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[Xmca-l] Re: A question on Vygotsky and Imagination



Shannon,
This looks like a wonderfully interesting project!
As for thoughts here, I wonder what others on the list think, but with
regard to your third limitation of Vygotsky's idea of imagination and
whether or not it is intersubjective, I wonder if that is accurate.
Generally speaking, I think of Vygotsky's main points as being that
thinking is fundamentally intersubjective so it is difficult for me to
imagine (!) how imagination could be otherwise. Perhaps you have some
specific writings where you see this? Or perhaps we mean something
different by these terms?
I'm sure you're already familiar with them, but some other classics to
consider are Bakhtin's Dialogic Imagination and Volosinov's Marxism and the
Philosophy of Language are two other very good places to look for
developing a Vygotsky-like approach to imagination. When put together with
Vygotsky, I think they make for a powerful trio for understanding
imagination in politics!
Hope to hear more.
-greg


On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 10:02 PM, Shannon Brincat <
shannonbrincat@yahoo.com.au> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> I am new to this list ­ so thanks for your time.
>
> Presently, I am trying to write up an article on Vygotsky and imagination.
> Essentially, my interest is to draw attention to a different way of looking
> at, and deploying imagination in politics, and one that emphases its
> creative potential. In my field, International Relations (IR) imagination
> is
> just ignored as something fanciful rather than intrinsic to human
> cognition.
>
> I have pasted the abstract below. Any advice on secondary literature, or
> even key aspects of Vygotsky’s work that you deem relevant, would be great.
>
> Once again, thanks!
>
> Shannon
>
>
> This article seeks to demonstrate the political significance of
> imagination and to reclaim this cognitive faculty as something intrinsic
> to political life ins world politics. We focus on the psychological work of
> Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) who, we argue, offers a
> reconceptualisation of the faculty of imagination as a key part of human
> cognitive development and as something central to creative activity. After
> engaging with the limitations in Kant’s productive imagination, Husserl’s
> phenomenological imagination, and Freud’s irrational understanding of
> imagination, we emphasise three elements of Vygotsky’s analysis that
> demonstrate the significance of imagination to politics that are routinely
> denied in mainstream approaches to International Relations (IR). These
> include how the faculty of imagination is developmental, interpenetrated
> with reality, and dependent on social-history and culture. While we contend
> that Vygotsky offers significant advances in how we can conceive and
> approach the faculty of imagination in political thought, in the closing
> section we identify three weaknesses. Firstly, while Vygotsky offers a link
> between imagination and practice, and was concerned with progressive social
> development, it offers only a weakly developed account of imagination¹s
> link
> to political praxis. Secondly, Vygotsky¹s account tells Us only of the
> positively productive elements of imagination but he did not turn his
> attention to the 똡arkside of imagination regarding the politics of fear,
> 똮thering, and hate. Thirdly, Vygotsky provides only a thin account of the
> intersubjective processes of imagination and offers only the beginnings of
> a
> theory that could embed imagination within social-relations. We close by
> advancing a heuristic of imagination that can help us better understand
> this
> complex faculty of imagination and its relation to politics.
>
> Dr. Shannon K. Brincat
> Griffith University Research Fellow
> Room -1.09 | Building N72 | Centre for Governance and Public Policy |
> School
> of Government and International Relations
> Nathan Campus | Griffith University | 170 Kessels Road | Nathan | Brisbane
> |
> Queensland | 4111 | Australia
>
> Global Discourse, Co-Editor
> http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rgld20#.Ua53eCsd7pM
>
> New edited series available through Praeger
> Communism in the 21st Century (3 Vols.)
> http://www.abc-clio.com/product.aspx?isbn=9781440801259
>
>
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson