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[Xmca-l] Imagination


     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.


> 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