From A Place To Study
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The standpoint of study

Newly born, thrust out to live life, inchoate, each person makes sense of herself and her world. With her vital capacities, uninformed about what they are, she maintains herself in a prodigious world, ignorant of what it offers and how it works. To perceive, to judge, and to act, as best she can despite these perplexities: that's the reason each studies.

All life lives by using information to maintain itself in the flux within and about it. But information does not present itself to the living clearly labeled with its meaning and use. Life intends meaning and use and makes them informative by recognizing what takes place. Without some spark of intention and recognition, however small, the stuff persists as dead stuff, dumb, adrift, indistinguishable in the all-encompassing chaos.

Our logo, the standpoint of study, symbolizes this dynamic of intention and recognition by which we live, maintaining ourselves through the course of life. It symbolizes how each person lives, from birth to death, intentionally maintaining herself, incessantly intending meanings and uses, reckoning what takes place, over and over, this way and that.

The Standpoint of Study 350 1.png

In its center, the reddish inner circle stands for the person — a vital center, its outer boundary colored with alert activity, growing paler further inward, still teaming beneath our ken, as thinking, feeling, and willing take place at a subliminal scale and pace. The parallel shafts, each pair a U-shaped arrow, symbolize a person's interactions with the surrounding world. The feathered ends indicate perceiving activity — seeing, hearing, identifying. The pointed ones stand for effecting effort — moving, organizing, probing. And their parallel proximity displays the person's attention, which imparts the coherence that sustains interaction — perceiving and effecting collaborating together. And as the shafts reach inside, the jumble of semi-obscured intersections joining them symbolize the interior network, feedbacks, so hard to develop and manage, with which each person acquires and cultivates her capacities to control herself and her interactions with the world.

And around the inner circle of the person, the world stretches out, extending in actuality without bounds. In it, smaller forms symbolize so many other persons, at once like and unlike her, ready to join with or disengage from her, constituting her sociocultural world. There she contributes to the betterment of humanity and to life itself what she makes of what she can and should become.

Separately, however, and in static combination, the parts of our logo fail to represent the living spirit of study, unable to show the ways a person's intending and recognizing suffuse the process. That spirit works incessantly, intangibly, invisibly, through the presence of contingency, uncertainty, perplexity. Hence, we call the logo, and an explanation of it, "The Standpoint of Study," for it shows a dynamic process of ever-incomplete, intentional self-determination caught in an instantaneous, static representation. Hence, as always with purpose and meaning, neither words nor images fully suffice. The medium fails its message. Yet, life moves, on intending its possibilities and recognizing what takes place.