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[Xmca-l] Re: Time, Imagination, Metaphor



Message from Francine:

These three threads are all related (not forgetting perception and imagination).

One of the things about XMCA threads is that the members each have so much
to contribute, from their own perspectives as well as bibliographic references.

The discourse does get philosophical raising old metaphysics questions of
epistemology "How do we know what we know?" "How is our understanding
shaped by language and culture?" XMCARs tend to be particularly self-conscious
about their own use of language - which is good. There seems to be a striving
for a new framework (paradigm) that clarifies these cross-cultural semiotic
differences. 

The project I am working on is on how new ideas, customs, inventions, language,
art, music, etc. are created through Cultural Synergy - when 'artifacts' from one
culture enter another and are combined into something  more than how the artifacts functioned in their original cultures. I can give mundane examples such as how
noodles from China become spaghetti, elbow macaroni, etc. Or, the wheel as
a potter's wheel, a wagon wheel, a gear, a grinding stone, a steering wheel, etc.
(and all the mechanical devices that combine wheels, like pulleys and clocks and
the first calculator). Concrete examples are a good start but there are more
conceptual examples that I have just not had time to clarify. The discussion
of time as it differs cross-culturally is  a good starting point. Where I personally
would want to go with this, is to look how how new conceptions of time emerge through
inter-cultural contact. That is metaphysics.

I also wonder how the semiotics of European, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cultures
are related to their invention of the wheel and advancements in metallurgy.
(Noting that Western African tribes did smelting of ore). The 'Natural' Science
that arises from European culture begins as mechanical physics and alchemy
in which machines have parts and chemicals have elements. It has evolved into
the study of energy, and systems theory.

There is enough here for ten volumes. Anyone interested?







> Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:25:02 -0800
> From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time
> 
> This notion of our  being a "verb" or being a "noun" or being a "position"
> or possibly being a "pre" - position.
> What I am wondering is where we are going??
> Are we actually "verbs" and "nouns" and "positions" and "pre"-positions??
> Do we "exist" in the grammar [syntax] or do we "exist" in the "semantics"
> [meaning] or do we  "exist" in the "Pragmatics" [doing, activity]
> 
> I apologize if this question is merely "idio"-syncretic but it is the
> imaginal mutually reciprocal "third space" which I am being invited to
> occupy in THIS SPECIFIC community as we trans-late the imaginal into
> "genres" or "forms". For this reason, I want to hold on to the moral virtue
> of "cosmopolitanism" that Kris Gutierrez articulated in her paper. [Yes a
> trans-position]  Kris wrote:
> "At the CORE of its [the third space] political-philosophical ROOTS, this
> program is oriented towards a FORM {LP adds a form as a genre]]  of
> "cosmopolitanism" (Appiah, 2006) characterized by the ideals and practices
> of a shared humanity, a profound OBLIGATION to others, boundary crossing,
> and intercultural exchange in which difference is celebrated without being
> romanticized.
> To get to this "space" or "place" requires imagination.
> 
> If Buckminster Fuller "seems" to be a verb, and others "seem" to be nouns
> while others "seem" to be positions [stances] , while others "seem" to be
> "pre"-positions, then the imaginal "seems" to be *IN* play. [with the full
> awareness of *IN* as David K out-lined or under-scored or high-lighted.]
> 
> I  want to ask Francine what she meant by "metaphysical" in her signing off
> on her recent examples or cases. Kris "pragmatics" or "performance"  seems
> to me "grounded" in the sense of rising [ideal] and returning [to ground]
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 2:17 AM, larry smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > I seem to be a verb
> >
> > R. Buckminster Fuller 1970
> >
> > > Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:36:03 -0700
> > > From: greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
> > > To: ablunden@mira.net; xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time
> > >
> > > Interesting how you have taken this Andy - to suggest that the Hopi lack
> > a
> > > founding principle of Natural Science.
> > >
> > > Whorf actually takes this in generally the opposite direction. In his
> > work
> > > on the Hopi language, he suggests that one finds a language much better
> > > suited to thinking about the theoretical physics of Whorf's day (e.g.,
> > > Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, etc.). In that sense,
> > > Hopi is, in fact, closer to describing the way the world really is. (and
> > > I'll quickly rescind those last six words if you have any objections!).
> > >
> > > As to your assumption that science requires the objectification of the
> > > natural world, I'm sure there are others on the list who would agree with
> > > me that there is good reason to question the necessity of subject/object
> > > dualism for science. (and perhaps you were referring to a particular
> > > scientific tradition by calling it "Natural Science" - maybe scary scare
> > > quotes are needed?).
> > >
> > > -greg
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 11:57 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > That is an extremely interesting paragraph or two on the contrast
> > between
> > > > typical modern expressions of Time and how the Hopi language expresses
> > > > corresponding situations. It seems that taking Nature (including Time)
> > to
> > > > be something which exists independently of us humans and can be known
> > as
> > > > such, in other words, the founding principle of Natural Science, is
> > built
> > > > into a premodern language, and is not shared by (at least one)
> > indigenous
> > > > people.
> > > >
> > > > Andy
> > > >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > *Andy Blunden*
> > > > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Greg Thompson wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Helena and David,
> > > >> I wonder if this quote below from Benjamin Whorf (one of the so-called
> > > >> authors of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis - a kindred tradition
> > to
> > > >> Vygotsky's) might be useful. In it Whorf is comparing the Hopi notion
> > of
> > > >> "time" to the SAE (Standard Average European - including English)
> > notion
> > > >> of
> > > >> "time" and how each of these languages offers different affordances of
> > > >> meaning. Whereas Hopi has a much more processual understanding,
> > English
> > > >> has
> > > >> a much more reified/objectified/entified sense of time. (btw, I think
> > the
> > > >> first paragraph is easier to follow than the second - and in that
> > first
> > > >> paragraph you'll find our old friend "imagination").
> > > >> David, does this jibe with what you were pointing to?
> > > >> -greg
> > > >>
> > > >> Taken from:
> > > >> http://web.stanford.edu/dept/SUL/library/extra4/sloan/
> > > >> mousesite/Secondary/Whorfframe2.html
> > > >>
> > > >> " "Such terms as summer, winter, September, morning, noon, sunset" are
> > > >> with
> > > >> us nouns, and have little formal linguistic difference from other
> > nouns.
> > > >> They can be subjects or objects, and we say "at sunset" or "in winter"
> > > >> just
> > > >> as we say "at a corner" or "in an orchard." They are pluralized and
> > > >> numerated like nouns of physical objects, as we have seen. Our thought
> > > >> about the referents of such words hence becomes objectified. Without
> > > >> objectification, it would be a subjective experience of real time,
> > i.e. of
> > > >> the consciousness of "becoming later and later"--simply a cyclic phase
> > > >> similar to an earlier phase in that ever-later-becoming duration.
> > Only by
> > > >> imagination can such a cyclic phase be set beside another and another
> > in
> > > >> the manner of a spatial (i.e. visually perceived) configuration. "But
> > such
> > > >> is the power of linguistic analogy that we do so objectify cyclic
> > phasing.
> > > >> We do it even by saying "a phase" and "phases" instead of e.g.,
> > "phasing."
> > > >> And the pattern of individual and mass nouns, with the resulting
> > binomial
> > > >> formula of formless item plus form, is so general that it is implicit
> > for
> > > >> all nouns, and hence our very generalized formless items like
> > "substance,
> > > >> matter," by which we can fill out the binomial for an enormously wide
> > > >> range
> > > >> of nouns. But even these are not quite generalized enough to take in
> > our
> > > >> phase nouns. So for the phase nouns we have made a formless item,
> > "time."
> > > >> We have made it by using "a time," i.e. an occasion or a phase, in the
> > > >> pattern of a mass noun, just as from "a summer" we make "summer" in
> > the
> > > >> pattern of a mass noun. Thus with our binomial formula we can say and
> > > >> think
> > > >> "a moment of time, a second of time, a year of time." Let me again
> > point
> > > >> out that the pattern is simply that of "a bottle of milk" or "a piece
> > of
> > > >> cheese." Thus we are assisted to imagine that "a summer" actually
> > contains
> > > >> or consists of such-and-such a quantity of "time."
> > > >>
> > > >> In Hopi however all phase terms, like "summer, morning," etc., are not
> > > >> nouns but a kind of adverb, to use the nearest SAE analogy. They are a
> > > >> formal part of speech by themselves, distinct from nouns, verbs, and
> > even
> > > >> other Hopi "adverbs." Such a word is not a case form or a locative
> > > >> pattern,
> > > >> like "des Abends" or "in the morning." It contains no morpheme like
> > one of
> > > >> "in the house" or "at the tree." It means "when it is morning" or
> > "while
> > > >> morning-phase is occurring." These "temporal s" are not used as
> > subjects
> > > >> or
> > > >> objects, or at all like nouns. One does not say "it's a hot summer" or
> > > >> "summer is hot"; summer is not hot, summer is only WHEN conditions are
> > > >> hot,
> > > >> WHEN heat occurs. One does not say "THIS summer," but "summer now" or
> > > >> "summer recently." There is no objectification, as a region, an
> > extent, a
> > > >> quantity, of the subjective duration feeling. Nothing is suggested
> > about
> > > >> time except the perpetual "getting later" of it. And so there is no
> > basis
> > > >> here for a formless item answering to our "time." "
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > > Assistant Professor
> > > Department of Anthropology
> > > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > > Brigham Young University
> > > Provo, UT 84602
> > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >
> >