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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination


        My  wondering has more to do with your focus on the visual and my examples may not of helped since it seemed. perhaps to be about the visual. However, imaging that some poorly drawn thingy (or even well drawn) is a ‘concrete’ platonic circle doesn’t seem to be visual or, at least, it never was for me. I have no problems with an image being a process. In fact, assuming that it is static seems strange although I guess I can imagine it (smile).
        On the other hand, perhaps, you are using the term ‘image’ in the way some use the word ‘text.’ That is, to take into account both external and the , so called, internal senses. In that case, much of what you say resonates with what I have been thinking. However, I am finding that peeling way the visual from what you write is tricky.


> On Dec 6, 2015, at  2:35 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> If I read you correctly Ed, my language belies my intent.
> "An image" is not a static thing, it is a process. Think of Zinchenko's
> experiments with fixed images in which he tricked the visual system that
> prevented stabilized images from disappearing. He stabilized the image
> (here reified as a projection on the retina) but changed its color, thus
> defeating the retina's tendency to go grey. In those conditions, eye
> movements continue to trace the spatial coordinates of the image as if it
> were continuing to "feel it."
> These are very special circumstances, to be sure, but for they make it
> clear that what is called an image is a process (according to Suvorov, of
> stepping away from the world and then stepping back into it, but then he
> was blind and deaf).
> What we designate as "the image" is some form of materialized stabilization
> of the flow of into-image-making. Some structure in the flow of the always
> new. From just the blink of an eye to our image of the statue of liberty.
> This is an old idea but it fits with my intuition. I first encountered it
> reading Dewey who refers to "the poet" on the topic of experience.
> *Yet all experience is an arch wherehrough / Gleams that untraveled world
> whose margin fades / Forever and forever when I move. *
> *Tennyson, Ulysses*
> If you are interested, we could try to synch re/reading of some core common
> articles/chapters. This entire area of concern is of recent vintage for me
> and my ignorance is particularly keenly felt.
> mike
> On Sun, Dec 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:
>> Mike
>>     As I indicated to Larry, I wonder somewhat about the privileging of
>> the ‘image’ in discussions of imagination. Additionally, although it has
>> been awhile since I delved into enactivism (and I don’t think it was of the
>> Russian kind) some of the theorists they seemed to draw on would disagree
>> with such a focus; this also seems to apply to semiotics.
>>     I did order the book after an Amazon perusal - it seems useful! - and
>> I have yet to read your paper slowly. However, despite a huge emphasis in
>> mathematics education on visualization, I may be thinking less about the
>> ‘imaginal’ than you or Larry. That doesn’t mean that what you and Larry are
>> talking about might not usefully factor in especially your point about
>> joint, mediated, activity.
>> Ed
>>> On Dec 6, 2015, at  11:11 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>> Thanks for having IMAGINATION in the subject line Larry et al
>>> I'll venture that into-image-make in its embryonic beginnings builds off
>> of
>>> the already highly functional sensory system. Assume vision as the
>> sensory
>>> system in question. We know that in an important sense, the "simple" act
>> of
>>> seeing what you might call a common object, for example your car in the
>>> driveway, or for an infant, the mother's face, involves temporal and
>>> spatial discontinuities arising from saccadic eye movement that must be
>>> resolved by the nervous system or vision ceases, the process of image
>>> formation ceases to function.
>>> The Peleprat/Cole paper provides more substantiation for that simplified
>>> account. In thinking about imagination I turn to Zaporozhets, Zinchenko
>> and
>>> non-Russians who I think of as promoting the idea of enactive
>>> perception/cognition. It is also consistent with joint, mediated,
>> activity
>>> as the germ cell of human ontogeny. Or so the story might go.
>>> I currently have my bet on the emergence of the semiotic function and the
>>> human possibility for symbolic communication is co-incident and
>>> co-constitutive of distinctly human imagination.
>>> in brief
>>> mike
>>> On Sun, Dec 6, 2015 at 8:42 AM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Ed, mike, Michael,
>>>> I will push my question to an earlier time period.
>>>> Age 2 months.
>>>> The baby (perceives) mom's activity and introduces her.own activity .
>>>> Question
>>>> With this mutual activity is the baby forming an image, moving into the
>>>> image and becoming an (imaging) human as het nature?
>>>> Will say more but where does (image) have its embryonic origin?
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: "Ed Wall" <ewall@umich.edu>
>>>> Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎05 4:48 PM
>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Imagination or Fantasy
>>>> Larry
>>>>    I wan’t looking at the title, but, yes, ‘or’ can be inclusive or
>>>> exclusive.
>>>>    I don’t think of it as a detour; that doesn’t seem to make sense if
>> I
>>>> understand Vygotsky correctly.
>>>>    I, personally, don’t equate ‘physical' and ‘concrete’;’ perhaps I
>>>> wasn’t clear. In any case, I’ve never completely understood the
>> tendency to
>>>> think of the physical (i.e. a thing in itself) as somehow
>> extra-concrete.
>>>> The best I can do is imagine that in a certain cultural historical
>> context
>>>> and at a certain stage of development people act as if certain things
>> are
>>>> ‘concrete.’ This includes the 'physical world' (whatever that is?).
>>>>     I’m not quite sure where you are going with the development of
>>>> systems and concrete-like or even cultural historical.
>>>>      Fantasy is a complicated word so I don’t know what you mean when
>>>> you allude to “assume that or let’ involving fantasy. My answer,
>> perhaps,
>>>> would be neither is necessarily imaginal or fantasy
>>>>      Since I have no clear idea what you mean by system or fantasy in
>>>> your email, I can’t give a reasonable answer to your final question. An
>>>> approximate answer might be “no”; however, I can imagine other
>>>> possibilities (smile).
>>>> Ed
>>>>> On Dec 4, 2015, at  4:04 PM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Ed,
>>>>> The title imagination (or) fantasy
>>>>> Is different from
>>>>> Imagination (equates) with fantasy.
>>>>> To move from the physical concrete though a detour (a distanciation?)
>>>> and return to the mathematical concrete.
>>>>> Is the same word (concrete) shift meaning in this transfer from the
>>>> physical to the mathematical?
>>>>> If mathematics is actually a (system) that has emerged in historical
>>>> consciousness then is it reasonable to say that the physical (concrete)
>>>> which exists prior to the human understanding and the mathematical
>>>> (concrete) which is a cultural historical system emerging within the
>>>> imaginal are both (concrete) in identical ways?
>>>>> It seems that systems (develop) and become concrete-like.
>>>>> Is this the same meaning of concrete as the physical which originates
>> as
>>>> concrete.
>>>>> To (assume that or to let) involves the imaginal and fantasy.
>>>>> Is there a clear demarcation between the imaginal and fantasy. Does one
>>>> imply it does not (actually) exist while the other implies the actual
>> can
>>>> be mapped onto the physical with systems?
>>>>> Is there a clear demarcation between systems and fantasy?
>>>>> Larry
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: "Ed Wall" <ewall@umich.edu>
>>>>> Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎04 11:05 AM
>>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l]  Imagination or Fantasy
>>>>> All
>>>>>   For various reasons I have been thinking about a kind of imagination
>>>> that might be subsumed under statements like “assume that,” “let,” or
>>>> “Imagine that” (and these may be, in fact, very different statements
>>>> although, under certain circumstances, might be the same.” In doing so I
>>>> came across something written by Vygotsky in Imagination and Creativity
>> in
>>>> the Adolescent (ed Rieber) p163: “It is characteristic for imagination
>> that
>>>> it does not stop at this path, that for it, the abstract is only an
>>>> intermediate link, only a stage on the path of development, only a pass
>> in
>>>> the process of its movement to the concrete. From our point of view,
>>>> imagination is a transforming, creative activity directed from a given
>>>> concrete toward a new concrete.”
>>>>>  I find this quote very interesting in view of a previous discussion
>>>> on the list regarding Davydov’s mathematics curriculum in that I am
>>>> wondering whether part of what is going on is that children are being
>> asked
>>>> to “imagine." I have other mathematical examples of this join the
>>>> elementary school that are possibly a little more obvious (if somebody
>> is
>>>> interested I can give them off list). Anyway, one reason for my
>> wondering
>>>> is that for so many people mathematics is not concrete; i.e. there is no
>>>> stepping from concrete to concrete; the sort of get stuck, so to speak,
>> in
>>>> the abstract. So let me give two examples of what I am wondering about
>> and
>>>> then a question.
>>>>> My first example:  It is possible that we would all agree that to see
>>>> a winged horse is imagine a winged horse as there is no such thing. In a
>>>> somewhat like manner, a simple proof that the square root of two is not
>> a
>>>> fraction begins with “Assume that the square root of two is a fraction.”
>>>> This is not so thus, in sense, one must imagine that it is true and then
>>>> look at the consequences (the square root of -1 is perhaps another
>>>> example). This seems to be a case of concrete to concrete through
>>>> imagination and this type of proof (a proof through contradiction)
>> seems to
>>>> be very hard for people to do.
>>>>> My second example: The teacher goes up to the blackboard and draws
>>>> something rather circular and says “This is a circle.” She then draws a
>>>> point somewhat towards the center of the planar object and says, "This
>> is
>>>> its center.” She then says “Every point on this circle (waving her hand
>> at
>>>> the object on the blackboard) is equidistant from the center.” None of
>> this
>>>> is true, but somehow we are meant to behave as if it were. Each step
>> here
>>>> seems to go through imagination from the concrete to the concrete. (Hmm
>> , I
>>>> see that I am really saying from the physical concrete to the
>> mathematical
>>>> concrete. Perhaps Vygotsky wouldn’t allow this?)
>>>>> [I note by the way Poul Anderson took on the consequences of a winged
>>>> horse].
>>>>>  So my question, as Vygotsky seems to identify imagination with
>>>> fantasy (this may be a fault of the translation), what would Vygotsky
>> have
>>>> called my examples? A case of sheer conceivability or something else?
>> There
>>>> is, I note, good reason to call it imagination, but I’m interested in
>> your
>>>> take on what Vygotsky’s take might be.
>>>>> Ed Wall
>>> --
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> -- 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch