[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: The history of science fiction and imagined worlds



Hi John,
I would be interested in seeing your notes.
Thanks for sharing.
RL

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 9:26 AM, John Cummins <deva_research@lineone.net>
wrote:

> Again, another interesting post David,
>
> I'm attempting to develop an approach to understanding the evolutionary
> and biological origins of metaphor that, crucially, involves emotion.
> Hardly an original concept, I agree, but I have a slightly unusual slant on
> things. I don't want to clog up the discussion with this, but if anyone is
> interested I can send them my notes as they stand--about five pages in MS
> Word format, longer in the format it seems  to go into of its own accord as
> an email attachment. Anyway, the point, vis-a-vis David's comments on
> interchangeable parts, is that once emotion is involved, or is even the
> driver, the parts are not interchangeable in the same way. The whole thing
> is much more 'loaded' or  'sticky'. A case could be made that the imaginary
> realm thereby become re-enchanted. Or perhaps I 'm overstating the case--
> these are still early days !
>
> John
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David Kellogg
> Sent: 25 September 2014 00:22
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The history of science fiction and imagined worlds
>
> Larry--
>
> I've been trying to construct a materialist history of English
> language teaching; that is, one that doesn't view it as one fashion
> atrocity after another. The first thing I did was to divide its six
> hundred year history into roughly three two-hundred year periods--an
> "interpersonal" one which begins with Henry V and Katherine de Valois
> and basically works the way that phrasebooks work today, given
> tremendous impetus by Caxton's introduction of the printing press.
>
> To me, the printing press contains within it the key insight (or
> rather, as you would say, the key pipe dream) of structuralism: the
> idea that word is made of interchangeable parts, rather like one of
> Henry Ford's Model T's. But the interesting thing is that nobody
> really managed to get that dream out of the material artefact of the
> printing press until Saussure. Verily, the word is only ready when the
> concept is; or in this case, the vehicle of the idea is only read when
> the driver is!
>
> So Caxton's printing press was used to sell spices and beef bouillon
> across the English channel. It wasn't until the Saint Bartholomew's
> Day Massacre (1573) that anyone even tried to do more than trade with
> English, and even then it was only for one generation--the 300,000
> Huguenots (ten percent of the English population in those days) were
> all fully bilingual, and the move died out.
>
> Now, the Huguenots were extreme rationalists--Cartesians, if you like.
> Today we are quite familiar with the idea that conservatives are more
> interested in philosophy than policy--since they want everything
> except individuals, families and corporations to disappear, they have
> no interest in changing society or government. That was the Huguenots:
> they believed in Haidt's five values of purity, authority, ingroup
> solidarity, justice...and forgiveness...in preciselythat order, the
> reverse of what Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings posited (rather closer
> to what Piaget and Kohlberg wanted).
>
> And when they left France, they didn't take all their ideas with them.
> The remaining rationalists, in the form of the Jansenists, retreated
> to Port Royal and created the first really scientific grammars of a
> modern language (French, as it happened, but it was actually designed
> as a universal grammar of any and all human languages). Pascal was one
> of them. And I think I see, in the idea of a prescriptive grammar that
> would provide scientific explanations and laws binding on any human
> language with no exceptions whatsoever, the real birth of the concept
> of the sentence as composed of interchangeable parts.
>
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>
>
> On 24 September 2014 14:40, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Fascinating
> > David, your comment:
> >
> > "and the rationalist belief in the inflexible, innate laws of grammar"
> >
> > can be placed alongside Peirce's comment:
> > "The scientific imagination DREAMS of explanations and laws"
> >
> > For Peirce the origin of new ideas and scientific hypothesis were
> > particulary important questions. Peirce was not a romanticist, as he
> wanted
> > to produce a harmony of creativity and logic and in order to find this
> > harmony Peirce reformulated logic in a radical way.
> > He composed the *logic of relatives* a new logic of interpretation which
> > allowed for the change and growth of SYSTEMS of thought..
> >
> > There seems to be a play of *transversals* that involves science fiction
> > Larry
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 9:22 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Yes, I was impressed. But mostly I was impressed by how cramped,
> >> ethnocentric and also present-centric Saler's view of imaginary worlds
> >> is.
> >>
> >> The argument, as I understand it, is that the colonization of
> >> imaginary worlds only begins with Sherlock Holmes, because it is only
> >> with Sherlock Holmes that people began to deliberately "believe" in a
> >> fictional creation and "disbelieve" in the actual creator. That is,
> >> adult play only begins with people who were the peers of my
> >> grandparents. Hoaxes, myths, and religions may also be imaginary
> >> worlds that are inhabited by large numbers of people, but they do not
> >> signify, because the effort of believing in them in order to inhabit
> >> them is not differentiated from believing in them because you think
> >> they are true.
> >>
> >> Of course, the distinction between the conscious, volitional
> >> "suspension of disbelief" and non-conscious, non-volitional delusion
> >> is very much older than this. At the end of Don Quixote, the old man's
> >> neighbors try their very best to convince Don Quixote to go on
> >> inhabiting the novelistic world he has created for them, and fail;
> >> there is no suggestion that they do this because they believe the old
> >> man's world is real. There was a spate of similar novels in English in
> >> eighteenth century (e.g. Charlotte Lennox's "the Female Quixote"), and
> >> Jane Austen's first novel, Northanger Abbey, is a romance about a
> >> woman whose whole attraction is that she actually assumes only the
> >> very best motives in real people, and reserves her fascination with
> >> ill will for the reading of Gothic novels; when she meets with a
> >> genuinely nasty character (General Tilney) for the first time, she
> >> imputes Gothic motives to him where there are only mundane and
> >> mercenary ones, and the novel ends with the half disenchantment of the
> >> heroine and half enchantment of the General's son, both quite
> >> deliberately acts of metacognition.
> >>
> >> But as with so many things, the Chinese thought of it much earlier.
> >> "Journey to the West" started out as "fan fiction" of a particular
> >> kind of Buddhist adventure novel, and became parodistsic. "Dream of
> >> the Red Chamber" is about a stone left over from when the world was
> >> made, which is reincarnated by a sensitive young man who falls in with
> >> one cousin and marries another. It is also about a garden, built for a
> >> one day visit to her family by one of the Emperor's concubines, which
> >> eventually bankrupts the family. But the children of the family are
> >> allowed to run wild there, and they indulge a wide variety of fancies:
> >> at various places we are told that various parts of the novel, and
> >> even whole families, are simply willful fictions in the minds of
> >> others. Actually, in the days before mass printing, almost every
> >> fiction manuscript was passed around in a community (rather as Jane
> >> Austen's manuscripts were shared in her family) and "Dream of the Red
> >> Chamber" was probably finished by someone else (the last third of it
> >> was written well after the death of the author, but computer analysis
> >> has not definitively proven that it was written by someone else).
> >>
> >> I think that the reason we tend to make howlers like Saler's is that,
> >> like fish, we just can't see the water we swim in, and we keep
> >> thinking that our own age is somehow uniquely modern, and the
> >> preoccupations of our own brands of irrealist and realist thinking
> >> (e.g. between art and science, between rationality and wonder) are the
> >> last word and not merely latest one. I spend a great deal of the time
> >> that I spend writing half-listening to eighteenth century operas,
> >> which are in very obvious ways imaginary worlds which we enter only by
> >> voluntarily checking our linguistic assumptions in the cloakroom. In
> >> less obvious ways, it seems to me, these imaginary worlds are
> >> interested in a clash that we no longer take very seriously. It's the
> >> clash between a form of knowledge which is broadly humanist, because
> >> empirical, and one which is narrowly rationalist, because puritanical.
> >> The humanist agenda demands that the opera must end in an act of
> >> forgiveness (as the Count is forgiven in the Marriage of Figaro). The
> >> strictly rationalist agenda forbids this (because forgiveness by its
> >> very nature is a kind of diremption of justice). Don Giovanni gets
> >> around this problem by making repentance a precondition for
> >> forgiveness, and then by arguing that the truly damnable will never
> >> repent, not even as they are actually being damned.
> >>
> >> We still see traces of this clash between empiricistic humanism and
> >> merciless rationalism in my own field, language teaching. There is the
> >> humanist belief in words--empirical, temporary negotiations of meaning
> >> between human beings--and the rationalist belief in the inflexible,
> >> innate laws of grammar. But elsewhere it seems to have been subsumed
> >> in the general opposition between art and science that we find in
> >> Saler's talk. Part of the point of my book is really to try to revive
> >> it--in the form of a humanizing dialogic tendency in story telling
> >> versus a more rationalizing narrativistic one.
> >>
> >> David Kellogg
> >> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >>
> >> By the way...the index of the book has at last been fixed, and
> >> everybody and their grandchildren can download the first two chapters
> >> for free at....
> >>
> >>
> >>
> https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/imagination-and-praxis/the-great-globe-and-all-who-it-inherit/
> >>
> >>
> >> (Yes, even xmca postings sometimes carry promotions...think of it not
> >> as an interface between the virtual world and the real one, but only
> >> as yet another interface between this virtual world and the next one!)
> >>
> >> dk
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On 24 September 2014 12:10, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >> > Just trying to keep some minimum level of continuity in the
> discussions,
> >> > Greg. Maybe its just my problem alone, but I think one or two others
> >> suffer
> >> > from the same difficulties.
> >> >
> >> > My intention is to watch both and consider them together. If that's a
> >> > mistake, my loss! I do not watch TED talks as a general rule, but when
> >> they
> >> > are specifically called out by xmca members as relevant, seems like a
> >> > relatively painless way to figure out what other participants in the
> >> > discussion are trying to communicate.
> >> >
> >> > Easier than reading, for example, *Who's Asking*?  !! :-)))
> >> >
> >> > Rockin chair mike
> >> >
> >> > Thanks
> >> >
> >> > On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM, Greg Thompson <
> >> greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> >> > wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> I thought the other tread was beginning to descend into "reality"
> more
> >> than
> >> >> I care to (or perhaps worse, spiraling downward into the abyss of an
> >> >> epistemologically-minded social constructionism - is there a there
> >> there?).
> >> >>
> >> >> Seemed like good reason to soar in the imagination (yes, Mike, I know
> >> that
> >> >> you prefer to invert that metaphor and "ascend to the concrete" -
> which
> >> >> makes me wonder what you mean by "the concrete"? Reality? Or
> something
> >> >> else? A "made real"?).
> >> >>
> >> >> But I'd agree that it is on point with a "making"-oriented social
> >> >> constructionism (trying to avoid using that awful word
> "ontological"?).
> >> >>
> >> >> Anyway, I think this is the Haidt talk that John Cummins was
> proposing:
> >> >>
> http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind?language=en
> >> >>
> >> >> I'm wondering if people are a bit fed up with the Ted talks since it
> >> can be
> >> >> tough to find 20 minutes to watch/listen to a Ted talk and they can
> be
> >> hit
> >> >> or miss.
> >> >> But I would again strongly recommend the Saler talk I originally
> sent in
> >> >> this email. I thought David Ke, in particular, would find it
> interesting
> >> >> (or at least point out where it is wrong). David?
> >> >> Others?
> >> >> -greg
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 6:59 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> > I thought the other tread involved imagination as a central
> component,
> >> >> > Greg.
> >> >> > So not clear why this is a distraction. (Or am i in the wrong
> >> >> conversation
> >> >> > here?).
> >> >> >
> >> >> > Can you find the Haight TED talk that was recommended to us?
> Perhaps
> >> the
> >> >> > two talks will aid the discussion.
> >> >> > mike
> >> >> >
> >> >> > On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 7:37 AM, Greg Thompson <
> >> >> greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> >> >> > wrote:
> >> >> >
> >> >> > > Apologies for distracting from the "real world" discussions on
> the
> >> >> other
> >> >> > > thread, but I came across this Ted talk and thought that others
> >> might
> >> >> be
> >> >> > > interested in the history and role of imagined worlds in
> politics:
> >> >> > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUtErxgz7Mo
> >> >> > >
> >> >> > > But perhaps it is worth tracing otherworlds and "the otherwise"
> to
> >> >> works
> >> >> > > such as those of Jonathan Swift, Laurence Sterne, and Rabelais.
> >> >> > >
> >> >> > > Seems like imagining other worlds has always been a deeply
> political
> >> >> act.
> >> >> > >
> >> >> > > -greg
> >> >> > >
> >> >> > > --
> >> >> > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> >> >> > > Assistant Professor
> >> >> > > Department of Anthropology
> >> >> > > 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> >> >> > > Brigham Young University
> >> >> > > Provo, UT 84602
> >> >> > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >> >> > >
> >> >> >
> >> >> >
> >> >> >
> >> >> > --
> >> >> >
> >> >> > Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction
> and
> >> re-
> >> >> > construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but
> >> more
> >> >> or
> >> >> > less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths,
> and
> >> >> > Gray, 2001]
> >> >> >
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> --
> >> >> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> >> >> Assistant Professor
> >> >> Department of Anthropology
> >> >> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> >> >> Brigham Young University
> >> >> Provo, UT 84602
> >> >> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >> >>
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > --
> >> >
> >> > Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and
> re-
> >> > construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but
> more
> >> or
> >> > less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
> >> > Gray, 2001]
> >>
>
>
>


-- 

*Robert Lake  Ed.D.*Associate Professor
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
Secretary/Treasurer-AERA- Paulo Freire Special Interest Group
P. O. Box 8144
Phone: (912) 478-0355
Fax: (912) 478-5382
Statesboro, GA  30460