Power, Action, Signs

Garnar, Andrew 2006. Power, Action, Signs: Between Peirce and Foucault. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42(3): 347-366.

Yet, pragmatist have tended to leave the social under-theorized. In particular, what is left untouched is power. Pragmatists tend to be rather optimistic philosophers, which is perhaps part of the American ethos within which they work. There is a fundamental assumption that people should, and often do, work together in particularly earnest, good-hearted ways. This can be seen in Peirce's remarks on the community of inquirers or Dewey's histories of how our concepts come about. It seems that the basic supposition is that people are essentially good. An engagement with power threatens to undo this because power implies that one person is in a position over another. It disrupts the peaceable relationships between subjects that most pragmatists assume. So, the question of power has been ignored by pragmatists. (Garnar 2006: 348)
I wonder if in light of this my work - which is mainly a study of power in hithero undiscovered terrains - is therefore pessimistic and presumed people to be essentially evil?
This paper seeks to show what an engagement of pragmatism with power looks like. I focus on the writings of Peirce for two reasons. First, Peirce is pragmatism's initiator. Many of the central concepts later pragmatists developed are to be found in his thought. He gives a very clear introduction to the leitmotifs of pragmatism. Second, Peirce's theory of signs, which is one of the sites I will investigate, provides a surprisingly elegant example of the operations of power. His concept of the self≈sign, the idea that the subject is the sum of the signs it uses is particularly revealing. What I will demonstrate is that the self≈sign is only realized through a field of power. This shows the very intimate effects that power has on the subject. (Garnar 2006: 349)
Alas, an elaboration of the "man is a sign" equation!
I begin by introducing both Peirce's and Foucault's concept of action. Action plays a significant role for both and by drawing out this point further connections can be made between the two. The first intersection involves Peirce's remarks about habits and one of Foucault's definitions of power. With this understanding of how power operates on habit, I turn to Foucault's power/knowledge complex. It is in this complex that power influences subjectivity. After this description I begin to explore how habit-creation is influenced by power/knowledge. This sets up discussion of semiotics, since knowledge is essentially a set of signs. To bring these strands together, I focus on Peirce's "symbol," a general sign. I then turn to Peirce's semiotic triad as a whole. In this discussion I show that the operation of power is thoroughly semiotic. With this point in mind, I briefly describe Peirce's conception of the self≈sign. I conclude by exploring how power is implicated in the self≈sign, drawin in the previous discussions of habits and symbols. In this, we find that the self is distributed through a field of action, structured by power. (Garnar 2006: 349-350)
Remarkable intersections, yet the argumentation remains to be seen.
...Peirce states: "[belief] involves the establishment in our nature of a rule of action, or, say for short, a habit." (CP: 5.397) Our habits guide our conduct. Habits are performed without thought, though thought is key for their development. "What the habit is depends on when and how it causes us to act. As for the when, every stimulus to action is derived from perception; as for the how, every purpose of action is to produce some sensible result." (CP: 5.400) So there are two key parts to any habit. First, the conditions under which we are lead to use the habit. Second, what actions result from the habit, what it causes us to do. This is not just the mechanism of habit, what motions are gone through, but also the aim, the purpose, of that action. (Garnar 2006: 350-351)
Wow. Habit as a rule of action is extremely helpful for my purposes. This is one of the keys I was searching for; if I could now discover the 87 other such keys necessary for my work... I'm thinking a dozen will suffice for a semiophrenic conception of power, but there's still a long way to go.
For Peirce, the scope of the habit is quite large. Within the Popular Science essays, Peirce confines himself to habits of the mind. These habits guide our reasoning. In later writings, Peirce makes clear that habits are not purely mental. For example, in discussing habit-change he makes clear that muscular effort is one way among others to modify actions. By sheer practice, we can create the habit of being able to move in strange ways. Both mental and physical habits are different manifestations of the same phenomenon. The function of the habit remains the same for both mental and physical: for both they are rules for action. (Garnar 2006: 351)
This sounds familiar. I am reminded of Gourdjeff's "stop exercise", the purpose of which was to create habits for strange physical movements.
In this account, power is bound up with action and the possibiility of acting. Power is a set of actions that influences the actions of others. Power operates on the potential actions that a subject might take. It creates a space in which actions occur. It establishes the limits of possibe actions.
Power involves a field or structure of actions which transforms other actions. These actions upon actions are not violence. "A relationship of violence acts upon a body or upon things." (Foucault 1983: 220) Violence directly impacts bodies. "It forces, it bends, it breaks on the wheel, it destroys, or it closes the door on all possibilities." (Foucault, 1983: 220) While violence is the "primitive form" of power, that from which power arose, power cannot be reduced to violence and vice versa. Still, violence can be mobilized by power, since violence is a form of action. Yet the two should not be confused since violence is a direct action upon things, while power acts on the possibility of actions. Power is a more complicated set of actions than violence. Power limits or encourages actions in a certain directions. Power limits or encourages actions in one way or another. For example, teachers are involved in a power relation with their students. Teachers structure the possible actions of their students. Certain actions are encouraged, while others are prohibited. These are rules that the students are trained to obey. In other circumstances, violence might be a part of discipline, but rarely. Other means of correct training tend to be employed over brute force. (Garnar 2006: 351-352)
The complicated relationship between power, action and violence.
Unlike traditional discussions of power, Foucault argues that power is not simply repressive, involved with limiting freedom. Instead, power rewards the development of some habits and punishes others. Power is involved at every stage in "constructing" the individual. This point is significant, since Peirce sees habit as key aspect of being. Habits are what grounds the subject in the world, connecting it to the world. Habits allow the subject to successfully navigate through the world. (Garnar 2006: 352)
Power, habits, subjectivity. Identity construction.
Since power is understood as actions upon other actions, it cannot be seized or aquired. Actions are doings and cannot be held on to. This implies that there is no central nexus of power. Power is distributed through society. This is not to imply that such a distribution is equitable. Certain nodes have more power than others. The nodes function as sites where habits are structered. and restructured. (Garnar 2006: 352)
Power is distributed in society. Everybody is a nexus. People's actions structure power.
At the end of the day, we find that power and knowledge sustain each other. There is a circular relation between the two. Power creates knowledge and knovledge sustains power. Knowledge creates spaces for power to operate, while power provides sites for knowledge to be produced. In producing a field of knowledge, one develops techniques for transforming the actions of subjects that fall within that field. Furthermore, every power relation presupposes a body of knowledge about the subjects on which that power is operating. (Garnar 2006: 353)
This can also be read as the relationship between ideology/culture and power.
Techniques involve the construction of habits. (Garnar 2006: 354)
Sounds Maussian.
While there was theorizing about Man-As-Machine, much of the knowledge generated about controlling the human body was developed by the militaries of Europe through making soldiers. (Garnar 2006: 354)
Another reason to presume that a study of bodily techniques in military context will prove useful.
It is my contention that the power/knowledge complex is thoroughly semiotic. The starting place for such an assertion is Peirce's 1868 essay "Some Consequences of Four Incapacities." I will discuss the incapacities as a whole later, but at this point it is the third that concerns us. He simply states: "We have no power of thinking without signs." (CP: 5.265) It is from this proposition that we sketch out the connections between these divergent themes. Let me explain.
Peirce proposes that we are always caught up in sign-action; what he refers to as semiosis. Any thought we have is a sign, and the "end" of one sign leads to the next sign and so on. The Peircian sign has "three references: Ist, it is a sign to some thought which interprets it; 2nd, it is a sign for some object in that thought it is equivalent; 3rd, it is a sign in some respect or quality, which brings it into connection with its object" (CP: 5.283). (Garnar 2006: 355)
So is this pansemiotics?
Meaning arises out of this semiotic process. Meaning is never present within a sign. It is derived from the relations of signs to each other. For this reason: "we may say that meanings are inexhaustable." (CP: I.343) It is always possible for new interpretation of a sign to arise. (Garnar 2006: 355)
Cf. Every meaning has its homecoming celebration.
In order to make clearer the implications of this account of power, let me turn to the self. As discussed above, all thought occurs in signs. This means that any thought about the self will be a sign. All of the material we use to conceive of ourselves is signs. Peirce draws out the conclusion of this position quite bluntly: "Thus my language is the sum total of myself." (CP: 5.314) All we are is a self≈sign. Our subjectivity is constituted by signs we use. (Garnar 2006: 358)
#Self-commubication. #logocentrism. #semiotic repertory.
Two things here are all-importanh to assure oneself of and to remember. The first is that a person is not absolutely an individual. His thoughts are what he is "saying to himself," that is, is saving [sic] to that other self that is just coming into life in the flow of time. When one reasons, it is that critical self that one is trying to persuade; and all thought whatsoever is sign, and is mostly of the natural language. The second thing to remember is that the man's circle of society (however widely or narrowly this phrase way be understood) is a sort of loosely compacted person, in some respects of higher rank than the person of an individual organism. (CP: 5.421)
Here thoughts are self-communication. And a person's whole lebeswelt is a person, a holistic "alter".
It is through the effects of power, certain disciplinary techniques, in particular cases that the vaguness of language is eliminated. This is merely an example of power operatign in tis most repressive form, the creating of a strict right/wrong use of symbols. (Garnar 2006: 361)
This can be translated into behavior by means of orthodoxy.
Peirce argues that we have no such capacity for introspection. We do not have such open access to the mind. Instead, when we reflect on ourselves, this is reasoning about those things "commonly called external." This is the reason why the self is not given. The self must be inferred. It is a conclusion that is drawn from chains of signs. This is also the move that begins the distribution of the self. No longer is it some isolated entity, a complete, self-contained, self-knowing whole. The self becomes interpreted, inferred, derived, smeared out across time, society and power. (Garnar 2006: 363-364)
This is very much to my liking. The self is not given, it is taken.

The Politics of Survival

Trout, Lara 2010. The Politics of Survival: Peirce, Affectivity, and Social Criticism. Bronx: Fordham University Press.

Traditional Peirce scholars may wonder how Peirce can be so pedagogically effective for this social critical consciousness-raising. Scholars in social criticism may also have this question coupled with justice. Nonetheless, it is significant to note that in his later years Peirce experienced poverty, which in many respects removed him from the high-society circles in which he had formerly moved. His later writings, such as his essay "Evolutionary Love" (1893), suggests a corresponding sensitivity to the perspective of the poor. In a letter to his good friend William James, dated March 13, 1897, Peirce notes that "a world of which I knew nothing, and of which I cannot find that anybody who has written has really known much, has been disclosed to me, the world of misery" (quoted in Brent 1998, 259-60; cf. 261-62). (Trout 2010: 2-3)
Oh, Charlie.
By "internalization" I mean the incorporation, by means of reinforcement or trauma, of a belief into one's personal comportment and worldview, such that the belief is difficult to eradicate rationally. In hegemonic societies, this internalization can be continually reinforced through messages that portray a privileged experience as a societal norm. By "privilege" and its derivatives, I mean the increased advantages, opportunities, and resources available to those who are members of socio-politically dominant groups in society, such as the economically middle class, Euro-American whites, heterosexuals, men, and so on. By "hegemonic", I mean rflective of a closed circle of power representing and enforcing only self-interested perspectives. In hegemonic societies, mainstream societal habits are imposed by those in power and leave out non-hegemonic perspectives. (Trout 2010: 5)
This is by far the simplest definition of hegemony I have met.
For the pragmatist our beliefs are habits. And our habits inform all our behavior, in contrast to the narrower colloquial understanding of habits as including only repetitive or annoying activity, such as brushing one's teeth before bed or talking too loudly on one's cell phone. Habits are enacted not only by human individuals but also by human communities and, for Peirce, by nature itself (insofar as nature is external to humans). Through the large-scale habits of society and nature, individual habits are inescapably shaped. In human habits body and mind come together, and so do emotion and reason, individual and society, and self and others, as well as the personal and the political. (Trout 2010: 7)
This is the wider, "semiotics", understanding of habit, closely related to symbols. They are more like associations.
The narrower, scholarly genealogy of my project begins, quite simply, with my interest in two dimensions of Peircean scholarship that are underdeveloped: the latent post-Darwinian affective themes in Peirce's work and the compatibility between peirce's work and social criticism. By "affectivity" I mean the ongoing body-mind communication between the human organism and her or his individual, social, and external environments, for the promotion of survival and growth. This communication is shaped by biology, individual, semiotic, social, and other factors. My treatment of Peircean affectivity includes feelings, emotion, instinct, interest, sentiment, sympathy, and agapic love, as well as belief, doubt, and habit. (Trout 2010: 9)
It seems that "affectivity" in this sense is very similar or even identical to what I call "self-communication".
Peirce viewed the individual human organism as a body-minded, social animal who interacts semiotically with the world outside of her. He had little patience for the Cartesian portrayal of the individual as a disembodied, solipsistic knower with immediate epistemic access to truth. (Trout 2010: 25)
Just like I have little patience for post-strukturalist or textualist accounts of human subjectivity removed from the external world and no access to truth outside the text.
An important point for my project, which Peirce's ideas help articulate and address, is the following: when false universalization occurs in a hegemonic context, the exclusionary articulation of reality is enforced as both neutral and authoritative, such that divergent articulations are rendered conceptually problematic. Since the hegemonic account is supposedly neutral, no one is supposedly excluded. Since it is authoritative, those who would challenge its neutrality - such as those who are indeed left out - are likely to seem, or to be portrayed as, crazy, overreactive, merely emotional, or simply irrelevant, in comparison to the supposedly ahistorical, transcendent, objective "Truth" (Williams 1991, 8-9). Thus divergent viewpoints can be readily dismissed as falling short of the "real standards" by which "Truth" is assessed (8-9). (Trout 2010: 157)
I fear this is what I'm going to come across in service. Since it is written in the constitution that all healthy men must participate in compulsory military service, it is "crazy" to presume that one should have a choice in these matters.
Once again we take up the ongoing flow of human cognition and belief. In this 1890s context, Peirce's preferred vocabulary is "feelings"/"ideas," and the flow of human thought is described by the law of mind. he says, "The law of mind is that feelings and ideas attach themselves in thought so as to form systems" (CP 7.467). The systems formed as habits, habit-formation abeing one with the process of cognition, which Peirce describes as an ongoing "rhythm" (CP 7.412): "[T]he whole action of the soul [or mind], so far as it is subject to law consist[s] of nothing but taking up and letting drop in ceaseless alteration" (CP 7.410); "the whole activity of the mind consists of drawing in and dropping out" (CP 7.414)
When the mind allows feelings and ideas to "drop," they do not simply disappear. Rather they fade from conscious awareness to become part of new or existing habit systems, which exert a subtle but powerful influence on subsequent connections among ideas. This influence often goes unnoticed. It is the sway of sympathy among one's own habit systems, whose influence can shape our beliefs without our even knowing it (CP 7.434-35, CP 7.447-48). (Trout 2010: 175)
This is exactly how I feel and go about this blog. I rarely review what I have found in previous writings. Rather, I let the quotes and associations to accumulate on their own accord. It is without my conscious effort that these quotes that I seem to be interested in and feel the need to record here somehow all revolve around specific issues or problematic areas towards which I exhibit interest. I will let this topic "drop" for now, but it will not disappear - even in the minimal sense that it is recorded here - and when I finally do revisit this quote I can find further associations with other quotes. In this way my ideas develop on their own accord.
In "Pragmatism as the Logic of Abduction," Peirce problematizes our perceptual judgments by noting that they lie on a continuum with abductions. Perceptual judgments, for our purposes, are simply our perceptions. But these perceptions are, Peirge argues, interpretative - they have a "for me" character built into them. Adopting the Peirce's terminology of perception, we can say that we have no direct access to the percept. The percept is the brute secondness by which a sensation/feeling comes to us hic et nunc (here and now). There is no perspective from which to contemplate it or even talk about it: "Given a percept, this percept does not describe itself; for description involves analysis, while the percept is whole and undivided" (CP 7.626). The only way we can think about or describe a percept is through the perceptual judgment, by means of which I can say something like "That appears to be a yellow chair" (CP 7.626). Peirce also notes, "There is no objection to saying that 'The chair appears yellow' means 'The chair appears to me yellow'" (CP 7.630 n. 11). Our perceptions have an interpretive character, which reflects the perspective of the person perceiving, even though this "for me" character is often so subtle as to escape notive. (Trout 2010: 224)
Firstly this echoes the questions of description vs identification found in Lotman's writings. And secondly I see this as a way to explain the nature of my thesis: that the three dystopian works I am analyzed could be analyzed very differently from the same viewpoint; thus there is a pertinent "for me" aspect in it - the random articles and chapters I have read have formed my thoughts in a unique manner.

Sociofugal Space

Sommer, Robert 1967. Sociofugal Space. American Journal of Sociology 72(6): 654-660.

This is a case study of a place where people typically try to avoid one another, the type of area which has been termed "sociofugal space" by Osmong. (Sommer 1967: 654)
Curiously, another metaphor for my study of dystopian literature: Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four are on the opposite side of a continuum where the first the world is utterly sociopedal and in the second the world is utterly sociofugal. That is, in the first, John cannot be alone as being alone is "wrong", and in the second Winston is completely alone because normal human relations are inhibited - everyone avoids and distrusts everyone else.
...our chief concern is the way the occupants distribute themselves so as to increase psychological and social distance. (Sommer 1967: 654)
And I guess I have to look our for this in my participant-observation project.
The concept of sociofugal space has been used in the pejorative descriptive sense up to now, and its explanatory force has been almost nil. Little is known about what aspects of an environment keep people apart. it is hoped here to make a beginning to identify these features of the environment and, in addition, to relate them to more general concepts of sociality. Osmond first coined the term to describe unsuitable mental hospital architecture where the undesirability of sociofugality was self-evident. (Sommer 1967: 654)
"Sociofugality" is also an example of a notion coined in psychiatric research - this seems very common to nonverbal communication research in the 1950s (Ruesch, Goffman, Birdwhistell, Scheflen, perhaps even Ekman). The source is: Humphrey Osmond, "Function as the Basis of Psychiatric Ward Design," Mental Hospitals (April, 1957), pp. 23-29.
From the standpoint of its connotative meaning, sociofugal space tends to be large, cold, impersonal, institutional, not owned by any individual, overconcentrated rather than overcrowded, without opportunity for shielded conversation; providing barriers without shelter, isolation without privacy, and concentration without cohesion. (Sommer 1967: 655)
Sounds cruel. "Isolation without privacy" made me think of the bathrooms in our university department - the WC stalls/rooms for men and women are "isolated" by a thick wall, but conjoined by a window, making it possible to hear everything another is up behind the wall. Very uncomfortable if one is up to bigger business.
In theory the ultimate sociofugal environment is a row of isolation cells designed for solitary confinement, but in practice these have not effectively stifled communiaction between people. Numerous accounts of prison life, including those written on Death Row, describe the constant stream of messages traveling between vells. Inmates shout up and down the corridors, use tapping codes on the bars as well as messages carried by trusties who deliver the meals, and pull kites from cell to cell. No arrangement has yet been devised that completely eliminates communication between people who want to interact. (Sommer 1967: 655)
If there's a will, there's a way.
Instead, the ideal sociofugal environment is one where the rules prescribing isolation are accepted and enforced by the participants themselves and supported only secondarily by environmental constraints. In a sociofugal environment, intimacy between strangers is unexpected and generally unwelcome. This is particularly true if a person has deliberately sought the type of space that isolates him from other people. One must distinguish between sociofugal space chosen voluntarily (e.g., a study area) and space inhabited involuntarily (e.g., the corridor of a public building). Interaction is discouraged by the physical environment in both settings, but in the latter instance the motives for social intercourse may exist, while in the study area a person assumes that others present deliberately chose an isolating setting. (Sommer 1967: 655)
Thus sociofugal spaces, or at least ideal ones, are first and foremost based on self-censorship. Or is it a group's self-censorship or even alter-censorship? "Censorship" may even be the wrong word, perhaps "inhibition".
Avoidance works best in a room with many corners, alcoves, and peripheral areas hidden from view. An offensive display is most effective when a person can use features of a landscape to reinforce his dominance and control access and egress. If he can hold the high ground, he should be able to effectively dominate the territory. Over aggressive reactions to the approach of a newcomer, such as profanity, insults, or physical assault, rarely occur in a university study hall. A comparable investigation of territorial rights in a teen-age hangout might come up with very different findings. In the present situation, the cues for asocial motivation seem so apparent and easily understood by most patrons that there is no need for stronger measures to keep intruders away. (Sommer 1967: 658)
This claim about avoidance is universal enough to work just as well in discussions of military tactics. Egress, by the way, is the action of going out of or leaving a place.

Berger, Peter L. and Thomas Luckmann 1991. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Ch. 3. "Theories about Identity", pp. 194-200. & Ch. 4. "Organism and Identity", pp. 201-204.
Identity is formed by social processes. Once crystallized, it is maintained, modified, or even reshaped by social relations. The social processes involved in both the formation and the maintenance of identity are determined by the social structure. Conversely, the identities produced by the interplay of organism, individual consciousness and social structure react upon the given social structure, maintaining it, modifying it, or even reshaping it. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 194)
The relationship of identity and society is thus a two-way interaction where various processes occur.
As we have seen, orientation and conduct in everyday life depend upon such typifications. This means that identity types can be observed in everyday life and that assertions like the ones above can be verified - or refuted - by ordinary men endowed with common sense. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 194)
The argument here is that identity type modifies the conduct of individuals. In Theophrastus's sense, character and conduct are interrelated.
Identity is a phenomenon that emerges from the dialectic between individual and society. Identity types, on the other hand, are social products tout court, relatively stable elements of objective social reality (the degree of stability being, of couse, socially determined in its turn). As such, they are the topic of some form of theorizing in any society, even if they are stable and the formation of individual identities is relatively unproblematic. Theories about identity are always embedded in a more general interpretation of reality; they are 'built into' the symbolic universe and its theoretical legitimations, and vary with the character of the latter. Identity remians unintelligbile unless it is located in a world. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 195)
In the first instance, identity occurs between what Mary Douglas calls the personal (physical) and social bodies. In the second instance, characters or identity/behavioral types are products of sociocultural processes - they are outside the individual.
The rural Haitian who internalizes Voudun psychology will become possessed as soon as he discovers certain well-defined signs. Similarly, the New York intellectual who internalizes Freudian psychology will become neurotic as soon as he diagnoses certain well-known symptoms. Indeed, it is possible that, given a certain biographical context, signs or symptoms will be produced by the individuals himself. The Haitian will, in that case, produce not symptoms of neurosis but signs of possession, while the New Yorker will construct his neurosis in conformity with the recognized symptomatology. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 199)
This is why I am reluctant to read about Nonverbal Learning Disability. But it must also be recognized that this is a constructivist account of psychological disorders.
We discussed much earlier the organismic presuppositions and limitations of the social construction of reality. It is important to stress now that the organism continues to affec each phase of man's reality-constructing activity and that the organism, in turn, is itself affected by this activity. Put crudely, man's animality is stransformed in socialization, but it is not abolished. Thus man's stomach keeps grumbling away even as he is about his business of world-building. Conversely, events in this, his product, may make his stomach grumble more, or less, or differently. Man is even capable of eating and theorizing at the same time. The continuing coexistence of man's animality and his sociality may be profitably observed at any conversation over dinner. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 201)
This seems true, but is also manifests a Socratic motive of "a body is an endless source of trouble," in this case to theorizing.
A pointed illustration of society's limitation of the organism's biological possibilities is longevity. Life expectancy varies with social location. Even in contemporary American society there is considerably discrepancy between the life expectancies of lower-class and upper-class individuals. Furthermore, both the incidence and the character of pathology vary with social location. Lower-class individuals are ill more frequently than upper-class indiiduals; in addition they have different illnesses. In other words, society determines how long and in what manner the individual organism shall live. This determination may be institutionally programmed in the operation of social controls, as in the institution of law. Society can maim and kill. Indeed, it is in its power over life and death that it manifests its ultimate control over the individual. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 202)
This is a useful hint for what to look out for in terms of social constructionism and aging studies.
Sexuality and nutrition are channeled in specific directions socially rather than biologically, a channeling that not only imposes limits upon these activities, but directly affects organismic functions. Thus the successfully socialized individual is incapable of functioning sexually with the 'wrong' sexual object and may vomit when confronted with the 'wrong' food. As we have seen, the social channeling of activity is the essence of institutionalization, which is the foundation for the social construction of reality. it may be said then that social reality determines not only activity and consciousness but, to a considerable degree, organismic functioning. Thus such intrinsically biological functions as orgasm and digestion are socially structured. Society also determines the manner in which the organism is used in activity; expressivity, gait and gestures are socially structured. The possibility of a sociology of the body that this raises need not concern us here. The point is that society sets limits to the organism, as the orgnaism sets limits to society. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 202-203)
The sociology of the body has of course by now bore some fruit.
In the fully socialized individual there is a continuing internal dialectic between identity and its biological substratum. The individual continues to experience himself as an organism, apart from and sometimes set against the socially derived objectifications of himself. Often this dialectic is apprehended as a struggle between a 'higher' and a 'lower' self, respectively equated with social identity and pre-social, possibly anti-social animality. The 'higher' self must repeatedly assert itself over the 'lower', sometimes in critical tests of strength. For example, a man must overcome his instinctive fear of death by courage in battle. The 'lower' self here is whipped into submission by the 'higher', an assertion of dominance over the biological substratum that is necessary if the social identity of warrior is to be maintained, both objectively and subjectively. (Berger & Luckmann 1991: 203-204)
This sounds awfully lot like the submission of biological needs - such as sexuality - in 1984.

Foucault, Michel 1993. About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self: Two Lectures at Dartmouth. Political Theory 21(2): 198-227.

To make someone suffering from mentla illness recognize that he is mad is a very ancient procedure. Everybody in the old medicine, before the middle of the nineteenth century, everybody was convinced of the incompatibility between madness and recognition of madness. And in the works, for instance, of the seventeenth and of the eighteenth centuries, one finds many examples of what one might call truth-therapies. The mad would be cured if one managed to show them that their delirium is without any relation to reality. (Foucault 1993: 201)
It sounds as if by resorting to the meta-level and recognizing the object-level for what it is should somehow reframe or modify the object-level itself. Whether this is so or not is in doubt.
Up to the present I have proceeded with this general project in two ways. I have dealt with the modern theoretical constitutions that were concerned with the subject in general. I have tried to analyze in a previous book theories of the subject as a speaking, living, working being. I have also dealt with the more practical understanding formed in those institutions like hospitals, asylums, and prisons, where certain subjects became objects of knowledge and at the same time objects of domination. And now, I wish to study those forms of understanding which the subject creates about himself. Those forms of self-understanding are important I think to analyze the modern experience of sexuality. (Foucault 1993: 202-203)
In short, "hermeneutics of the subject" is concerned with self-understanding (as opposed to "care of the self").
It seems, according to some suggestions by Habermas, that one can distinguish three major types of techniques in human societies: the techniques which permit one to produce, to transform, to manipulate things; the techniques which permit one to use sign systems; and the techniques which eprmit one to determine the conduct of individuals, to impose certain wills on them, and to submit them to certain ends or objectives. That is to say, there are techniques of production, techniques of signification, and techniques of domination. (Foucault 1993: 203)
This is a familiar passage. I have little to do with production, but the latter two techniques are exactly what I am interested in.
Of course, if one wants to study the history of natural sciences, it is useful if not necessary to take into account techniques of production and semiotic techniques. But since my project was concerned with knowledge of the subject, I thought that the techniques of domination were the most important, without any exclusion of the rest. but, analyzing the experience of sexuality, I became more and more aware that there is in all societies, I think, in all societies whatever they are, another type of techniques: techniques which permit individuals to effect, by their own means, a certain number of operations on their own bodies, on their own souls, on their own thoughts, on their own conduct, and this in a manner so as to transform themselves, modify themselves, and to attain a certain state of perfection, of happiness, of purity, of supernatural power, and so on. Let's call this kind of techniques a techniques or technology of the self. (Foucault 1993: 203)
This is more akin to care of the self. I very much enjoy the phrase "semiotic techniques" and I think in my work these are conflated with techniques of the self (and with techniques of the body, for that matter).
It is well known that the main objective of the Greek schools of philosophy did not consist of the elaboration, the teaching, of theory. The goal of the Greek schools of philosophy was the transformation of the individual. The goal of the Greek philosophy was to give the individual the quality which would permit him to live differently, better, more happily, than other people. What place did the self-examination and the confession have in this? At first glance, in all the ancient philosophical practices, the obligation to tell the truth about oneself occupied a rather restrained place. And this for two reasons, both of which remain valid throughout the whole Greek and Hellenistic Antiquity. The first of those reasons is that the objective of philosophical training was to arm the individual with a certain number of precepts which permit him to conduct himself in all circumstances of life without him losing mastery of himself or without losing tranquility of spirit, purity of body and soul. From this principle stems the importance of the master's discourse. The master's discourse has to talk, to explain, to persuade; he has to give the disciple a universal code for all his life, so that the verbalization takes place on the side of the master and not on the side of the disciple. (Foucault 1993: 205)
Here the ancient paraskeue actually links up with Goffman's presentation of the self and Mauss's techniques of the self.
One recalls what was the objective of Stoic technology: it was to superimpose, as I tried to explain to you last week, the subject of knowledge and the subject of will by means of the perpetual rememorizing of the rules. The formula which is at the heart of exomologesisis, in contrary, ego non sum ego. The exomologesis seeks, in opposition to the Stoic techniques, to superimpose by an act of violent rupture the truth about oneself and the renunciation of oneself. in the ostententious gestures of maceration, self-revelation in ecomologesis is, at the same time, self-destruction. (Foucault 1993: 215)
I wonder if self-revelation and self-destruction are somehow active in the fields I am studying. The latter, at least, seems to be associated with self-mortification.
Obediene in the monastic institutions must bear on all the aspects of life; there is an adage, very well known in the monastic literature, which says, "everything that one does not do on order of one's director, or everything that one does without his permission, constitutes a theft." Therefore, obedience is a permanent relationship, and even when the monk is old, even when he became, in his turn, a master, even then he has to keep the spirit of obedience as a permanent sacrifice of his own will. (Foucault 1993: 216)
This seems to be the way some modern "total" institutions are organized today as well.

Struktuur, dekonstruktsioon ja võim

Puumeister, Ott 2013. Struktuur, dekonstruktsioon ja võim. Esimene peatükk valmivast magistritööst.

Alustame hüpoteesist, et tänapäeva Lääne ühiskonna poliitiline ruum on organiseeritud semantilis-süntaktilise kultuuritüübi ärgi, et ühiskondlik võimumehhanism on oma põhiolemuselt struktuur, kas vähema või suurema komplekssusega. Nii Giorgio Agambne, Jacques Rancière kui Alain Badiou joonistavad välja ühiskondlik-poliitilise ruumi kui struktuure välja, mille eesmärgiks on panna struktuuriseadused ja ühiskondlikud protsessid kokku langema. Taoline kokkulangevus tähendaks aga poliitilise tegevuse ja poliitilise subjektsuse võimatust: kui miski ei asu väljaspool struktuuri, kui indiviidide tegevus on täielikult kirjeldatud, keele sisestatud, muutub selle väljaspoolne tähendusetuks, mõttetuks. (Puumeister 2013)
Okei, kordame: semantiline (sümboliline) kultuurikood on kindlatesse märkidesse süvenemine, semantilise tähenduse valitsemine; süntaktiline kultuurikood on tekstiline ja selles valitseb tekst milles vana ja uus vastanduvad; asemantiline ja asüntaktiline on mitte-märgiline, mitte-tekstiline, mitte-sõnaline, looduslik ja loodud vastanduvad, reaalne on vaid päris asjade maailm ning märkide maailma eitatakse; semantilis-süntaktilises kultuuritüübis valitseb on verbaalne tekst. Seega siinne hüpotees näib olevat poliitilise välja tekstuaalsus. Lähenemine on diskursiivne ning välistuse põhimõttel ei ole see mis pole tekstuaalne (ja ei sobitu olemasolevasse kaanonisse) olemas, ei ole fakt. Minu jaoks selline hüpotees ei sobi, sest ma ei näe, et võimu materiaalne - kehaline - pinnas oleks kuskile kadunud; see on selline dimensioon mis ei saa kunagi võimuvõrgustike pinnalt lahkuda, kui just inimesed ei riputa oma kehad "varna" ja koli oma ajude/vaimudega maatriksisse.
Kolme nimetatud autori eesmärgiks on aga just sellest semantiliselt ja süntaktiliselt korrastatud süsteemist välja langeva , struktureerimisele vastu paneva tähendustamine. Sellest, mis ei ole struktureeritud ning mida seetõttu ühiskondlikult ei eksisteeri, peab tekkima võimalus poliitiliseks tegevuseks. (Puumeister 2013)
Peaagu tundub, et ka kehaline käitumine on selline "struktureerimisele vastu panev" aspekt, aga see ei näi jällegi tõene, sest kehade tasandil valitsevad lihtsalt teistsugused - sõnatud või isegi "väljendamatud" - võimusuhted.
Keel, Saussure'i (2011: 9) järgi, on eneseküllane tervik ja klassifikatsiooniprintsiip. Kui käsitleda ühiskonda kui struktuuri, muutub ka ühiskond eneseküllaseks tervikuks ning struktuuri seisukohalt osutub oluliseks vaid see, mis toimub selle siseselt. Eesmärgiga eristada sisemine (seaduspärane, struktuurile omane) ja väline (juhuslik, sündmuslik), eristas Saussure keelt (langue) ja kõnet (parole), eemaldades viimase rangelt keele sfäärist. keele eraldamine kõnest eristab nii sotsiaalset individuaalsest kui ka olemuslikku juhuslikkust (Giddens 1994: 10). Sündmuslik, juhuslik, mis hilisemas arutluses hõivab keskse koha, ei ole struktuuri seisukohast kirjeldatava. (Puumeister 2013)
Jälle jooksen vastu seina, sest minu jaoks on võimatu samastada ühiskonda ja keelt. Keel on keel; ühiskond on keel + kõik muud koodid + tekstid + inimesed + nende kehad + keelemärgid, koodid ja tekstid mis puudutavad inimesi ja kehasid + materiaalne alusbaas (kõik mis kehasid ümbritsevad, riietest linnadeni). Seega keele struktuur on minu arusaamas väga väike osake ja ei saa mitte mingil juhul määrata ühiskonna struktuuri - sündmuslik ja juhuslik on valitsevad, struktureeritud on vähe.
Tähistaja võib küll näida arbitraarne ning vabalt valitud idee suhtes, mida ta väljendab, kuid on fikseeritud keelekogukonnas, mis seda kasutab. [...] Mitte ükski indiviid, isegi kui ta tahaks, ei suuda kuidagi muuta valikut, mis on tehtud; veel enam, ka kogukond ise ei suuda kontrollida isegi ühte sõna - kogukond on seotud eksisteeriva keelega. (Saussure 2011: 71)
Ma kõlan juba nagu täieõiguslik vastanduja (contrarian), aga see näib olevat üdini väär. Ajalugu, isegi semiootika ajalugu, on täis juhtumeid mil üks indiviid suudab muuta keelt, leiutada ja kontrollida sõnu. Olgugi, et paljud Charles Peirce'i neologismid olid tegelikud paleologismid (minevikus leiutatud sõna mis lihtsalt ei leidnud laialdast kasutust), leiutas ta siiski hulgi sõnu mida tulevane kogukond kasutab ja kontrollib vabalt. Lühidalt, märgiloome käib tähendusloomega käsikäes.
Kui lubada süsteemi muuta individuaalsel ja juhuslikul - seaduspäratul - [viisil] muutuks keele kirjeldamine struktuurina võimatuks. (Puumeister 2013)
Mina arvan, et keelesüsteem muutubki individuaalsel, juhuslikult ja seaduspäratul viisil. Kui see oleks range seaduspärane struktuur siis ei näeks sõnastike loojad nii suurt vaeva nagu nad näevad.
[K]õne on see, mis põhjustab keele arengu: teise kuulamise käigus kogutud muljed modifitseerivad meie keelelisi harjumusi. Keel ja kõne on seega teineteisest sõltuvad; esimene on nii viimase vahend kui ka produkt. Kuid nende sõltuvus teineteisest ei välista, et tegemist on absoluutselt erinevate nähtustega (Saussure 2011: 19)
Teineteisest sõltuvad, kuid siiski radikaalselt erinevad. Kõnes leidub keele "muutuse pisik", nagu Saussure ütleb, kuid kõnelejad ega kõnekogukonnad ei ole suutelised muutma keelt korrastavaid reegleid, keelesüsteemi seaduseid - kui kõnelejad on keeleseadustest suuresti teadmatud, kuidas saaksid neid muuta (samas, 72)? Kõne võimaldab muuta keele elemente ehk märke - parem oleks ehk öelda, et võimaldada muutuda keele elementidel -, mis on konstitueeritud arbitraarse tähistaja-tähistatava suhte kaudu. Kuid keele reeglid on kõnelejate jaoks alateadlikud ning järelikult kontrollimatud; võib isegi öelda, et keelesüsteem on kõnelejaid struktureeriv, mitte vastupidi. (Puumeister 2013)
Siin tuleb välja, et ma eksisin - keele elemente saab kasutaja muuta (leiutada sõnu) kuid keele kasutamist määravaid (süntaktilisi?) reegleid mitte. Päriselus me muidugi kõneleme ja kirjutame tihti reeglitest hoolimata "valesti" ometi üksteisest aru saades. Kõne ja keele radikaalne erinevus pani mind - vähemasti ühte Derrida teksti lugedes - mõtisklema, et kehaline käitumine ("kõne") ja teadmised kehalisest käitumisest ("keel") on samamoodi radikaalselt erinevad. Kuiet käitumine ei nõua "keele" õppimist, sest suur osa sellest on nö hardwired meie kehadesse (nt moro reflex ja startle reflex).
Ja struktureeriv sõna otseses mõttes: välistades enesest objekti, välise reaalsuse, muutub keel ise keskkonnaks ja maailmaks, milles kõneleja elab. Keelesüsteem muutub ainsaks reaalsuse allikaks ja autoriteetseks kirjeldajaks. Eksisteerib vaid see, mis kuulub süsteemi; eksisteerib vaid kõne, mis viib täide keelesüsteemi. Frederic Jameson (1974) on sellist olukorda nimetanud "keele vangimajaks": inimene on keele poolt reaalsusesse eraldatud, mitte selle kaudu reaalsusega ühendatud. (Puumeister 2013)
See lähtub siis sellest neljandast kultuuritüübist kus maailm väljaspool keelt ja kõne justkui ei eksisteeri. Analoogia poliitilisusega muutub nüüd ehk natuke katsutavamaks: see mis ei järgi poliitilisi huve, ei ole väljendatav poliitilises keeles ega sobitu poliitilistesse kategooriatesse ei eksisteeri. Anarhism on hea näide - kui see on poliitikale sama mis ateism religioonile, siis ei saagi poliitika kunagi tunnistada, et meie hulgas on inimesi kes on väljaspool poliitika ulatust, kes elavad "alternatiivselt". Lihtne näide sellisest teadvusest on praegune squati-kisma: noorukid on hõivanud maja, teinud selle korda ja on kogukonnale kasulikud; naabruskandis elav linnasekretär on aga välja nihverdanud volikirja millega "tuleohtlikud" noored välja tõsta (hoolimata sellest, et tuletõrje pressiesindaja sõnutsi ei ole nad ohtlikumad kui keegi teine).
Sellelt taustalt saame ka identiteedist rääkida kui sotsiaalse süsteemi elemendist, tähistajast ja tähistatavast koosnevast märgist, mille väärtus on määratud (isegi determineeritud) suhete kaudu kõigi teiste süsteemi kuuluvate märkidega. Seejuures tähistaja, ütleme "eestlane" ei viita sugugi konkreetsetele inimestele, vaid kontseptile ["]eestlane["], mis on defineeritav kuulumise kaudu teatud ühiskondlikesse alasüsteemidesse (näiteks bioloogiline, ideoloogiline, keeleline, hariduslik, majanduslik jne süsteemid), millel kõigil on oma sisemine aegruumiline korrastus, mida kõiki valitsevad oma sisemised (keelelised) seadused. (Puumeister 2013)
See on tuttav motiiv: "Inimene on märk." mis läbistab nii Peirce'i kui ka mõne Praha ringi mõtleja teooriat. Minu mure siin on staatilisusega: identiteet on siin püsiv, tal on väärtus (vb "staatus" ühiskonnas?). Minu seisukohast on ka inimene märk, aga mitte muutumatu ja stabiilne, vaid pidevalt muutuv ja kõigile erinev. See on osaliselt seotud rolliteooriaga, sest ema jaoks olen ma ühte tüüpi märk, vennale teine, sõbrale kolmas ja iseendale veel hoopis midagi muud. Veel enam, need on veel suhteliselt püsivad märgisuhted võrreldes sellega mis toimub laias ühiskonnas igapäevaselt võõrastega läbi käies, kelle jaoks ma olen märk mille tähistatav triivib vastavalt sellele kuidas mina käitun ja kuidas tema seda tõlgendab. Kõnniteel võõrast mõõdudes olen ma suhteliselt neutraalne märk, aga niipea kui ma võtan taskust noa ja torman sellega tema poole olen ma juba midagi hoopis muud. Selline "element sotsiaalses süsteemis" saan ma olla vaid paberi peal; ja siis ei ole see tõesti enam märk minust vaid märk nt rahvastikuregistris.
Lühidalt, kui tähistaja ja tähistatava kord langeksid teineteisega kokku, kattuksid lineaarses jadas, oleks tähendusloome, märgiprotsess võimatu. Tähendus oleks ajaväliselt kinnistatud ning muutumatu: universaalselt kehtiv hegemoonne süsteem. Différance on seega tähistusprotsessi kui sellise võimaldamine. (Puumeister 2013)
Kahjuks ei hooma ma täielikult seda lähenemist. Mõnikord on tunne, et keelefilosoofid ise on niivõrd lahutatud reaalsusest, et nende ideed ei saagi midagi öelda tegelikkuse kohta. Minu valdkonnas ei ole see eriti võimalik, sest keha on vahetult materiaalne.
Interaktsiooni uurimiseks on tarvilik subjekt, seega peab sotsiaalteooria eesmärgiks olema tegutsemisvõimelise subjekti taastamine samal ajal "subjektivismi langemata" (samas, 44). Ehk: tuleb tunnistada, et subjekt peab tegutsema (nii võimusuhete, kommete, normide, keelte, teadmiste jne poolt) struktureeritud sotsiaalses ruumis ning saab selles sotsiaalse subjektina konstitueeritud, kuid samal ajal tuleb mõista, et subjekt on teadlik tegutseja ning ei ole struktuurisuhete poolt determineeritud. (Puumeister 2013)
See on huvitav milliseid kategooriaid ühes või teises olukorras rivistatakse. Siin on võimusuhted, kombed, normid, keeled ja teadmised rivistatud, kuigi nt kommete ja normide kohta ilmselt midagi erilist ei öeldud ei saa. Ma ise arvan, et subjektiivsuse teemat saaks puhtamal kujul lahata kui teha vaevaline samm tagasi ja pöörduda nt Denis Diderot' "inimeste teadmiste figuratiivse süsteemi" poole kus teadmiste kolmeks haruks on mälu, mõistus (reason) ja kujutlusvõime. Mulle endale meeldiks kunagi inimese käitumist nende kategooriate abil kaardistad; põhiliselt selle tõttu, et mitteverbaalse suhtlemise diskursuses on need jäänud julmalt tähelepanuta - suhtlemine toimub justkui vaakumis kus mõistus haarab mitteverbaalseid märke. Samas on suhteliselt kerge kõneleda sellest kuidas ühiskond toimib sujuvalt tänu mälule: igas inimtegevuse sfääris on korduvatel sündmustel ja käitumistel, samadel inimestel, tuttavatel stsenaariumitel jne ülioluline roll. Kujutlusvõimet ei kohta jällegi üldse, sest keskendutakse sellele kuidas asjad on mitte kuidas nad näivad - ometi on kujutlustel, sündmustel mida pole toimunud ja mida ehk ei saagi toimuda, nii suur panus motivatsioonile. Ohjah, läksin teemast kõrvale.
Valitsemise seisukohalt on nüüd vajalik lisaks teadmiste organiseerimisele juhtida inimeste käitumist vastavalt teadmistele; on vajalik, et subjekt tõlgiks teises keeles loodud teadmised enesekohaseks käitumiseks; inimesel on tarvis iseendast struktureerida ühiskondlikuks subjektiks. Ühiskonna mõistmine strukturatsiooniprotsessina tähendab subjekti jaoks teadlikku eneseregulatsiooni kultuuriliste, ühiskondlike ja poliitiliste reeglite järgi. (Puumeister 2013)
Minu emakeeleoskus on erosiooni tõttu õige vaeseks jäänud, et selle väljendi mõistmiseks pidin küll sõnatiku appi võtma. Esimene pakkumine oleks self-appropriate, aga see ei meiki väga senssi. Teine pakkumine on self-congruous mis on juba mõistuspärasem. Nimelt on congruity mitte ainult "kohane" vaid ka "kokkusobiv" või "vastav". Küll aga tekib probleem sellega, et selles tähenduses enesekohane käitumine on "iseendaga vastavuses käitumine" mitte "ühiskonnaga vastavuses käitumine". Ma ei teagi...
Teksti mõiste on siin kasutatud loomulikult võimalikult laialt kui semiootiliselt piiritletud üksust teatud kultuuriruumis (semiosfääris): tekstina võib mõista nii üksikindiviidi (tema elu, käitumist, positsiooni ühiskonnas jne) kui ka tervet kultuuri. Kui ka kultuuriruumil (semiosfääril) kui üksiktekstil on oma sisemine struktuur, võib neid näha sarnastena: "Asudes struktuurilise hierarchia teistel tasandite[l], ilmutavad nad terviku suhtes isomorfismi-omadust. Sel moel on need osad ühteaegu nii terviku osad kui ka teme analoogid" (Lotman 1999a: 21). (Puumeister 2013)
Semiosfäär on mudel ja erinevad mõtlejad rakendavad seda erinevalt. Lotmani jaoks näib see olevat kultuuri "sünonüüm." Või, noh, vähemasti semiootilises mõttes, sest kultuuri saab teadupoolest käsitleda väga erinevatel viisidel. Mõne jaoks on tekst semiosfäär; Ventseli jaoks (vähemasti 2009. töös) on diskursus semiosfäär. Minu jaoks on inimene semiosfäär mis asetub maailma semiosfääris. Ehk: mitte ainult ühiskond ja kultuur, vaid "kõiksus" - kõik mida üks inimene teab ja tunneb on semiosfäär ja ta ise on omakorda semiosfäär selle sees; ja vastupidi, märgimaailm asub üksikindiviidi "peas". Pisut ilusamalt sõnastatuna on see "minu ja maailma teineteisesolemine". Ma kahtlustan, et minu arusaam semiosfäärist erineb teistest nii väga, et mingil hetkel tuleb mul see ümber nimetada semioversumiks.
Valitsemist tuleb siin mõista laialt foucault'likus raamistikus kui inimeste käitumise juhtimist (Foucault 2008: 186); mitte loomulikult otsest sekkumist indiviidide käitumisse, vaid pigem keskkonda - ning selle kaudu indiviidide vaheliste suhete - kujundamist. (Puumeister 2013; joonealune märkus)
Selline määratlus sobib minu vajadustele ideaalselt; pooleldi selle pärast, et ühildub ühe kommunikatsiooni definitsiooniga mille järgi suhtlemine on alati käitumise juhtimine.
Jättes inimesed omapäi, tekib kaos; nagu Kant kirjutas, inimene vajab valitsejat; kuid et ka valitseja on inimene, kellel on samasugused nõrkused ja kalduvus isekuse, lodevuse jne poole, vajab ka valitseja järelvalvet ning ratsionaalset käitumisalust. (Puumeister 2013)
Kohe üldse ei nõustu selle Hobbesiliku väitega. Anarhistide kogemused ütlevad, et esiteks ei teki kaos vaid "teistmoodi" ühiskonnakorraldus, ja teiseks ei jäta valitsused inimesi kunagi omapäi. Kataloonia anarhistide juhtum kõneleb selgelt selle poolt, et kui inimesed kuskil vabanevad valitsusest, rikkuritest ja võimuritest ning hakkavad teistmoodi ühiskonnakorraldust ehitama, siis naaberriigid panevad omavahelised konfliktid pausi peale ja teevad ühiselt kõik, et vabanenud inimesed maha lasta. Kanti puhul meeldib mulle palju enam see seisukoht millelt Cassirer teda näeb: et Kanti jaoks on vabaduse täius see kui eetilised subjektid kehtestavad iseendi üle ise seadusi; et Kanti jaoks langes vabadus kokku eneselegislatsiooni või autonoomiaga. Tähendab, mulle näib, et Kant eelistas enese-valitsemist välisele valitsemisele.

Rohkem ei suutnud midagi välja tuua. Näiteks zoe/bios vastandus ja tegusõnana police tunduvad huvitavad, aga Eesti keeles ma lihtsalt ei ole võimeline neid täielikult mõistma ja oma tööga analooge tooma.

Gestures and Looks in Medieval Narrative

Burrow, J. A. 2002. Gestures and Looks in Medieval Narrative. Port Chester: Cambridge Unviersity Press.

Modern experts have studied, often in minute detail, such things as facial expression, gaze, gesture, and posture. When medieval commentators touched on these matters, as they sometimes did, tney were most often concerned with gestures, and in particular with what was proper improper in such bodily movements - the disciplines of decent gesture. Tere was also at that time, however, a scholastic tradition which considered non-verbal messages as part of a general theory of signs, signa - for semiology, though the term is modern, was not the creation of Peirce or Saussure, as their successors sometimes claim. A main authority for such discussions 'de signis' was a section of the De Doctrina Christiana of St Augustine; and since Augustine's understanding of the matter lies quite close to that adopted in this book, it seems appropriate to start with what he has to say. (Burrow 2002: 1)
The concern with appropriateness seems valid, as they lacked methods to study these matters in finer detail. I am especially interested in this scholastic tradition, as I currently have little to nothing from medieval ages on nonverbal behavior. Also, I should one day read 'de signis' section in English.
Here Augustine raises in passing the question of whether animals can be credited with that voluntas significandi upon which his prime distinction turn: do cocks or doves intend to signify when they crow or coo?
Leaving that question aside, Augustine passes on to treat signs 'given' by human beings. He classifies them according to the sense at which they are directed: some to the eyes, most to the ears, and a few to the other sense. Words form by far the most important type of audible signs (he also mentions the music of trumpet, flute, and lyre); but especially relevant here are his observations on signs directed to the eyes:
When we nod, we give a sign just for the eyes of the person whom we want, by means of that sign, to make aware our wishes. Certain movements of the hands signify a great deal. Actors, by the movement of all their limbs, give certain signs to the cognoscenti and, as it were, converse with the spectator's eyes; and it is through the eyes that flags and standards convey the wishes of military commanders. All these things are, to coin a phrase, visible words [verba visibilia].
(Burrow 2002: 2)
I don't exactly agree with verba visibilia, but voluntas significandi sounds interesting. So does the idea to divide signs by sensory channels or body parts - mainly because it opens up the possibility of dividing signs further by signs directed "to the feet" (locomotion), "to the back" (postures), to the skin (touch, texture), etc. Also, that the hands signify a great deal made me think of self-communication as a signification process necessary for everyday living - the practical techniques of prepating and eating food, for example, must signify a great deal for the person whom they serve.
The texts studied in this book deal mostly in visible signs such as gestures and looks, and it is with these that I shall be chiefly concerned, for only a few involve (non-verbal) sound: laughs, an occasional meaning cough, and a diabolical fart. (Burrow 2002: 3)
Haha, yes, coughs and farts are also part of nonverbal behavior.
Some modern observers object to the criterion of intentionality on the grounds that, since intentions are themselves not open to inspection, they can only be inferred, and that uncertainly. But this objection hardly has any force for a student not of behaviours but of texts. Unlike real people, persons in texts have no inaccessible insides, nor can they harbour intentions beyond what their author states or implies. So one can apply the Augustinian test with some confidence, even to the less straightforward cases. (Burrow 2002: 3)
Wow. Burrow is to my current knowledge the first to implicate concursive apprach with such liberties.
Non-verbal communication in the medieval West is, needless to say, a vast and varied subject, and only some few patches of it have so far been investigated. One approach taken by scholars has been to focus on the evidence provided by a single author or artist. Thus, R. G. Benson selected Chaucer's writing for his study of 'medieval body language', and the art historian M. Barasch devoted an excellent book to the 'language of gestur' in the paintings of Giotto. An alternative method is to concentrate on a single type of action, as Barasch does in his other book, on gestures of despair, or P. Ménard does in a remarkable survey of Old French smiles and laughter. Or a study may confine itself to some particular genre of writing, as in D. Peil's comparative investigation into some Arthurian romances in medieval French and German. So far as medieval English is concerned, the only really substantial study to date is W. Habicht's monograph on body language in Old and Middle English poetry, a book to which the present study owes a debt. (Burrow 2002: 5)
Invaluable information for my concursive project. That is, all these seem to be concursive studies. It is about time to recognize the interconnectedness of nonverbalist study of literature, art and other forms of culture.
My own interest in the subject was prompted first by the non-verbal signs in Middle English poems, notably Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde. It seemed to me that readers, myself included, were inclined to underestimate the weight and force of many of these signs. Nor could their meanings always be taken for granted, as we are also inclined to do - as if fourteenth-century kisses, for example, had just the same range of meanings as modern ones. (Burrow 2002: 5)
This is exactly why concursive approach is useful - to bring to the fore the importance of otherwise unremarkable references to bodily behavior. It is important to recognize the concourse of nonverbal and nonverbal as the analysis might yield a deeper insight into the time, place and practices in question - in this case, for example, the act of kissing in the fourteenth century.
In life, non-verbal signs form a frequent, sometimes a continuous, accompaniment to speech; but in texts, not least in medieval texts, they are recorded only sporadically. Hence they can readily be neglected by readers. It is the general purpose of this study simply to help remedy that neglect, by drawing attention to occasions when such acts as gestures or looks play a significant part in the medieval writer's representation of exchanges and relationships between characters. A secondary aim is to encourage the realisation that non-verbal signs, like words, need to be understood historically. One must be prepared to find that they too may have undergone change over time. Some of the more formal gestures, such as bowing and kneeling, are now largely obsolete in the West; so we are inclined to underestimate their significance and force, and also fail to appreciate the subtleties that may attend their performance: in medieval Europe, as in modern Japan, an underperformed bow does not pass unnoticed. Other actions, more familiar in themselves, lie open to misreading because the conventions governing their use have changed. They are the non-verbal equivalents of those misleadingly familiar words sometimes referred to as false friends. It should cause no surprise, after all, to find that certain of these signs - headshakes and winks, for example - had somewhat different meanings then from what we are accustomed to today. (Burrow 2002: 6)
Very insightful. Also, the false friends analogy had not occurred to me.
Other observers are inclined to see NVC as functioning much more like the distinctively human institution of language, its items being generally determined not by evolutionary or rather natural factors, but by the diverse cultures of humanity. The social anthropologist Edmund Leach presents a particularly challenging statement of this position. He asserts that 'cross-species ethological comparisons between men and animals are nearly always thoroughly misleading' (p. 331); and he is equally sceptical about attempts to establish 'any consistent relationship between non-verbal signals and response when such signals are observed in differing cultural environments' (p. 329). Such signals are, he says, 'related to one another as a total system after the fashion of a language' (p. 318); so comparison between individual items abstracted from their different systems must be misleading. (Burrow 2002: 8)
Burrow goes on to discuss Birdwhistell, but this suggestion in itself is enough to suggest a semiospheric approach to nonverbal communication. That is, not only systemic relationships between various nonverbal signals, but also interrelations between language, art, myth, and other symbolic forms of culture.
The most distinctive gesture in these ceremonies was the immixtio manuum. By placing his hands palm-to-palm between the palms of his lord, the vassal both symbolically and in reality ceased to be his own man. (Burrow 2002: 12)
This seems like a voluntary act by which the vassal has decided to "do fealty and homage with joined hands"; very different from comulsory military service where no such personal decision and dedication to my knowledge is made.
  • M. Mostert, ed., New Approaches to Medieval Communication (Turnhout, 1999).
  • J. Bremmer and H. Roodenburg, eds., A Cultural History of Gesture: From Antiquity to the Present Day (Oxford, 1991, paperback, 1993), pp. 255-7.
  • M. Barasch, Giotto and the Language of Gesture (Cambridge, 1987).
  • R. G. Benson, Medieval Body Language: A Study of the Use of Gesture in Chaucer's Poetry, Anglistica 21 (Copenhagen, 1980).
  • M. Barasch, Gestures of Despair in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art (New York, 1976).
  • P. Ménard, Le rire et le sourire dans le roman courtois au moyen áge (1150-1250) (Geneva, 1969).
  • C. Davidson, Gesture in Medieval Drama and Art (Kalamazoo, 2001).
  • D. Peil, Die Gebärde bei Chrétien, Hartmann und Wolfram: Erec-lwein-Parzival (Munich, 1975).
  • W. Habicht, Die Gebärde in englischen Dichtungen des Mittelalters (Munich, 1959).
  • H. Roodenburg, 'The "Hand of Friendship": Shaking Hands and Other Gestures in the Dutch Republic', in Bremmer and Roodenburg, eds., A Cultural History of Gesture, pp. 152-89.
  • D. Morris, P. Collett, P. March, and M. O'Shaughnessy, Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution (London, 1979).
  • Institutio Oratoria, ed. and transl. H. E. Butler, Vol. IV (New York, 1922), XI iii 87.
  • D. Knox, 'Ideas on Gesture and Universal Languages, c. 1550-1650', in J. Henry and S. Hutton, eds., New Perspectives on Renaissance Thought (London, 1990), pp. 101-36.

The Nature and Purpose of the Characters

Diggle, James 2004. The Nature and Purpose of the Characters. In: Diggle, James (ed.), Theophrastus: Characters. Cambridge (etc.): Cambridge University Press, 4-26.

The history of the noun χαρακτήρ is discussed by A. Körte, Hermes 64 (1929 69-86 and B. A. van Groningen, Mnemosyne 58 (1930) 45-53. It describes the 'stamp' or 'imprint' on a coin, a distinguishing mark of type or value [...] It is also used figuratively, to describe the 'stamp' of facial or bodily features, by which kinship or race are distinguished [...] and the 'stamp' of speech, as marked by local dialect [...] or by a style of speech [...] or (in later literary criticism) by a style of writing... (Diggle 2004: 4)
This figurative sense is useful for my purposes; as a specific kind of behavior 'stamps' the person with a specific character.
A work entitled Χαρακτήρες advertises nothing more specific than 'types', 'marks', 'distinctive features', or 'styles'. This is not an adequate advertisement of Theophrastus' work. Definition is needed, and is provided by ήθικοί, whch the manuscripts have lost, but Diogenes Laertius has preserved. The title Characters, hallowed by usage, is both misleading and incomplete. The true title means something like Behavioural Types or Distinctive Marks of Character. (Diggle 2004: 5)
Suits my purposes well.
The Characters, in conception and design, is a novel work: nothing like it, so far as we know, had been attempted before. But antecedents and relations can be recognised. (Diggle 2004: 5)
Weird. Riikonen claims something similar about La Bruyére's Caractéres.
Like Homer, in his description of the δειλός and the αλκιμος, Theophrastus locates his characters in a specific time and place. The time is the late fourth century. The place is Athens. And it is an Athens whose daily life he recreates for us in dozens of dramatic pictures and incidents. If we look elsewhere for such scenes and such people, we shall not find them (until we come to the Mimes of Herodas) except on the comif stage. (Diggle 2004: 8)
That is, in describing characters one is unavoidably describing the characters of a specific chronotope.
Lycon, who succeeded Theophrastus's successor Straton as head of the Lyceum c. 269 BC, wrote a description of a drunkard, preserved in the Latin translation of Rutilius Lupus [...]. Rutilius adduces it as an example of characterismos, the schema by which an orator depicts virtues and vices, and he compares it to a painter's use of colours. (Diggle 2004: 9)
This is a valuable trope, as concursive aspects give literature similar "colour".
The Country Bumpkin is the sort of man who drinks a bowl of gruel before going to the Assembly and claims that garlic smells as sweetly as perfume, wears shoes too large for his feet and talks at the top of his voice (IV.2).
What could be more limpid than that? The Greek is simplicity itself, and conveys, in a very few words, a range of telling impressions, which develop logically the one from the other. First, he drinks for breakfast a qcqcqc κυκεών, highly flavoured broth or gruel. His breath will now be pungent. He goes to the Assembly, where he will meet townsmen, on whom he will pungently breathe. And he says that garlic smells as sweetly as perfume. There was (we infer) garlic in his gruel, and so there is garlic on his breath. In the town they smell not of garlic but of perfume. But perfume and garlic are all one to him. And he clomps his way to town in boots too big for him, and talks too loud. Sound, sight, smell: a slovenly carefree inconsiderate yokel. All that in twenty-six words. Lecture notes, never intended for publication? Or loquendi nitor ille diuinus? (Diggle 2004: 20-21)
This is a sketch of inconsiderate self-presentation, or ill-kempt social composure. Also Jean de La Bruyére is mentioned among many others in R. Aldington's A Book of 'Characters', from Theophrastus....

Theophrastus 2004. Characters. In: Diggle, James (ed.), Theophrastus: Characters. Cambridge (etc.): Cambridge University Press, 61-157.

[Dissembling, to define it in outline, would seem to be a pretence for the worse in action and speech.] The Dissembler is the sort of man who is ready to accost his enemies and chat with them. When he has attacked people behind their back he praises them to their face, and he commiserates with them when they have lost a lawsuit. (Theophrastus 2004: 65)
Commiserate - express or feel sympathy or pity. Accost - approach and address someone boldly or aggressively.
[Toadying may be interpreted as a degrading association, but one which is advantageous to the toadier.] The Toady is the sort of man who says to a person walking with him 'Are you aware of the admiring looks you are getting? This doesn't happen to anyone else in the city except you', and 'The esteem in which you are held was publicly acknowledged in the stoa yesterday' - thirty or more people were sitting there and the question cropped up who was the best man in the city, and his was the name they all arrived at, starting with the Toady. [...] When the man is speaking he tells the company to be quiet and praises him so that he can hear and at every pause adds an approving 'Well said', and bursts out laughing at a feeble joke and stuff his cloak in his mouth as if he can't control his laughter. (Theophrastus 2004: 69)
I think I know a Toady. He keeps on boasting "no one studies as much as you!"
[Chatter is the narration of a long and ill-considered speeches.] The Chatterbox is the sort of person who sits next to a complete stranger and first sings his own wife's praises, then recounts the dream he had last night, then describes in every detail what he had for dinner. [...] [Show a clean pair of heels, full steam ahead, avoid such people like the plague. It is hard to be happy with people who don't care whether you are free or busy.] (Theophrastus 2004: 73)
The moral is simple: respect people's time. Or, alternatively, don't abuse "the language band" (the obligation to stand or sit still while a person is going on long-windedly).
[Country-bumpkin Behaviour would seem to be ignorance of good form.] (Theophrastus 2004: 75)
Yup, lack of composure.
[It is not difficult to define Repulsiveness. It is conspicuous and reprehensible tomfoolery.] The Repulsive Man is the kind who lifts up his clothes and exposes himself in front of ladies. At the theatre he applauds when no one else is applauding and hisses actors whose performance the audience is enjoying, and when silence has fallen he raises head and burps to make spectators turn round. (Theophrastus 2004: 101)
It sounds like The Repulsive Man is either attention-hungry or self-invested so much as to be out of sync with others.
[Tactlessness is choosing a time which annoys the people one meets.] The Tactless Man is the kind who comes for a discussion when you are busy. He serenades his girlfriend when she is feverish. He approaches a man who has just forfeited a security deposit and asks him to stand bail. He arrives to give evidence after a case is closed. As a guest at a wedding he delivers a tirade against the female sex. When you have just returned home after a long journey he invites you to go for a walk. [...] He stands watching while a slave is being whipped and announces that a boy of his own once hanged after such a beating. (Theophrastus 2004: 103)
Aha, so tactlessness is actually related to tact (musical term). Tact is popularly defined as adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues. But the true meaning seems to be sensitivity to the appropriate time in dealing with others or with difficult issues.
[Overzealousness, you can be sure, would seem to be a wellmeaning appropriation of words and actions.] The Overzealous Man is the kind who stands up and promises more than he can deliver. When it is agreed that his case is a fair one he presses on and loses it. He insists on his slave mixing more wine than the company can drink. He steps between combatants, even though they are strangers to him. He leads people on a short cut, then cannot discover where he is heading. He goes to the commander-in-chief and asks him when he intends to take the field and what will be his orders for the day after the next. (Theophrastus 2004: 105)
Damn, sounds like me.
[Self-centredness is implacability in social relations displayed in speech.] The Self-Centred Man is the kind who, when asked 'Where is so-and-so?, replies 'Don't bother me'. He will not return a greeting. [...] He won't wait long for anyone. He refuses to sing or recite or dance. And he is apt to withhold credit from the gods. (Theophrastus 2004: 109)
I wonder what would be the nonverbal manifestations of self-centredness, aside from the obvious "autistic gestures" (self-manipulations). Now waiting long for anyone could be one in the chronemic sense, but what of space, touching, looking, etc.?
[Offensiveness is a distressing neglect of the person.] The Offensive Man ... is quite apt to have sores on his shins and lesions on his toes, and instead of treating them he lets them fester. His armpits are infested with lice and their hair extends over much of his sides, and his teeth are black and rotten [so that he is no pleasure to meet. And so on.] (Theophrastus 2004: 119)
Offensiveness is therefore related to personal upkeeping, health and cleanliness.
[Petty Ambition would seem to be a mean desire for prestige.] The Man of Petty Ambition is the kind who, when he gets an invitation to dinner, is eager to sit next to the host. He takes his son to Delphi to have his hair cut. (Theophrastus 2004: 125)
It sounds likt the Man of Petty Ambition has no respect for status roles.
[Arrogance is a contempt for everyone other than oneself.] The Arrogant Man [...] will never be the one to make the first approach. People who wish to sell or hire something are told to present themselves at his house at daybreak. As he walsk in the street he does not speak to passers-by but keeps his head down and looks up only when it suits him. (Theophrastus 2004: 135)
In light of this, arrogance also seems like something that has shifted meaning over the last two thousand years. Today it is defined as overbrearing pride evidenced by a superior manner towards inferiors. Instead of "inferiors" it should read "everyone else".
[Oligarhy would seem to be a <:policy> covetous of power and profit.] The Oligarchic Man is the kind who steps forward, when the people are considering whom they will appoint in addition to help the archon witht he procession, and gives as his opinion that those appointed should have plenary powers,a nd says, if others propose ten, 'One is enough; but he must be a real man.' (Theophrastus 2004: 141)
In short, the oligarhic man values money and power over morality and other values.

Hicks, E. L. 1882. On the Characters of Theophrastus. The Journal of Hellenic Studies 3: 128-143.

The very quality in Theophrastus which some have called 'superficial,' makes a fresh demand upon the reader. The author indicates only the external symptoms of character, not concerning himself with a deeper analysis. (Hicks 1882: 128)
These external symtpoms are, of course, behaviors or actions. That is, character manifests itself in conduct. It is possible that much of nonverbal behavior or discourse on nonverbal behavior has been lost to history because it has been considered too 'superficial'.


Tucker, Ian 2011. Bio-Somatic-Power. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies 13(1): 82-93.

Given the features of current mental health legislation that allow for things such as involuntary treatment, it could be argued that psychiatry is the arena for the greatest flexing of biopower muscle. Psychiatric power can be argued to operate in many ways, from exposing people to what can be stigmatising diagnoses, to taking them into institutional setting against their will. (Tucker 2011: 83)
The situation is similar in compulsive military service.
...the work of Peter Breggin (1994) suggesting that psychiatry is 'toxic', poisoned by the powerful and irrepressible reach of the pharmaceutical companies, whose activities has led to the widespread administration of medication for treatment for mental distress. This Breggin argues is wrong because the evidence for the biochemical factors being underlying causes of mental distress is limited, and moreover the effects of taking medication can be severe (e.g. the diverse range of so called 'side effects'). When you add the capitalist drives of the pharmaceutical industry to make profit out of mental distress, psychiatry becomes 'poisoned' for Breggin. (Tucker 2011: 83)
This is the well known case of medicate-first-ask-questions-later attitude of modern psychiatry.
Deleuze's (1988) analysis of this stage in Foucault's writings is useful, as he points out that a feature of relations of forces of power is that "a relation which force has with itself, a power to affect itself, an affect of self on self (101, emphasis in original). For Deleuze a power over oneself is a necessary requirement for power over others, which he discusses in relation to Foucault's analysis of the Greeks. A point opens up here for self-devised activity, namely that its existence is granted through a wider notion of power of others, which had featured so heavily in Foucault's previous work. (Tucker 2011: 84)
Epimeleia heautou.
Foucault seeks to introduce a mode of power that cannot be reduced to notions of power featuring in his previous work (such as Discipline and Punish). The new dimension is located in the production of individuals by individuals, which Foucault (2000) terms 'technologies of the self'. It is the Greeks that Foucault argues propagated modes of 'making onseself' in relation to sexuality. He sought to point to the ways that forms of sexuality did not pre-exist subjects at the time, but came to life through patterns of self-making. It becomes an ethical process, how to 'know' and 'care' for oneself in the context of the production of everyday life. (Tucker 2011: 85)
#self - in this case "technologies" most likely originates from Mauss and self-making from Epimeleia Heautou.
The 'noticing and reporting' stage is central to the practice of Beatrice's medicated body. Members of Beatrice's mental health team are not able to know how the medication is making Beatrice feel, without asking her. Indeed the precise nature of the biochemical changes in her body caused by taking medication are not known to Beatrice, who comes to register medication effects through the body providing signs that tegister in her consciousness (i.e. the pain in her legs). The body acts as a mediator. (Tucker 2011: 88)
I see this as a case of bodily self-communication. It should fit neatly into my typology of self-communication.

Deledalle, Gérard 2000. Charles S. Peirce's Philosophy of Signs: Essays in Comparative Semiotics. Bloomingdon; Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Ch. 1. "Peirce's New Philosophical Paradigms", pp. 3-13.
In the first article, "The Fixation of Belief," Peirce objects that one cannot, as Descartes said, begin by doubting everything, that absolute doubt, even were it methodological, is impossible, for one cannot pretend to doubt. We begin with all our prejudice, all our spontaneous belief. Doubt is in fact a state of uneasiness and dissatisfaction from which we are always struggling to free ourselves, and to pass into the state of belief. (Deledalle 2000: 7)
Applicable insight into dystopian consciousness.
Already in 1868 Peirce had criticized intuition of any kind, as well that of the psychology of faculties as that of Descartes or of Kant. Ten years later he is able to reply to the question he asks in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," thanks to "the scientific revolution that found its climax in the 'Origin of Species'" (Dewey 1910: 19). The quotation is from Dewey, who would advocate an identical method, on the base of quite another experience.
It is only action which can differentiate a genuinely clear and distinct idea from one which has only the appearance of clearness and distinction. If one idea leads to two different actions, then there is not one idea, but two. If two ideas lead to the same action, then there are not two ideas, but only one. (Deledalle 2000: 7)
Hmm. So Peirce denied intuition of any kind? Surely human consciousness is through-and-through logical?
The substitution of "phaneron" for "phenomenon" must not be underestimated. It is not another one of Peirce's terminological "quirks" (no more than are the other neologisms he introduced), but the expression of a genuine paradigm shift. The phenomenon is no longer what appears to consciousness - which is the literal meaning of φαινόμενον, and which consequently has to do with psychology - but what is apparent, independent of the fact that we perceive it - which is the literal sense of φανερόν and which has to do with logic. (Deledalle 2000: 9)
Phenomenon appears to consciousness. Phaneron is apparent, irrespective of consciousness?
The index asserts nothing; it only says "There!" It takes hold of our eyes, as it were, and forcibly directs them to a particular object, and thre it stops. Demonstrative and relative pronouns are nearly pure indices, because they denote things without describing them; so are the letters on a geometrical diagram, and the subscript numbers which in algebra distinguish one value from another without saying what those values are. (CP 3.361)
I really enjoy that indexes are compared to the forefingers that point to objects.
What is the existential quantifier for Peirce after 1885 and what does it imply? The answer is in the description he gives of it in terms of "haecceity," a word he borrowed from Duns Scotus, but which he uses in Ockham's sense. I can say "This is red," not because "this" is a general term standing for a singular thing existing in the external world; on the contrary, if I can say "This is red," it is because the "this-ness" - haecceity - makes something exist. Haecceity is a principle of individuation and existence. (Deledalle 2000: 11)
This is really cool. Although it sounds "idealist", it implies that by speaking of something we call that something into existence. This is very much the case with concursive speech wherein bodily behavior is always apparent, but only when speaking or writing about it does it come into existence (into the universe of discourse and explicit consciousness).
It is [the] special field of experience to acquaint us with events, with changes of perception. Now that which particularly characterizes sudden changes of perception is a shock. [...] It is more particularly to changes and contrast that we apply the word "experience." (CP 1.336)
It does make sense. A person experiencing pain is perceiving a contrast with non-pain.

Frank, Mark G. 2002. Nonverbal communication. In: Schement, Jorge Reina (ed.), Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. New York (etc.): Macmillan Reference USA, 669-677.

Nonverbal communication has been referred to as "body language" in popular culture ever since the publication of Julius Fast's book of the same name in 1970. (Frank 2002: 669)
I didn't know it came about with Fast. I should check if this is true.
Ancient Greek culture has also relied on nonverbal communication. Theophrastus created a list of "31 types of men" that he made available to other playwrights to assist them in the creation of characters for their plays. Theophrastus relied on insights gleaned from nonverbal communication to describe these personalities; the penurious man does not wear his sandals until noon, and the sanguine man has slumped shoulders. Humans still rely on nonverbal insights like these to judge the personalities and emotions of other people. (Frank 2002: 670)
Theophrastus wrote Characters, which might shed invaluable light on the depiction of nonverbal communication in European literature. Too bad the rest of this entry was so familiar that nothing deserves to be quoted.

Compulsory military service

EDF 2013 = Estonian Defence Forces. Compulsory military service. Online. Accessed 22th Feb 2013. Available: http://www.mil.ee/en/defence-forces/compulsory-military-service

The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia foresees compulsory military service in the Defence Forces of all physically and mentally healthy male citizens. (EDF 2013)
A) It is the constitution (põhiseadus) which is used to justify compulsory military service. That is: the law says so, and there is no argument! Even the (Rahvusringhääling) video commercial for state defence was premised on "§ 124. Eesti kodanikud on kohustatud osa võtma riigikaitsest seaduse sätestatud alustel ja korras." E.g. defence of Estonian state is everyone's obligation because it is written in the constitution. B) Translated as "foresees" (ette nägema) it sounds like a prediction when in fact it is "obliges". C) All physically and mentally healthy male citizens are obliged to take part of compulsory military service. There is no question of whether the male citizen wishes to defend his state, whether the state is worthy of being defended, or any other option. It does not matter who you are and what you think, if you are fit and obedient then you have no decision in the matter.
The duration of the compulsory military service is 8 or 11 months, depending on the education and position provided by the Defence Forces to the conscript. In the compulsory military service conscripts acquire basic knowledge necessary for them to act as specialists in wartime military units. (EDF 2013)
Because the constitution says so male citizens have to give away 8 to 11 months of their lives. The words "conscript" and "convict" sound very similar. The basic knowledge of how to act ("as specialists") in wartime military units is presumed necessary. Based on what? Why is it necessary? This is an indication of Estonian mindset - that wartime is inevitable, thus this basic knowledge is necessary.
Conscription to the compulsory military service is conducted on the territorial principle. Conscripts originating from one area study together in one unit. When sent to the reserve, they make up one reserve unit led by commanders who have been trained during the compulsory service and who come from the same unit. (EDF 2013)
This kind of territorial principle is evident in the justification itself: if you are male and living in Estonian territory, then you are obliged to compulsory service. It is as if by being borne in Estonian territory obliges you to have special interest in maintaining current power relation. This does not take into account the fact that the information technology of the 21st century has produced a shift in where you live (territory) and who you are (identity). It is presumed that territory and nationality go hand in hand, when more and more this is less and less so.
After the compulsory military service reservists are called up for trainings for reserve in every five years. There the skills mastered during the compulsory service are reinforced and new arms and equipment are introduced. (EDF 2013)
In every five years you ara obliged to renew your training. Forseeing and calling up sound lax when in fact these obligations are backed up by coercive measures such as financial fines (640 euros for not appearing to the comision at a certain time and place).
What you learn in the compulsory military service? (EDF 2013)
This sounds like an oxymoron. I am compulsed (forced, obliged to) learn something? What chance is there of me learning something I do not wish to learn? It is likely that many conscripts learn little to nothing while in service because people tend to forget that which is not important to them. It is now an interesting question to pose - how will they make this seem important? By inducing fear in neighboring countries? Instilling Estonian ideology? By sheer repetition of exercises? These should be investigated.
8-month service:
Soldier's basic course (SBC) - 12 weeks

In the first months of the service soldiers acquire the main skills of a single fighter.
In the basic course you learn about arms, orientation and first aid, you also acquire skills for forest camps, knowledge about the basics of tactics, behaviour in the Defence Forces and legislation.
The level of basic knowledge is checked with a theoretical and practical soldier's exam. Those who pass it successfully are awarded a badge. (EDF 2013)
Behavior is what I am interested in; legislation is that which I could not care less about. It is already indicative here that "behaviour in the Defence Forces" is a specialty that needs to be taught. How exactly is this done? What does this behavior consist of? Is it only physical behavior or does it come wrapped in attitudes, opinions, ideological utterances and maintenance of power relations?
Soldier's specialty basic course (SSBC) - 6 weeks
The soldier's specialty basic course provides knowledge and skills necessary for such specialists as riflemen, machine gunners, anti-tank grenade launchers, drivers, paramedics, etc. The length of the course depends on the complexity of the specialty. The specialty training terminates with a 3-week combat pair course where conscripts train the performance of combat tasks as members of combat pairs. (EDF 2013)
So I am assigned a specialty I do not wish to possess? I imagine an analogy with a corporate business conscripting me as an intern and giving me "knowledge and skills necessary for" the specialty of scanning documents.
Unit course (UC) - 17 weeks
The course teaches co-operation as a member of a squad, platoon, company and battalion (EDF 2013)
Alas the social interactionist aspect.
11-month service:
Those conscripts who select the 11-month service option take longer specialty courses. This applies to conscripts who graduate from the junior NCO course or reserve officer course, pass signals or IT training, or serve on the ships of the Navy. (EDF 2013)
For better or worse I have background in both IT and signals (semiotics).
What will happen to you after the compulsory military service? (EDF 2013)
This is a detestable translation. Not what "will become" but what "will hapen." It is something abrupt. The estonian language version states that you are either enlisted in the reserve or deleted from the registry of conscript. I did not know the latter is possible.
The Estonian Defence Forces are a reserve force and, if necessary, Estonia will be defended by units formed of reservists.
During the compulsory military service you acquire basic knowledge of national defence and are provided training to enable you to fight as a member of a consolidated team. After the compulsory military service you are sent to the reserve and your actual service as a defender of Estonia starts. (EDF 2013)
That is, all physically and mentally healthy male citizens are forced to a life-long dedication to the defence of this territory and state. The analogy with slavery is palpable - you have no decision in the matter, and no option of quitting.
As a reservist you may be called up for training at a unit, training centre or defence force educational institution. You may be called up for trainings no more frequently than once in three years. At reserve trainings the knowledge and skills acquired in the compulsory military service are refreshed. As the technology and requirements in the Defence Forces are changing, it is necessary for the reserve to keep up to date and to learn to know and handle new technology. You are going to be called up to reserve trainings together with the people with whom you were in the compulsory military service. (EDF 2013)
The only chance of not being enlisted as a live-long duty-slave is to get out as quick as one can (emigration).
Junior NCO course - 8 weeks
The course is divided in two: the NCO basic course of 4 weeks and the NCO specialty course of 4 weeks.
The basic course gives the future NCOs kernel knowledge necessary for a squad commander. The specialty course teaches a definite specialty, such as anti-tank action, fire control or signals and leadership of the respective teams.
The objective of the junior NCO specialty course is to teach the performance of a squad commander's tasks in peacetime and wartime, i.e. to lead a 10-man squad. A great emphasis is laid on practical exercises.
In the junior NCO specialty course conscripts can supplement their knowledge in the tactics of squad combat (defence, attack, guerrilla war, ambush), pedagogy, military psychology, leadership, combat engineering, medicine and signals, they are also taught to apply the above skills as squad commanders. The squad commander course ends with an NCO examination.
In the course of the squad commander course suitable candidates for reserve officer courses are selected. (EDF 2013)
This is why there are so many books on leadership at the military school's library. Also, all the interesting stuff is "supplementary".

TFD 2013 = The Free Dictionary. Conscription. Online. Accessed 23th Feb 2013. Available: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Compulsory+military+service

Compulsory enrollment and induction into the military service. (TFD 2013)
Induction is "The action or process of inducting someone to a position or organization: "induction into the Hall of Fame"."
Conscription is commonly known as the draft, but the concepts are not exactly the same. Conscription is the compulsory induction of individuals into the Armed Services, whereas the draft is the procedure by which individuals are chosen for conscription. Men within a certain age group must register with the Selective Service for possible conscription, but conscription itself was suspended in 1973. (TFD 2013)
Thus it seems that in compulsory conscription a step is skipped.
Conscription first came into use as a legal term in France in 1798. It derives from the Latin conscriptionem, which refers to the gathering of troops by written orders, and conscribere, which means "to put a name on a list or roll, especially a list of soldiers." A person who becomes a member of the armed forces through the process of conscription is called a conscript. (TFD 2013)
Simple origin: your name is put on a list, ergo you are con-scribed.
Conscription typically involves individuals who are deemed fit for military service. At times, however, governments have instituted universal military service, in which all men or all people of a certain age are conscripted. (TFD 2013)
At least our case is not "universal". Females have been able to (choose to) join the armed forces since 2010 in Estonia.
Most governments use conscription at some time, usually when the voluntary enlistment of soldiers fails to meet military needs. Conscription by national governments became widespread in Europe during the nineteenth century. (TFD 2013)
I believe voluntary enlistment should be established instead of compulsory conscription. It seems to be the case that many practices of our current state are still at the 19th century level.
The United States has never conscripted women into military service, nor has it ever instituted universal military service. It has conscripted only individuals meeting certain age, mental, and physical standards. Congress has allowed the deferral of conscription for certain individuals, including those who need to support dependents or are pursuing an education. Among those who have been declared exempt from service are sole surviving sons, conscientious objectors to war, and ministers of religion. (TFD 2013)
In my case I am conscripted despite pursuing an educatation. This is because between vocational school and university I took a 6-moths extra course for adults to fill the time between two schools. Because my education is not "continuous" (the extra course is not considered education) I am now conscripted in the middle of my studies at the university. And I am also a conscientious objector to war, but if I proclaim this as an excuse I will not be freed from service, but made to do replacement-service which consists of 8-11 months of involuntary service at a public service institution (old people's home and the like). Thus the only reasonable decision is to perform the darned service and incororate it in my academic work.

Anonymous 1890. The "Curse" of Conscription. The American Advocate of Peace and Arbitration 52(1): 4.

I have no hesitation in saying that I consider Conscription the curse of Europe. The effects of the law, which renders military service compulsory, are entirely disastrous to the nations of the continent. ... Italy bleeds at every pore. ... The small country proprietors are mercilessly ruined, the cities are tazed until it is scarcely possible to live in them; and, worst of all, the peasantry is neglected and despised, and only remembered when it is necessary to demand from it the healthiest and the strongest of its sons to sacrifice to the vanity and blindness of its political policy. (Anonymous 1890: 4)
Amen for the abolition of compulsory conscription.