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[xmca] sensorymotor reguires gaps
David and Mike
I decided to open up a new thread to repond to David by returning to your
article developing the centrality of gap formation for the imaginal
David. you wrote,
Here's what I think. Dewey's attack on the reflex arc was an attack on its
bittiness and its dualism only, not on its inapplicability to language. He
thought the idea that the reflex arc has a clear beginning in sensation, a
clear middle in thinking, and a clear end in action was wrong. He saw the
mind as sensorimotor unity (hence the motor theory of consciousness, and
functional psychology). Sensorimotor unity is not a good theory of
language. For one thing, it's not a social theory or a cultural theory;
it's purely individual and physiological. Actually, LSV and ARL point out
(Chapter Three of Tool and Sign) that language has the effect of BREAKING
UP this sensorimotor unity! It can do this because it is introducing into
the reflex arc exactly what the motor theory of consciousness takes away:
volition, which is derived, paradoxically, from socio-cultural necessity.
The problem is that treating a response to a word as being similar to a
response to a noise, as Dewey does, does exactly the same thing. Worse, it
creates a view of language
As I read this passage a gap openned in my thinking and a few random
thought poured into the gap.
After reading Mike's article on the "fragmenting" and gap forming processes
at the micro micro level as a process which opens up space and distance for
IMAGINATION my thoughts have been alighting on notions of "negating" or
"negativity" at the heart of consciousness at all heterochronic and
heterospatially "ways" of orienting to the world.
Your example of language fragmenting the sensory motor in order for
volition is also creating a GAP for imagination.
Merleau-Ponty's suggesting that perceiving is the body "grasping the
world" at optimal DISTANCES. In an art gallery moving clser or further from
a painting to perceive its Imaginal meaning.
Aposhia [NEGATING consciousness] where the eyes perceive, and the visual
part of the brain registers the sensory input BUT there is no CONSCIOUS
re-solving thes inputs into images. [go to PBS broadcasting and see the
discussion on aposhia on Monday's ongoing series on the brain] This
dysfunction is known as "negating awareness". The person "sees" and
"registers" the sensory motor data, and the visualmotor areas of the brain
light up but NO conscious awareness.
Bahktin's notion that the VITAL aspect of understanding" is the RESPONSE of
the other. Without the response which ACTUALIZES and re-solves
understanding there is no understanding. In other words between the
understanding and the response a gap opens in which imagination emerges.
The notion of volition as distancing from the object [a gap forming] within
which imagination arises within the gap and the reflectively
phenomenologically emerging moves into the world as creative acts.
Mike, as you can TELL :-)) [see / understand] your article has the
POTENTIAL to bear multiplel fruitful dialogical understandings & responses
which have the potential to "re=solve" situations in our ongoing dwelling
in the world
The question still to be pondered within this notion of imaginal volition
is how much of this imaginal process is under the control of the sovereign
self and how much is a dance of understanding & RESPONSE BETWEEN persons.
The answer to THAT question brings us back to moral questions of particular
"stances" or "dispositions" or character or personality as we give more or
less priority to "identity" or "difference" [alterity] Patchen's book
"Bound BY Recognition" as Greg points out offers an alternative Western
perspective which goes back to Greek philosophy.
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