knowledge?

  2. The connection to Sousanis and Plato’s truth is an interesting one. In a way, Sousanis insists on the multiplicity of perspective, the multiple ways of knowing–by articulating seeing as parallax, suggesting that these multiple ways of knowing are a knowing by displacement. I think this resists a singular knowing that Plato’s truth would insist on. In the same way that our dynamic processing of two views from our eyes is how depth perception is made–this might not be a way to get at a unified truth, but a way to look at things more complexly and to become okay with the messiness and ununifiedness of knowing.

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