Pomo Results Revisited

John McCreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Tue, 10 Oct 1995 09:31:50 +0900

Rich Warms writes,

>>The point about Galilleo and science is that there really is no
such thing as science apart from its specific manifestations.
Science doesn't exist free floating in the ether. It is a specific sort
of activity done by specific people in specific places at specific

It's a good point. It's just not very remarkable. I got the message
reading history of science as an undergraduate in the '60s and
what I was reading had often been written much earlier.
A.N.Whitehead's _Science and the Modern World_ is one example,
and, yes, we are talking about the Whitehead in Whitehead and
Russell, _Principia Mathematica_.

Warms also writes,

>>McCreery asks for results. If he really wants to see them, he
needs to specify what he intends. I thought that in providing the
names of authors who I believe made valuable contributions to
the discipline I was providing results.<<

Did I not, in an earlier post, indicate clearly that I thought the
question is answerable and OFFERED AN EXAMPLE (Kondo's
observation in _Crafting Selves_ that stories told about the self
vary in relation to position in the work group, in her case the
bakery she studied.) OK, it's not the law of gravity or the decoding
of DNA, but it's a useful observation motivated by post-modernist
concerns with gender, power and identity, and--it's also, in a
modest way, good science: a generalization based on careful and,
should anyone care to do it, repeatable observations, exposed to
scrutiny by several scholarly communities, Japanologists, East
Asianists, social and linguistic anthropologists who may have
points to note or correct. It is also a step in a growing body of
work on the Japanese self that can be traced back to research
done by earlier generations of scholars (Benedict, William Caudill,
George De Vos, Takeo Doi, Dave Plath, Robert J. Smith, to name a
few) and continues today in the work of others like James Tobin,
Jane Bachnick and Nancy Rosenberger, again to name only a few),
and it represents an identifiable "technical" advance in the field.
Where earlier scholars had tended to focus on explicating key
terms or term pairs (_amae_ or _soto/uchi_ , for example), Kondo
considers the rhetorical structures (the discourse types, if you will) in
which such terms are embedded.

That's the sort of thing I'm looking for.


John McCreery