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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination



Seems to me that we have achieved pretty close proximity given that we
started from such different places. Part of the problem, as I indicated in
my prior note, is that I came to this problem late in life through my
teaching. It took a long time for my research/theory ideas drawn from
psychology and apprenticeships in anthropology and  activity-centered
research practices. But here I am.

So, happy to be wrong so long as I can see how it broadens my understanding.

I am not sure how to be more phenomenological than the description of the
flow from imagination to representation, but glad to encounter a dozen!
Affect and cognition are so entangled that sites where the abstractions can
be seen, seem hard to come by.

My proposal to take advantage of the structure offered by
identifying different threads of the topic they constitute was offered with
that goal in mind.

The connection to Kant I know about, and Ribot, but that is about it. I
learned that from the Russians who write about imagination.

Seems like there is an Indian tradition, or 6?

etc?

To the extent that these different traditions lead people to the same kinds
of conclusions seems interesting. Especially when the conclusions are
tightly bound to daily practice, as they are, for example, sometimes, in
good teaching.

mike

mike

On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 4:57 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

> Larry and Mike
>
>       Since you seem to agree with one another I will reply to both of you
> in this email. First I note that I seeme to be involved in a conversation
> that diverges a bit from where I started. This is probably good, but it is
> a conversation that seems at a grain size that is a little larger than what
> I can find immediately useful. That said, I often find that I need to, one
> might say, assimilate a bit so as to find resonances that bear on the,
> perhaps, pragmatic problem I tend to take up.
>
>      Mike, I have read your article (and I am sure I will reread it). I
> found it interesting although again it seems to occur at a large grain size
> (I tend to be a bit more phenomenological in the way I look at things). A
> few comments from my perspective; these are not! criticisms and are offered
> in the hope that they might be useful.
>
>       1. Dictionary definitions are a good place to start; however,
> looking at how words are used (a philosophy of language, so to speak) often
> does a better job of opening things up.
>
>        2. I was surprised to find that Kant or Schelling did not make your
> list of those influential in thinking about imaging; not to mention
> Avicenna.
>
>        3. I have the impression you are using the term ‘stable’ as a
> somewhat replacement of Vygotsky’s concrete; I like that as ‘concrete'
> seems to have very different meanings for different people. I will try to
> use it (and I may misuse it out of yet misunderstanding) in my replies
> tooters.
>
>        4. When I read the blind/deaf section I thought of Hellen Keller. I
> wonder if the only reason Suvorov considered such having a thin gap is
> because he was too focused on seeing and hearing. I have a suspicion that
> he was quite imaginative in the way I think about it and I am fairly sure
> Keller was.
>
>        5. I tend to think of the gap as too wide rather than too thin
> although the metaphor of filling still seems reasonable
>
>        6. In a way you don’t seem to quite come out and say it (or I
> missed you doing so), but I agree that imagination is not necessarily
> creative and I would add that it is quite everyday.
>
>
> Larry, I will try to answer your comments or questions as they occur.
>
> Ed
>
> > On Dec 6, 2015, at  4:41 PM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Mike, I would be willing to re(turn) to re(read) and re(present)  our
> notions as we sail under Dewey's arches to the (open see) a metaphor not
> error.
> > Ed,
> > To continue with your reflection if image has some relation to how
> others use text.
>
> Actually I don’t think image has some relation to how others use text. I
> twas speculating as whether there is some commonality between how Mike is
> using using image and how others are using text. I said this because I
> struggle against the tendency to make being vision primary in mathematics
> and otherwise what Mike has written has little relevance to problems that
> presently catch my attention.
>
> > Can we imagine human shared movement (itself) as text? In other words
> can we (read) mutual   shared movements as choreography. The physical
> gestures as the material having a quality like the shape of letters on the
> page, or the acoustic resonance of the voice on the ear, or the visual
> marks making a circle-like shape.
>
> I have no great problem with any of this, but the grain size is too large.
> That is why I tried to give you a particular example which I now realize
> was not necessarily a good one because of how you appear to view
> imagination. I don’t mean your perspective is lacking; it just seems to
> result in  different questions than I would/do ask.
>
> > These different physical forms are not the foundational bedrock, they
> are the material.
> > If we can imagine (texts) as not just scratches on parchment but as
> having a deeper process,
> > Is it also possible to imagine (images) as not just visual perceptions
> but rather having a deeper process.
>
> My initial reaction is “Why are you saying this?" If I ever thought the
> contrary, I can’t remember. This is just common sense. The interesting
> thing about what you say is that you seem to  using ‘imagine’ in a non
> visual fashion which was largely my initial point.
>
> > All the senses share in this process and engage with physically
> experienced phenomena but what is being gestured toward is that unifying
> process that includes all the senses but is not itself the senses.
>
> I would say that all senses can participate in this process. Also
> physically experienced phenomena sounds a little too strong although
> physically experienced phenomena seem to place constraints of a sort on
> imaging. There is also, re Mike, the idea of stability as I don’t
> physically experience a platonic circle.
>
> > To imagine the marks on paper as a (circle) to imagine the collated
> pages of a  book as a (text) to imagine vocal acoustics as a dialogue, to
> imagine mutual shared actions as an (activity)  may possibly have a
> unifying basis in the image which is (created) as the vital animating
> process lived (into).
>
> Here is where my example wasn’t helpful. I did not mean one ‘sees' the
> marks on the paper as a circle. One imagines the oval (marks is too large a
> grain size) on the board as having certain properties consistent with those
> of a platonic circle. This is why marking the center makes a sort of sense.
> The teacher’s language seems to prove the imaging and the moving to new
> stabilities. My experience is that a large number of people don’t make the
> leaps.
>
> > This imaging is multimodal and not reduced to the primacy of the visual
> sense.
>
> Imagine may or may not be multimodal. It may reference none of the sensory
> modes
>
> > The relation of this image process to the language process is also
> multimodal and I suspect reciprocal.
>
> This doesn’t seem to follow or, given my earlier comments, doesn’t follow
> for me.
>
> Larry, all of you said here is not an unreasonable perspective. It is just
> one that, to a degree, I either don’t share or seems to be the wrong grain
> size.
>
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: "Ed Wall" <ewall@umich.edu>
> > Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎06 1:14 PM
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Imagination
> >
> > Mike
> >
> >        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.
> >
> > Ed
> >
> >> 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
> >
> >
>
>
>


-- 

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch