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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination



It make sense for the questions to differ, Ed, or at least the way they are
posed. Finding a common foundation will take a lot of communication (which
will require a lot of imagination!).
mike

On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 6:04 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

> Mike
>
>      I assume you have read Sartre on imagination; i.e. The Imagination.
> This gives what he considers a phenomenological take on imagination.
> However, I would consider a much more revealing take to be that of Edward
> Casey in Imaging (I am hoping that book you referenced will supplement that
> of Casey). The connection to Kant, by the way, critically preceded that of
> Mzerleau-Ponty and Sartre and that is why I was surprised to not see him
> mentioned.
>
>       I agree that we all seem to be coming out in, more or less, the same
> place. Only the questions seem to differ.
>
> Ed
>
> > On Dec 7, 2015, at  7:42 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> > 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
>
>
>


-- 

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