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[Xmca-l] Re: The meaning of affordances

Hi Helena,

I'm not so sure if its the words or the way the thinking behind those words match up or don't match up with the systems of the individuals were are teaching live and think within.  A little while ago I was reading Bateson and his idea that Western philosophy/thinking often precluded the idea of a supreme cybernetic system - the idea that we could and would be self-corrected through exploration of the universe rather than any conscious human design.  We are a society obsessed with local control and the idea that we can manipulate the universe around us (which we can in small doses, but Bateson claim is destructive in the long run).

Many of the words you mention such as affordances, mediators, activity often fall into the exploration perspective I think - and they become difficult to relate.

A little while ago I wrote a sentence based on the idea that education should be based on open exploration because something akin to a supreme cybernetics will offer self-correcting feedback, and a big trouble is many educators don't trust that.  And then I stared at the sentence for a while and realized the majority of people reading it (if anybody does ever read it) would just pass it right over.

So what do we do?  Hard to know.

A side question for Mike - in those early meetings on distributed cognition that Don Norman was a part of did cybernetics and/or Bateson every some up?

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Helena Worthen [helenaworthen@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2014 2:12 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The meaning of affordances

A voice from the margins, here:

I learn a lot from this list, all the time, and would hate to have it go quiet or self-destruct. But my role in the world outside this list, out there in the synchronous landscape, involves trying to make ideas intelligible to working people who may not have more than a couple of years of community college. For this purpose, there is a whole roster of terms that are a problem. When I say these terms to regular people, they make a face as if they'd tasted something bad.

Examples of terms like this are:

CHAT (cultural-historical activity theory)



For my purposes, Annalisa's Dec 2 post on Gibson's invention of the term "affordance" is very useful. He explained clearly why he made it up. I can use that.

Knud Illeris' book "Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning theorists...in their own words" is a breath of fresh air for the same reason. You got to hear a whole collection of different people saying very different things about learning, all grouped together as learning theorists.


Helena Worthen

On Dec 3, 2014, at 11:26 AM, HENRY SHONERD wrote:

> Haydi,
> Thank you so much! Here’s how it is for me:
> I too have been waiting for Andy to come back. He is the reason I am in the chat. I have known about Vygotsky through Vera since the early 80s. But I, after my dissertation on L2 fluency in 1986, I worked as a teacher educator where research and publication wasn’t necessary for tenure and promotion. The college where I was working closed (bankruptcy) five years back and, like any working stiff, I am having to reinvent myself. So, in thrashing about I came to read Andy’s articles on "collaborative project" as a unit of analysis a few years back, started emailing with him one-on-one (and he was so generous with his time and patience in answering my questions about activity theory and Vygotsky), until he said it was time for me to join the chat. Andy mentored me until I had the courage to pipe up. Andy just edited a book on collaborative projects; Vera has written one of the papers for the book. I love them both. That’s how it is for me.
> Let me say that I consider myself a rank learner, always beginning. Mike has wisely rejected the role of Caesar on the chat. But we go to him asking him to sort out things amongst the unruly class. As a teacher, the hardest thing for me ever to do was to deal with disrespect between students. I have finally come to realize and accept that I want to be in a school where the students are nice to each other. Where respect and trust abound. Where human flourishing is possible. There is no father god to rescue us. We have to do it for ourselves. Well, like the song goes, “I’m still willin’” Let’s make this a creative project, which means no unethical use of power. We can’t afford it. In my humble opinion.
> In gratitude and hope,
> Henry
>> On Dec 3, 2014, at 11:00 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> Haydi--
>> Like anyone on xmca, you can demand whatever you like. Getting people to
>> implement your demands may be more
>> difficult. In general, I have not experienced demands and resentment as
>> particularly helpful on xmca, but thing are changing,
>> so who knows.
>> I am not putting ANL aside because of the concerns expressed in MCA in the
>> past year or so. The concerns are real, at least to me.
>> But there are many productive programs of research that use his ideas,
>> along with those of LSV and many others, both Russian and non-Russian.
>> I believe it would be helpful in receiving answers to your various comments
>> and suggestions if some of them were constrained to particular threads. For
>> example, the discussion of plank versus a piece of electronic equipment vis
>> a vis the notion of artifact and mediation through artifacts, etc., might
>> be be placed in that thread.
>> etc.
>> I clearly can be wrong in all of these judgments!
>> mike
>> On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 3:50 AM, Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi
>>> First of all , so resentfully I wonder If I can demand Andy's return to
>>> the discussions !! No one can deny his great contributions to this Forum .
>>> Second , I might have been lost completely in your words , terms ,
>>> premises , and compositional nuances and colourings of your script as
>>> native speakers , etc.
>>> Third , because of obvious sensitivities towards ANL , I've altogether put
>>> him to one side ; otherwise , in this concrete example of Michael , the
>>> triad , activity , action , operation are boldly in view .
>>> Fourth , I suppose LSV himself in two or three chapters of the "History of
>>> Higher Mental Functions" has provided full response to our inquiries . Andy
>>> , in time , sent the first two chapters to all .
>>> 1. He , after preliminary remarks , puts heavy emphasis on use of tools
>>> and work activity in the parentheses and in italic characters . He
>>> emphasizes that use of tool very naturally gets significant just within the
>>> work activity process . Without the work activity we cannot expect much of
>>> it . Then , as most of the time , he time and again references Marx and
>>> Engels so as to prove his claims .
>>> 2. Mike is so and for good reasons enchanted in "rudiments" of culture
>>> phenomena (throwing dice and bones , knots , notches in the wood to
>>> remember speech) . Good for him and us all . Yes , Buridan's ass gets
>>> spoilt in its indecision But man through inventing stimulus-device gets to
>>> salvation . But the problem is how many times has Mike , our Boss and
>>> confirmed global figure no need for it to be documented , asked himself
>>> what went before that juncture of time for the man to become 'MAN' ?? At
>>> this moment we are with LSV and at a very critical point of time . No more
>>> return to 'culture' to prove 'culture' . LSV says the error for some is to
>>> recount the story of mental through mental while they should know that
>>> mental processes go parallel with 'social' processes . What I gather at
>>> this very point is that he expects us to infer that the 'our present man of
>>> some will' owes his man/ness and decisiveness to his previous work activity
>>> necessitating use of tools . It seems we cannot take the idea to the
>>> uterine because V focuses on use of tools for a baby of 6 or of 10-12
>>> months of age . It seems , both phylogenetically and ontogenetically , that
>>> it's not the case that 'gestures' ' eye contacts' come of their own and
>>> because of the man/ness and for the tuning-up with the universe through
>>> sounds and hymns and angels , etc. Man worked for life , performed ups and
>>> downs , shook his extremeties (one pair of hand) , consumed ! collective
>>> yellings and gesturing (as concomitant of work) . V says we can distinguish
>>> independent history of natural processes and independent history of
>>> cultural development separately 'phylogenetically' but not ontogenetically
>>> . In ontology , nature and culture work simultaneously contrary to
>>> phylogenesis . One cannot with ease and comfort say whichone goes with
>>> whichone .
>>> 3. Andy who is well aware of both CH and AT , on his sending of the four
>>> pages and then the said two chapters , disclosed a very important point
>>> neglected so far at the forum and that was the idea of the distinction
>>> between tool and sign so fruitfully and enormously discussed by V and the
>>> deep meaning that the simple diagram denoted . V says 'artifact' could be
>>> cheating and deceitful but no one cares ! They invariably use artifacts and
>>> through this , they ultimately remove 'material activity' from the domain
>>> altogether . V is everywhere clear with both 'cultural , ideal activity'
>>> and 'material activity' . Here is where quotes don't work . The one more
>>> return to the plus-thousand previous reflections . No loss really ! V , if
>>> necessary , prefers just 'mediation' .
>>> 4. With these in mind , I say for certain that here the plank is a tool
>>> not an 'artifact' because it is not a sign signaling any other genuine
>>> thing . It's all to itself . Also the light switch . And the whole activity
>>> is a material one . Life put it in the way . According to V sign activity
>>> affects one's own societal individual behaviour . We cannot generalize its
>>> effect to the border of transforming Nature . Man through speech , dialogue
>>> , discourse , talk , genre , etc. decides for the change in personal
>>> behaviour ; if this potential preparedness for individual behavioral change
>>> gets fossilized or ossified , then man will not reach the threshhold of the
>>> bigger act and the vast field of the Mother Universe with its motley rich
>>> material phenomena out of which each time he can select an object for a
>>> circle of activity : starting an activity with a probable cryptic 'motive'
>>> (what we don't yet know about which took him to the point of crossing) ,
>>> with a conscious goal (reaching the other side) through a concrete action
>>> (crossing) operating according to the conditions at hand and on the ground
>>> (light switching , wrestling between the ideal and the material (object ,
>>> subject , that is , thinking ideally about what to do with the whole thing
>>> and the plank , then observing with the help of the light acting on the
>>> object , again back to thinking if flaws are observed , etc. etc. no
>>> blending of objective and subjective whatsoever . And I wonder why taking
>>> affordance for a tool .
>>> Soooooooooo much for one post .
>>> I considered spaces but wonder if it works .
>>> I'll also be very quiet and slow in replying !
>>> Best
>>> Haydi
>>>    From: mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 11:26:46
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The meaning of affordances
>>> My view?
>>> The plank is for certain an artifact, no less than the light bulb. On what
>>> grounds, or under what circumstances,  would you classify it otherwise?
>>> What's gained, what's lost?
>>> mike
>>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 10:45 AM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi Annalisa, Mike, Huw
>>>> I tend to  be somebody who reacts better to concrete examples than
>>>> definitions.  I believe this also comes from Gibson's 1977 book,
>>>> You are walking across a field and come to a stream which you can to get
>>>> across.  You notice a plank across the stream.  It is wide enough for you
>>>> to keep your balance and thick enough to hold your weight, in using it
>>> you
>>>> recognize its affordance as a crossing point.  It is the intersection of
>>>> the movement, the perception of the plank, short term goal of the
>>> activity
>>>> (getting across the stream) - the recognition of the affordance comes in
>>>> the subjective use of the object (which is why it is neither subjective
>>> or
>>>> objective).  It is also important that you have the abilities (the
>>> correct
>>>> weight, the balance) to recognize the affordance, otherwise you pass the
>>>> plank by.
>>>> As far as perceived affordance.  I think I have this right - the
>>> perceived
>>>> is not in the person who recognizes the affordance (otherwise you are
>>>> right, that is wet water) it is whether there is an intention in the
>>> design
>>>> of the object.  So I create a light switch with the intention of
>>> designing
>>>> it as having a perceived affordance for somebody who wants to switch on a
>>>> light.  As you can see different from the relationship to the plank,
>>> where
>>>> there is no prior design.
>>>> Here is my question (perhaps answered in the Engestrom paper)
>>>> The light switch is certainly an artifact, but is the plank?
>>>> Michael
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
>>>> on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 1:19 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The meaning of affordances
>>>> Those definitions help a lot Annalisa and touch on the fact that gibson
>>>> seemed to empty the organism (if one were so inclined to interpret him)
>>> and
>>>> he dismissed culutral mediation as secondary at best. Still, they share
>>> the
>>>> idea that a part of the structure that psychologist theorize as a located
>>>> inside of individual crania is in fact "our there" in the phylgenetically
>>>> and cultural-historically constitued environment. And that drove
>>> cognitive
>>>> psychologists, our co discussants, nuts. Until, "they got it" and then
>>>> sought to mold it to their own ends and pre-existing means.
>>>> mike
>>>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> I thought I'd do the honors and start a new thread on affordances,
>>> which
>>>>> isn't related to Larry's discussion of basic images.
>>>>> I figured as well to offer Gibson's words on affordances since it is a
>>>>> word he invented to describe something he saw in the world. Of course
>>> the
>>>>> life of affordances has been full of controversy, especially with
>>> regard
>>>> to
>>>>> understanding what they are.
>>>>> Gibson's Affordances is a theory I find instrumental to connecting
>>>> outside
>>>>> to inside experiences and I intuit that it is related to perezhivanie
>>> in
>>>>> some fashion.
>>>>> After reading the wikipage more closely, I regret offering a link to
>>> the
>>>>> text there because it isn't very clear what Gibson means or what Norman
>>>>> means. To me, a "perceived affordance" is like saying "wet water."
>>>>> In any case, here are 3 quotes of Gibson in his own words, that I could
>>>>> find:
>>>>> The affordances of the environment are what it _offers_ the animal,
>>> what
>>>>> it _provides_ or _furnishes_, either for good or ill. The verb "to
>>>> afford"
>>>>> is found in the dictionary, the noun "affordance" is not. I have made
>>> it
>>>>> up. I mean by it something that refers both to the environment and the
>>>>> animal in a way that no existing term does. It implies the
>>>> complementarity
>>>>> of the animal and the environment (Gibson, 1977/1986).
>>>>> and
>>>>> What is meant by an _affordance_? …Subject to revision, I suggest that
>>>> the
>>>>> affordance of anything is a specific combination of the properties of
>>> its
>>>>> substance and its surfaces taken with reference to an animal. The
>>>> reference
>>>>> may be to an animal as distinguished from other species (Gibson,
>>>> 1977/1986).
>>>>> and
>>>>> An important fact about affordances of the environment is that they are
>>>> in
>>>>> a sense objective, real, and physical, unlike values and meanings,
>>> which
>>>>> are often supposed to be subjective, phenomenal, and mental. But
>>>> actually,
>>>>> an affordance is neither an objective property nor a subjective
>>> property;
>>>>> or it is both if you like. An affordance cuts across the dichotomy of
>>>>> subjective-objective and helps us to understand its inadequacy. It is
>>>>> equally a fact of the environment and a fact of behavior. It is both
>>>>> physical and psychical, yet neither. An affordance points both ways, to
>>>> the
>>>>> environment and to the observer (Gibson, 1977/1986).
>>>>> These quotes are important to keep in mind, I hope they help.
>>>>> I might also suggest looking at Mace(1977) who described very carefully
>>>>> how Gibson got from stimuli to affordance, given that people on this
>>> list
>>>>> value history, learning, and development.
>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>> on behalf of Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 10:35 AM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>>>> I'd take a look.
>>>>> Michael, utility or technical affordance might fit.  My equivalent of
>>>> your
>>>>> perceived/discovered distinction is one of planned and technically
>>>>> manifest.
>>>>> Huw
>>>>> On 2 December 2014 at 16:44, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> I'd be interested in anybody else is.
>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [
>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> ]
>>>>>> on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 11:39 AM
>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>>>>> Interloper, Michael?
>>>>>> The discussions at UCSD preceeding Don's use of affordances and
>>>> cognitive
>>>>>> artifacts were accompanied by other, related papers. One by Engestrom
>>>> on
>>>>>> "when is an artifact" and one or more by Ed Hutchins. If people are
>>>>>> interested in pursuing this thread/topic the materials could be
>>>> gathered
>>>>>> up.
>>>>>> mike
>>>>>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Glassman, Michael <
>>> glassman.13@osu.edu
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> But it seems that Norman made two mistakes (and I like his idea).
>>> He
>>>>>>> actually cops to both of them.  The first was not to distinguish
>>>>> between
>>>>>>> affordances which are discovered and perceived affordances which
>>> are
>>>>>>> designed.  I think this is related to the issue of artifacts.
>>>> Meaning
>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> artifacts designed for perceived affordances or are they there to
>>> be
>>>>>>> discovered through movement as (and this is probably the wrong
>>> word,
>>>> if
>>>>>>> anybody knows the right one, help!!) organic affordances.  It is a
>>>>>> complex
>>>>>>> question about artifacts I think because their meaning changes
>>> based
>>>> on
>>>>>>> context, so something designed for perceived affordances in one
>>>> context
>>>>>> may
>>>>>>> result in organic affordances in another context.
>>>>>>> The second mistake he made, which turned out to be bigger - is that
>>>> he
>>>>>> was
>>>>>>> not careful enough in differentiating between affordances and
>>>>>> constraints.
>>>>>>> Again artifacts, are they designed to create perceived affordances
>>> or
>>>>> are
>>>>>>> they designed to create constraints.
>>>>>>> Anyway, just something I have been thinking about lately, but the
>>>>> mention
>>>>>>> just spurred me to throw this up.  Hope I'm not being too much of
>>> an
>>>>>>> interloper.
>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [
>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>> ]
>>>>>>> on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 10:58 AM
>>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>>>>>> Annalisa-
>>>>>>> I like the Wikipedia phraseology better than my own, appropriation
>>>> not
>>>>>>> discovery. For several years before he appropriated the notion of
>>>>>>> affordances, Don Norman and colleagues at UCSD were dead set
>>> against
>>>>>>> Gibson's ideas.  The change of views coincided with the advent of
>>> the
>>>>>> d-cog
>>>>>>> idea which also has deep roots in chat.
>>>>>>> No hidden  history i know of, but interesting connections among the
>>>>>> notion
>>>>>>> of affordance and artifact seem worth considering. A discussion  of
>>>>> these
>>>>>>> connections can be found, among other places, in
>>>>>>> Cole, M. & Engeström, Y. (1993). *A cultural-historical approach
>>> to
>>>>>>> distributed*
>>>>>>> *cognition*. In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed cognition:
>>>> Psychological
>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> educational considerations. New York: Cambridge University Press.
>>>>>>> mike
>>>>>>> On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 9:53 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi Mike,
>>>>>>>> It was my hope to not post more today, but I I have been denied
>>>> that
>>>>>>> wish!
>>>>>>>> Yes, I am aware that "dcog" and "chat" have important
>>> connections.
>>>> I
>>>>>> was
>>>>>>>> not aware however that Don Norman discovered affordances. I
>>> learned
>>>>>> about
>>>>>>>> Gibson's affordances in Gardner's book The Minds New Science
>>>> (1985).
>>>>>>>> Is there some history that is not part of the common story?
>>>>>>>> I looked here for clarity:
>>>>>>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance
>>>>>>>> Is it possible that you mean affordances and how they relate to
>>>>>> cognitive
>>>>>>>> artifacts?
>>>>>>>> There are no rocks here, maybe only Nerf footballs, as done in
>>>> play,
>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>> even joy!
>>>>>>>> When I am done with Paul's paper I do intend to speak, however
>>>> until
>>>>>> then
>>>>>>>> I will remain with the ineffable.
>>>>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <
>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 10:39 PM
>>>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>>> Subject: [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
>>>>>>>> little time"!
>>>>>>>> Mike
>>>>>>>> A
>>>>>>>> On Monday, December 1, 2014, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Martin!
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> affordances.
>>>>>>>>> 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,
>>>>>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;> <
>>>>>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;>> on behalf of
>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>> John
>>>>>>>>> Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co <javascript:;>>
>>>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>>>> On Dec 1, 2014, at 1:53 AM, David Kellogg <
>>> dkellogg60@gmail.com
>>>>>>>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> 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 <
>>>> annalisa@unm.edu
>>>>>>>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> 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,
>>>>>>>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>>>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;> <
>>>>>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;>> on behalf of
>>>> Larry
>>>>>>>> Purss <
>>>>>>>>> lpscholar2@gmail.com <javascript:;>>
>>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>>>> question.
>>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>>>> *metaphoricity*.
>>>>>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> can
>>>>>>>>>>> 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*
>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>>> mode [path] of the concept
>>>>>>>>>>> occurs AFTER the *constitution* of meaning through guiding
>>>>> images
>>>>>>> has
>>>>>>>>> been
>>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>>>>>> Larry
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science
>>> with
>>>>> an
>>>>>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with
>>>> an
>>>>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with
>>> an
>>>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>> --
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>> --
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>> --
>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.