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mirrored in the feeling for what happens

gary e. davis
March 10 , 2019
September 5


A keynote to being is that experience is primarily relational (being), secondarily representational (being). We’re unwittingly born into pure relationality that gains capability for differentiating itself as there being something (no longer just being [everything that’s gradually distinct]. As relationality gains self/other different-iation, then differences between presence that is the other’s and projection (imagination) individuates capacity for perceiving/feeling otherness as having its own integrity, i.e., oneSelf being empathic with another (rather than egoistically absorbing another’s presence into one’s own feeling).

Such relationality isn’t primarily cognitive (representational), though a person can post facto represent that, therefore making it cognitive. Relationality itself—including what’s called “emotional intelligence”—is an efficacy of relational feeling, which already-differentiated others may mirror. I call this relationality cognative in order to express kinship with ‘cognitive’ and echo the lexical association of lineal kinship, but giving this my own meaning. I mentioned this two years ago (with some [inserts] below now), but it was already an old notion for me (tracing back to Being and Time’s premise that “therebeing is with-being” (“Dasein ist Mitsein”):

I call interpersonal relations cognative because relationality prevails over other/selfidentity difference[; ideally: interSelfal relations prevail—e.g., intimacy—over merely interpersonal ones]; whereas, in cognitive relations, the elements of the relationship (self to other/object) prevail over—assemble, comprise—a relationship [thereby representable as conjunctive] of self and other. In cognative relations, the inter-ness instills [en-stances] the available difference between other and self [, i.e., between one’s personal engagement and another’s; or, ideally, Self differentiating with Self].

Enstancing a difference (from relationality) complements enframing a relationship (as conjunctive). Distinguishing one’s personal relating (e.g., teaching) from selfidentity (artist, researcher) is complemented by appreciating that as interpersonal (collaboratively learner-centered).

One can imagine that a topic of imagination in relation to (irt, I like to say) empathy in individuated relationality can be extensive: Research on empathy is extensive.

Enjoying fiction calls for imaginative efficacy (not just cognitivist “suspension of disbelief”): fantasy bonds (a delightful notion that deserves enhancement outside of clinical psychodynamics).


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  Be fair. © 2019, gary e. davis