Johann van der Merwe’s Statement of Interest

What do I bring to this conference: The result of my doctoral research is a theory-of-knowing called gramma/topology, which utilises cybernetics and systemic thinking, actor-network theory, autopoiesis and ontological phenomenology. As a committed radical constructivist I am convinced that this theory-of-knowing works, for me, but I cannot prove this to anyone else, except through a cybernetic conversation, and even then all that is possible is not solid proof, but a taking on board of another point of view that could lead to a change of mindset. None of this is possible without a ‘letting go’, a way of opening up to ‘the other’ in such a way that the listener can, effectively, uncover and ‘see’ something new, without an ‘own knowledge’ getting in the way. That is the art of listening, for, as Maturana and Varela (1987:196) stated, “each person says what he says or hears what he hears according to his own structural determination; saying does not ensure listening”. Every person’s structural determination has to be changed, redesigned, in the very act of listening, through one framing action, as it were.
As for my interests and what I am looking for, simply this: I would welcome the opportunity to robustly discuss and argue my work, and in the process share something that I believe in, because it is in the acceptance of my communication (transformed by the receiver/’listener’) that I can first begin to perceive what gramma/topology might mean, and when this transformed information is fed back to me in an ongoing conversation, it is as if I am listening to my new knowing self for the first time.

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