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[Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
The histories of dcog and chat are intertwined, Annalisa. And,
co-incidently, Don Norman discovered affordances and cognitive artifacts
right about that time at UCSD. If it were possible to find a source that
makes these connections visible and available to read about it might be a
step in the direction of your earlier suggestion of some sort of intro for
newcomers to the discussion.
I have been reading The paper that Paul sent. I fear I need a newcomer's
introduction to many of the dense cluster of thinkers he is seeking to sort
out! The centrality of class comes through clearly, but I am insuficiently
read in too many places to feel I understand well. Help wanted!
A sculptor friend has a t shirt that nails our dilemma "so many rocks, so
On Monday, December 1, 2014, Annalisa Aguilar <email@example.com> wrote:
> Perhaps the day we stop employing the phrase "mental representation" is
> coming closer!
> For me, this brings us closer to truly understanding Gibson's theory of
> This is what it's like for me to read David's contributed article. But I
> wonder if it is possible for you, Martin, to explain why it is important
> not to use the phrase,"mental representation" in the article.
> I suspect there is a history here, and I do not mean to pull a grenade
> pin, I just want to understand because I am a newcomer to the list. If you
> can trust that that is my intention by asking, I will look forward to your
> reply, Martin.
> Let me just add that I am putting two and two together that being at UCSD
> and it being the home to Distributed Cognition, that that influences your
> position, not that it necessarily shapes it, but that you find community in
> it (which I suppose can still shape, but it seems more voluntary phrased
> that way).
> Kind regards,
> Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 4:28 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
> An interesting article, David. One way in which it is interesting, to me
> at least, is that the phrase "mental representation" is not used, even
> once. Instead the author writes of the way that we "read" images in the
> world around us - material representations - and he tries to define the
> "interpretational space" within which this reading takes place.
> On Dec 1, 2014, at 1:53 AM, David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Larry, Annalisa:
> > People sometimes ask my wife if it was "love at first sight" when we
> > met. She answers--quite truthfully--that she has no memory of anything
> > except the price of the shoes that I wore (a kind of shoe available
> > for a standard price all over China) She does not even remember
> > whether they were new or old (they were pretty new; it was the
> > beginning of the semester). I think I would describe this as a
> > non-image based mental representation.
> > As Larry says, the issue of whether all mental representations are
> > images was a very hot one--back in the late nineteenth century. In
> > fact, it was the key issue for the Gestaltist revolt against Titchener
> > and against Wundtian psychology: for Wundt and his disciples,
> > everything was image based, and the Gestaltists demonstrated that
> > many, if not most, of our mental operations are genetically anterior
> > to images, and have more to do with processes, else we would not have
> > time or ability to process complex problems in real time.
> > I think it is even more true that of forms of thinking that are
> > genetically posterior to images. I hesitate to recommend more reading
> > to anybody, because of course Larry is far more well read than I am
> > (particularly on phenomenology) and Annalisa sometimes feels like
> > she's being sent to sit facing the corner with a book. So do NOT read
> > this article--instead, look at Figure 11.
> > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157022/
> > The artist, Robert Pepperell, uses the general color structure of
> > Michelangelo’s painting to suggest images without using any actual
> > images: by color and shape, which some part of our cultural experience
> > associates with Renaissance paintings. Pepperell then deliberately
> > frustrates these guiding images by refusing to give them any
> > recognizable figures upon which to focus.
> > However, the child staring up at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco
> > for the first time finds himself in the opposite situation. He or she
> > can discern quite clearly the fighting figures in the painting and
> > wonders who they are and why they are fighting, but does not notice
> > the color structure or see anything particularly meaningful in it.
> > David Kellogg
> > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> > On 1 December 2014 at 10:39, Annalisa Aguilar <email@example.com
> >> 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
> >> What is it that appeals to you about this model, metaphoricity?
> >> (BTW, a metaphor need not be image based!)
> >> Kind regards,
> >> Annalisa
> >> ________________________________________
> >> 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
> >> exploring these authors is I have been following a path pursuing a basic
> >> question.
> >> Are basic guiding images at the root of all thinking?
> >> Chris Hackett's answer is: "thinking never EXCEEDS the basic guiding
> >> 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
> >> *metaphoricity*.
> >> Hackett believes metaphoricity names the irreducible image-character of
> >> *spontaneous event* of meaning.
> >> He goes on to suggest that the "intending subject" - which he brackets -
> >> finds itself implicated in this guiding image.
> >> AND
> >> 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
> >> invoke. In other words the notion of *seeing as* is implicated in
> >> *objectivity*
> >> This new objectivity for Hackett is the root of thinking.
> >> Reason at the point of becoming conscious and in command of itself *in*
> >> mode [path] of the concept
> >> occurs AFTER the *constitution* of meaning through guiding images has
> >> established.
> >> 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
> >> 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
> >> 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
> >> and may be pulling us away from the historical concerns of XMCA. I
> >> personally am following this path for now.
> >> Larry
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.