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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination



Huw,
This relation or connection between the symbolic (mediated) and the more immediate imagination (maybe not always conscious?) seems to me the question  at the heart of our reflections.
Your example (finding a relationship with suffering) as requiring considerable work.

Where does this desire and commitment to do (or be called) to the work of opening to suffering and opening to the voices of suffering.
I keep returning to the question why did Svetlana open to the suffering she witnesses with love rather than hate or despair.
Why does she offer testimony.
Is she a saint?
Is she immersed in a tradition as a historical ontology (forming the type or kind of person she becomes and living into the symbols.
Is her work a self-identifying autonomous work?
Is it because she senses she is participating in a community of destiny? Always to suffer.
Her self reflection is to identify her character and qualities as being of Russian (stock).
Is it because her people have free will to choose love or power and they chose power?

The key seems to be her relation to humanity as always at the core  suffering. Most turn away from this suffering but she is (listening).
That is her commitment.to hear the voices. What dies is not dead if the voices continue to speak And we hear.
Now to understand all this intellectually is to miss her meaning (her felt meaning dwelling within the suffering).
Is this not listening to the images? 
THIS that is not revealed to cognitive notions of seeing.
THIS is symbolic work I agree.
But why respond with love to suffering? Rather than fear and despair.
I believe it requires an understanding that is imaginal and symbolic and sees through the myth of self-identifying self as the place of meaning.
This does have something to do with the imaginal and the symbolic.
Larry


-----Original Message-----
From: "Huw Lloyd" <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎14 8:13 PM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Imagination

Svetlana Alexievich's nobel prize address seems to me considerably related
to an accounting of the symbolic (life influence).  This does not in itself
suggest to me something of the immediacy of conscious imagination.
Symbolic values (e.g. finding a relationship with suffering) is something
that would require considerable work.  The many voices reinforce that
interpretation.  Many voices in sustaining particular symbols (akin perhaps
to religious orthodoxy) but also many voices required to compose the fabric
of her literature (which clearly would required considerable imaginative
work too).  So if imagination is involved in the content of a response to
suffering, it seems to me more active in the construction of such a
necessity (that establishes the symbol) in response to autonomous images of
loss 'flooding the imagination'.

Here's a link from the ny books.

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2015/10/12/svetlana-alexievich-truth-many-voices/



On 14 December 2015 at 00:03, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:

> This 2015 Nobel Laureate for Literature lecture strikes me as pertinent to
> this imagination discussion.  She is an amazing woman and here addresses
> issues familiar maybe tanatalizing for this list, I think.
>
> http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2015/alexievich-lecture_en.html
> It begins this way: " I do not stand alone at this podium ... There are
> voices around me, hundreds of voices. They have always been with me, since
> childhood. I grew up in the countryside...}
> Peg
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Huw
> Lloyd
> Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2015 12:12 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Imagination
>
> Perhaps the challenge will get easier if you keep piling up the
> references, Mike.  :)
>
> So, I have persevered with reading, skipping and scanning Lovejoy's "The
> Great Chain of Being" and have come away with a few pages of notes, and
> some edification (22nd printing, 2001, Harvard University Press).
>
> With respect to the valorisation of imagination, Lovejoy identifies
> Schleirmacher as an early proponent of the merits of the development of
> imagination (although one could say that this is implicit in the platonic
> ideas which concern the book as a whole).  (p. 309)
>
> With respect to the origins of the idea of a cell (urbild), he identifies
> Robinet as a rather eclectic proponent of the idea (p. 279), which again is
> derived from the history of the ideas of absolute perfection (of god), the
> principle of plentitude and the principle of continuity.  He also
> attributes to Robinet that "fundamental reality in nature for him is not
> matter but l'avtivite". (p. 281)
>
> On a more down to regular strain on the imagination, regarding my
> assertion early of cognate terms (imagination, orientation etc), my
> reckoning is that orientation determines the scope and nature of
> interpretation.
>
> Not so long ago, I noticed some apparently new developments in our eldest
> child's formulations (4y6).  We were talking about how to make papier mache
> objects, which took me back to making a papier mache 'pig' with the help of
> a balloon.  In response to this he volunteered that the balloon would have
> to be burst with a pencil once it had been covered.  I think it was the day
> before this that he pronounced that the ugly duckling's egg must have been
> laid by a swan.  It seemed to me that that these articulations indicated
> that he was using a relatively new idea which was helping him to
> imaginatively understand these situations (an idea of process).  I am
> fairly sure that these solutions were not supplied beforehand.
>
> Best,
> Huw
>
>
> On 9 December 2015 at 03:59, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>
> > The Casey site looks amazing and of course very relevant, Ed. Thanks.
> >
> > When I first read Sartre many years ago, I was totally unprepared to
> > take in what he was saying. I had not way to "digest it."
> >
> > Reading into the electronic copy I sent around yesterday, I could see
> > that it is inappropriate for me to refer to what I do as
> > phenomenology. It is just a kind of intuitive reflection on my
> > experiences and thoughts. No Husserl, no Sartre. Just unschooled
> > introspection that I seek to verify through acquiring evidence that
> > there is more than total idiosyncrasy to what my musings.
> >
> > I feel as if I need to download all the sources of inquiry we have
> > unearthed in the last few days and retreat to a place with no
> > communication with the world for a few weeks just to take them, in. !!
> > mike
> >
> > On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 9:39 AM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > Mike
> > >
> > >        There are, perhaps, some shortcomings in portions of Sartre
> > > work
> > on
> > > imagination to which Casey supplies some useful modifications. Also
> > > it
> > is a
> > > bit long. Take a look at Edward Casey’s web site: <
> > > http://edwardscasey.com/?page_id=13>. Many of those articles on
> > > imagination seem downloadable and besides possibly whetting one’s
> > appetite
> > > for Sartre might be interesting in themselves. Perhaps you could
> > > pick one that most interests you and provides, from your vantage, a
> > > useful common, and modestly short reading source. I would, of
> > > course, recommend Casey’s book, but isn’t freely available.
> > >
> > > Ed
> > >
> > > > On Dec 7, 2015, at  9:44 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > So maybe Sartre would be a useful common reading source, Ed.
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > http://blog.exre.org/wp-content/uploads/Sartre_The_Imaginary__A_Phenom
> > enological_Psychology_of_the_Imagination.pdf
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 7:42 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> 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 disappearin


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