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



Message from Francine;

Yes, what I have been saying can be viewed from the perspective of
a 'mytheme', and (from what I can quickly glean) from the writings of Raymond
Williams and Kris Guiterrez.  [In regard to 'mytheme,' structuralists like Levi-Strauss
would posit cross-cultural commonalities that are inherently part of myth-making
or language - Richard Dawkins would call it a 'meme' and treat it as a cultural construct].

My own orientation comes from Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions (1967) and Stephen Toulmin's Human Understanding (1972). 
Toulmin was my Master's thesis sponsor.

Kuhn's book is a must read. He introduced the concept of science as
paradigmatic change and introduced 'paradigm' into the common vernacular.
But Kuhn, Toulmin, and myself were/are not phenomenologists - we recognize that 
there is an external reality that cultures strive to understand. There are different ways
of understanding that external reality, and frankly some work better than others. 
[Metaphysics is not phenomenology, although phenomenology is one type of epistemology].

If my semiotic system does not orient me to see a wall in front of me, I will still walk into a wall. If my semiotics do not allow for the perception that a car is coming at me, and I do not move,
I am still going to be hit by that car. In Hopi, I allowed myself to be hit by the car,
(or kicked by a mule) since a 'lower' entity can not act on a higher life form.
Also, while Yoda can tell young Luke that he can raise his spaceship out of the mud using
'The Force' - I would not recommend that approach if your car is stuck in a snow bank.


> Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:19:57 -0800
> From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time, Imagination, Metaphor
> 
> Francine,
> Your comment:
> 
> "The 'Natural' Science  that arises from European culture begins as
> mechanical physics and alchemy
> in which machines have parts and chemicals have elements."
> 
> Having "parts" and having "elements" as the beginning "point" or "position"
> from which we get "in" to this theme of "natural" science
> Francine would you say  this theme iis also a "mytheme"?
> I read this as a type of *opening* of an origin narrative or  history as
> situating development in specific concrete situations. [situate as both
> verb and noun] with a theme of "cultural diversity"  I keep mentioning
> Raymond Williams as I find he writes within *THIS* STYLE and it is very
> helpful for getting my bearings.
> 
> It will put IN play what we mean by "academic or scientific" concepts as
> possibly historically effected understandings.
> Will we also explore Kris's notion of "vertical" and "horizontal"  concepts
> within cultural synergy?
> David K's "grammatical metaphors" may also be involved in this cultural
> diversity.
> I have been considering reading more from Raymond Williams, so would
> consider a shared reading with a similar exploration of cultural
> permeability of  time, imagination, metaphor, perception and trans-versal
> ways of orienting or moving *in* the world.
> Larry
> 
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 3:37 PM, larry smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > 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
> > > >
> > > >
> >