Wednesday, March 22, 2017

TOK 1, Day 71 (3/22): Writing Workshop - Thing Theory

Today, we will begin by sharing our beginning thoughts regarding the writing assignment.

  • Each person will take 1-2 minutes to lay the groundwork for their focus.  You should begin by
    • Identifying the topic you plan to address (this is the object or piece of knowledge around which you will build your response)
    • Talk a bit about the dialectical interaction that you see taking place across the human/nonhuman divide.
    • Talk a bit about your ideas regarding the "Visual Mapping" of your concept
    • Ask questions of the group about things you aren't sure of yet.
  • After each person shares, we will take a few minutes to "workshop" the idea. During this time, you have the opportunity to:
    • Ask for clarity regarding particular points
    • Share what thinking these ideas inspired in you ("that makes me think...", "and also...", "yeah, but...", "oo-oo, you could...")
    • Ask directional questions to guide further thinking ("have you considered...", "how does that relate to...")

For the second half of class, you will have time to write.  Please use your time wisely, and work quietly.  I will be finishing your Midterm Conferences (eek!)

  • The writing assignment is below.  It is due by Sunday.
  • Friday we will have a guest speaker from UWG who will talk about what it's like growing up in India.
Written Response Options:

  1. Follow the line of thinking suggested by Clark and Chalmers: Choose a specific piece of knowledge and consider how your understanding of it extends into the world around you. Your choice of topic should be concrete and specific enough to be manageable within the word-limit, but should be compelling and suggestive enough to give you some interesting things to say. Consider:
    1. Procedural knowledge: your understanding of HOW TO DO SOMETHING is very often tied up with the actual materials that you are manipulating in the world.
    2. Shared Knowledge Constructs: your understanding of HOW THE WORLD WORKS is often embedded in the objects around you.
    3. Identity: Your personality and the perceptions you convey about WHO YOU ARE are very often bound up with the things that you use, wear, and do. 
  2. Follow the line of thinking suggested by Latour: Choose a specific object in the world and investigate the social functions of the object.  Again, pick an object that is CONCRETE and specific enough to do some interesting thinking within the word limit (Consider how much Latour was able to say about a simple door closer).
    1. What human work does it do? 
    2. What assumptions does it make.  
    3. What action does it prescribe back on us? 
    4. What opportunities does it open, and which possibilities does it foreclose?
For both responses, create a visual map of the synthesis that you are attempting.

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