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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination or Fantasy

Hi Ed-- I share a lot of your questions. But one question i am more or less
certain of, LSV did not equate imagination and fantasy. I know a couple of
articles one of which
is my own, which draws on LSV. The other is by the blind-deaf guy who
finally got me to think more effectively about imagination which is
currently a pre-occupation.

What is very important reading the article by Suvorov is to put the word
"imagination" everywhere the word, "representation" is used. I discuss the
issue in a forward, but I was both clearly mistaken and moving in the right
Perhaps an example of the development of concept development from a
pseudo-concept to a true concept? I had not yet matured to the point where
I could totally deconstruct "voobrazhenie" to be translated as
"into-image-making" and start to use it productively. To understand it as
the central to all processes of coming to know.  I even missed the fact
that I was using a lousy dictionary because imagination was defined as
perception or ideation (?sic?), not imagination.

The Peleprat and Cole paper shows the influence of teaching a course on
mediational theories of mind for many years to juniors in a Communication
department. We have had a thread on here called imagination that existed
for a flicker in the past. Francine Smolucha is an actual expert in this
field who, lets hope, is reading.

Happy to discuss imagination. :-)

I highly recommend *The Work of the Imagination" by Paul Harris and there
is a handbook of the development of imagination in ebook form that is very
useful.  I need to think more about your examples and will comment if I
have anything potentially useful to say.


On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 2:04 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

Attachment: ETMCimagination.pdf
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Attachment: Suvorov.formation.pdf
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