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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination


     I think I forgot to reply to this email. 

     I have always thought that some of the jargon around phenomenology was a bit overdone and my impression is that most that now call themselves some sort of phenomenologist have relaxed some. In fact some people argue that is, in practice, impossible to do the kind of phenomenology Husserl espoused. Casey, sort of weaves in a little of the jargon, but all that he puts forth hinges around a reasonably relaxed "intuitive reflection on thoughts and experiences.” Most anything Don Idhe has written is reasonably jargon free and Robert Solowski is reasonably relaxed. There was, so I understand, a Dutch phenomenologist school of whom the Canadian Max van Manen and some of his students are current examples (Wolff-Michael knows him I believe). There are also the ethnomethodologists who have an interesting somewhat ‘phenomenological' take in things. In any case, whatever phenomenology is can be a matter of debate although being grounded in personal ‘experience is somewhat critical.


> On Dec 8, 2015, at  9:59 PM, 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_Phenomenological_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 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
>>> --
>>> 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