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[Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?

Hi Larry and David,

Am I butting in? I hope if I am, it is a welcome butting in!

I don't know that we can say that "basic guiding images" are at the root of all thinking. 

Perhaps it is safer to say that people think differently, based upon previous conditioning and interactions with their caretakers, in combination with their biological makeup? Vera has a coined a phrase I like a lot called "Cognitive pluralism." She has written a paper on it by the same title and you may find interesting it if you don't know it.

With this in mind, it is possible that _some_ people think as Hackett describes, but I don't know if it is how all people think. Have you already given an example of Hackett's work that you recommend? I'd be willing to take a look.

As I understand, the topic of mental representations is controversial. It is likely controversial because no one likes it when someone says "this is how all humans think." Of course, that is just my humble observation.

It may just be that thinking is a dynamic process and whatever that process is, is particular to the necessity to the situation at hand? Just a thought.

What is it that appeals to you about this model, metaphoricity? 

(BTW, a metaphor need not be image based!)

Kind regards,


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2014 11:33 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l]  How *basic* are images?

David K
I mentioned Chris Hackett, and I recently referenced Peirce. My reason for
exploring these authors is I have been following a path pursuing a basic

Are basic guiding images at the root of all thinking?

Chris Hackett's answer is: "thinking never EXCEEDS the basic guiding images
upon which thinking rests"

The recent dialogue between Andy and Martin exploring appearances and
illusions was also exploring this theme.

Hackett is outlining what he understands as a new phenomenological path
that places guiding images at the root of thinking. He names this process

Hackett believes metaphoricity names the irreducible image-character of the
*spontaneous event* of meaning.

He goes on to suggest that the "intending subject" - which he brackets -
finds itself implicated in this guiding image.


it is *in* this guiding image that the *intending subject* finds the
meaning of its very self.

Exploring the notion of "first things* Hackett proposes this
image-character IS a new *objectivity* that only the notion of metaphor can
invoke. In other words the notion of *seeing as* is implicated in

This new objectivity for Hackett is the root of thinking.

Reason at the point of becoming conscious and in command of itself *in* the
mode [path] of the concept
occurs AFTER the *constitution* of meaning through guiding images has been

In other words meaning through guiding images mediates the path of
 conscious verbal thought in command of itself which is derived from the
image-character of the guiding image.

I hesitate to open this thread because of how controversial this topic may
become [again]

However I will take the risk as I continue to be held by this basic
question. I want to repeat that Hackett is exploring these images as
occurring as *events* and in his speculations the images emerge
spontaneously prior to intentional consciousness.

This is not the phenomenology of Husserl [which is transcendental] and is
not the phenomenology of Heidegger [which is hermeneutical]. It seems to
have an affinity with Peirce and speculative musings.

I also realize this question may already be answered in Vygotsky's writings
and may be pulling us away from the historical concerns of XMCA. I
personally am following this path for now.