Articulating Practices: Methods and Experiences
Articulating a Practice from within the Practice Itself: Establishing Formative Dialogues by the Use of a 'Social Poetics'
In this article we describe a set of methods — which we call a 'social poetics ' —for use by a group of practitioners in coming to a more articulate grasp of their own practices, thus to develop them. Crucially influenced by Wittgenstein 's (1953) claims — that "Nothing is hidden" from us in our conduct of our practices, and that "the origin and primitive form of the language-game is a reaction " — we show how the methods of philosophical investigation he outlines can also be used to great effect in our everyday affairs. They work, not in terms of concepts or theories worked out ahead of time in committee rooms or research laboratories by experts, but in terms of certain practical uses of language, at crucial points within the ongoing conduct of a practice, by those involved in it. Crucially, they lead us to focus on novelties, on new but unnoticed possibilities for 'going on' available to us in our present circumstances, but present to us usually in only fleeting moments. If we can allow ourselves to be 'struck by' these novelties, then we can often go on, not to solve what had been seen as a problem, but to develop new ways forward, in which the old problems become irrelevant.
Published online: 01 January 1996
Cited by 40 other publications
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