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RE: [xmca] creativity, and metaphor

Whatever you think of Zinchenko, you've got to admire a guy who's been around longer than the sun who is still writing interesting articles.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry Purss
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 1:58 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [xmca] creativity, and metaphor

I wanted to share the insight of V.P. Zinchenko who is reflecting on the centrality of metaphor in creativity. Not exactly on topic but overlapping the other discussion on creativity.

Vinchenko is discussing Vygotsky's notion of emotional life and Vygotsky draws on literary reminiscences and metaphors. Vygotsky wrote, "Whereas above we compared an idea to a suspended cloud poring out a torrent of words, to pursue this figurative comparison we would have to liken motivation to the wind setting this cloud in motion" [Collected works, Volume 2, p. 357]

Zinchenko then amplifies the centrality of metaphor for conceptual development when he writes,

Is this not similar to the metaphorical, and at the same time conceptual, apparatus (it seems to me this is not only possible but, at a certain stage in the development of science, even NECESSARY) used by Osip Mandelshtam to describe the field of action of poetic material?  We constantly encounter in Vygotsky such LIVING metaphors qua concepts such as *a relentless form-creating attraction* *transcendental drive*  *extraspatial field of
action*  *the prime mover transforming a force into a quality*  *the charge of being*  *vitalist current*  *vitalist impulse* etc.  In my opinion, the heuristic role of such "artificial concepts" (the term is Vygotsky's) IN human knowledge is NO LESS IMPORTANT than the role of irrational terms in the exact sciences" [Zinchenko, 1999 p.9 of the foreward]

I am attaching the article if others want to read the context of this exploration of metaphor used in interpretation and understanding.
I apppreciate the insights Zinchenko's horizon of understanding brings to the conversation.


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