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



Sorry to step into a long and fascinating thread without having had time to take in all of the arguments but I felt I had to respond to your comment, Greg, ' since it is difficult to imagine knowing how to go on if we really were immediately in the world - as in a kind of perpetual Peircean firstness'.

I would argue that it is one of the great advantages of the cycle of generations that we don't have to imagine this because we (many of us) have regular opportunities to SEE it in the lives of babies - who do, somehow (and not least because of the support they get from others), manage to go on in a Peircean firstness.

All the best,

Rod

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Thompson
Sent: 25 September 2014 16:51
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The history of science fiction and imagined worlds

Larry, I really appreciate your descriptions of Peirce's 3 categories of experience. From my reading of Peirce, this seems as close to the text as I have seen.
But I wonder, now what? (or, perhaps a bit more bluntly "so what?").
What do you make of this way of introducing differences that are purported to make a difference?
What can we do with these categories? Particularly as they related to the imaginal, the imaginated, and the imagination.

And lurking somewhere in the back of my head is Mike's voice shouting that even the ontology of naturalism involves imagination (i.e. mediation or "into image-making" - see Etienne Pelaprat and Mike's paper on Minding the
Gap) - and perhaps this is where there is much less of a difference between the individual subscribing to a naturalist ontology and one who lives in a world inhabited by spirits of dead ancestors and such - both require a kind of meconnaissance, a mis-recognizing of the mediated nature of the world and both FEEL that they know the world in its immediacy (or perhaps just in a "more immediate, less mediated" way than the other). Just as I feel that I am grasping a more immediate and unmediated truth by making this very statement. We all imagine our hold on the world to be immediate. And perhaps it is best that this is so since it is difficult to imagine knowing how to go on if we really were immediately in the world - as in a kind of perpetual Peircean firstness.

Imagining that is to imagine the unimaginable.

-greg

On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 8:57 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> This topic of types of ontologies was engaged with by Peirce who
> proposed his 3 categories of experience.
>
> Firstness: Is the category of bare immediacy. *is* Pure
> undiscriminated presence. Epistemologically firstness is immediate and
> VIVID BUT INDESCRIBABLE experience. Metaphysically firstness is
> *possibility* that could *become* qualities that are general.
> [redness, pain] Firstness is unorganized, unreflected, and uncognized.
> Yet general qualities can
> *emerge* in metaphysical firstness.
>
> SECONDNESS: Secondness is characterized by its RESISTANCE TO OUR
> INTENTIONS or expectations. Epistemolgically secondness is experienced
> as a shock to habitual patterns of awareness. Secondness is particular and disruptive.
> Metaphysically secondness is characterized as NONEGO [what is other]
> That is it cannot be associated with the *self* since it actively
> contradicts the VOLITIONS of the self.
>
> THIRDNESS depends upon both firstness and secondness and functions as
> THEIR MEDIATION. Thirdness is conceptual and conscious. It is the
> realm of general repeatable habitual experiences AND [in general]
> thirdness is cognitive. All uniformities [in knowledge OR REALITY] are
> *modes* of thirdness insofar as they are general.
> Human ACTION is GOVERNED by the thirdness that IS cognitively present.
> Without thirdness we are left with the confusing and uncognizable
> world of immediacy [firstness] and resistance [secondness]
>
> Peirce seems to be playing in this realm of reality and imaginal Larry
>
> On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 6:56 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Greg, and David
> >
> > The questions generated by reflections considering  types of the
> > imaginal such as:
> >
> > # natural ontology that says something exists because the world just
> > *is* [nothing more, nothing less] in all its base materiality.
> >
> > # the imaginal *as* reality opening up an enchanted world of myth,
> > belief and religion.
> >
> > # the *intentionally* constructed [made] imaginal that brings into
> > *form* [structure] that are rational
> >
> > # the gestalt perception of multiple poly arrangements of the real
> > AND imaginal [*and* NOT as addition but as chiasm or binocular depth
> > perceiving/conceiving]
> >
> >  Greg SAYS he *feels* [intuits, speculates?] :
> >
> > "At the same time I can't help but feel like there is something
> > different about these two TYPES of imagined worlds, with the other
> > (rationalist)
> type
> > of imagined worlds that, as you note, are perhaps more contrived,
> > more intentionally made."
> >
> > Then Greg makes a value observation that he notes is a difference
> > that makes a difference:
> > :
> > "But to say that there is a difference here worth noting is not to
> > say that  the latter is superior to the former. Rather, it seems
> > that this points to  differences in ontology."
> >
> > These various "types" when privileged are possibly "reductions" or
> > "abstractions" from the EXCESS which Merleau Ponty explores through
> > *expressive cognition* The notions of reversals, and transversals,
> > and
> the
> > personification of THIS movement of orientations [orientations in
> > sense] can be personified in the person of Hermes [the trickster].
> >
> > Hillman, who plays within the ontology suggesting the imaginal is
> > reality suggests the *I* [ego] is that personification [as imaginal]
> > that *takes* itself literally, not metaphorically. If we see
> > *through*  the myth of
> the
> > *I* as a literalization of the social actor [as intentional maker or
> > constructor] then we possibly open up the EXCESS [of *is*] to
> > explore relations between *is* [material, being, becoming] with the
> > imaginal *as
> > if* to create a *chiasm* or binocular vision in *depth* [which is
> > NOT a summation of the *is* and *and is*] but is a gestalt *type*
> > historically constituted through *expressive cognition* [Merleau
> > Ponty's term]
> >
> > Greg, this *feeling* as a way of orienting to make *sense* through
> *types*
> > seems like *interpretive musings* [Peirce]
> >
> > Just wondering
> > Larry
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 11:45 PM, Greg Thompson <
> greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
> > > wrote:
> >
> >> David,
> >> Thanks for this wonderfully thoughtful note.
> >> As I posted my note to the video, I was reading Max Gluckman's
> >> Rituals
> of
> >> Rebellion. In that book, Gluckman describes rituals in which people
> invert
> >> the norms of society for a period of time. This is clearly living
> >> in an imagined world (perhaps as much as living in the world full
> >> of upright norms), but this wouldn't make it onto Saler's radar. So
> >> I agree with
> your
> >> concern about ethnocentrism.
> >> At the same time I can't help but feel like there is something
> >> different about these two types of imagined worlds, with the other
> >> (rationalist) type of imagined worlds that, as you note, are
> >> perhaps more contrived, more intentionally made.
> >> But to say that there is a difference here worth noting is not to
> >> say
> that
> >> the latter is superior to the former. Rather, it seems that this
> >> points
> to
> >> differences in ontology. The intentionally made imaginary is a
> >> result
> of a
> >> naturalist ontology (here you see I am buying some of Saler's
> >> argument about a Weberian disenchantment with modernity). In a
> >> naturalist
> ontology,
> >> the world is just there in "all its base materiality." Nothing
> >> more, nothing less. There is no space for the rich imagined world
> >> of myth, belief, and religion (or so it is believed). In other
> >> worlds, there is space for something more.
> >> Anyway, I think there was too much for me to chew on in your post.
> >> Still thinking about it...
> >> -greg
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 10:22 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-pr
> axis/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]
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> 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
> >>
> >
> >
>



--
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
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