Re: [xmca] Wartofsky chapter: tertiary artefacts

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Sun Jan 22 2006 - 02:43:59 PST

A snippet from the chapter re: tertiary artefacts (page 209)


I would characterize such artifacts, abstracted from their direct
representational function, as 'tertiary' artifacts, and suggest that
they constitute a domain in which there is a free construction in the
imagination of rules and operations different from those adopted for
ordinary 'this-worldly' praxis. Such possible worlds may indeed
reflect the limits of the perceptual praxis in a given 'actual' world
i.e. a world in which direct outward and necessary productive
praxis takes place, in accordance with rules, and ontologies evolved
through this praxis. That is to say, just as in dreams our imagery is
derived from our ordinary perception, but transcends or violates the
usual constraints, so too in imaginative praxis, the perceptual modes
are derived from and related to a given historical mode of
perception, but are no longer bound to it.
Yet, the feedback here is important. If, as I claim, an 'actual'
world is a historically selected or achieved one, corresponding to a
given level of social-historical praxis, (technology, social
organization, etc.), then the 'possible' worlds provide candidates
for conceivable change in this mode of praxis itself. The perceptual
alternative provides the possibility of a practical alternative, as,
so to speak, a^perceptual hypothesis. Such imaginary worlds I do not
take as 'dreams' or 'in the head', but as embodied representations,
or better, embodied alternative canons of representation: embodied in
actual artifacts, which express or picture this alternative
perceptual mode. Once the visual picture can be 'lived in',
perceptually, it can also come to color and change our perception of
the 'actual' world, as envisioning possibilities in it not presently
The activity of the imagination is therefore a mode of alternative
perceptual praxis, and is 'off-line' only relative to a historically
actual or dominant present mode of perceptual praxis. What the
imagination is, as 'internal representation', i.e. as a picturing 'in
the mind' of such alternatives, 1 take to be derivative from the
actual making of imaginative artifacts. That is to say, in its
genesis I take imaginative praxis to be praxis in the actual world,
or the actual production of representations; the interiorization of
these representations, as 'mental' artifacts, I take to be a
derivative process. In this sketch, I cannot say more than this,
programmatically, and it remains to be elaborated in a subsequent paper.

On 22/01/2006, at 5:25 PM, Phil Chappell wrote:

> My embedded link didn't work. Sorry for sending the whole file to
> the list (below), but it's only just over 100 kbs.
> Phil
> <Wartofsky_Models_Ch11.pdf>
> On 22/01/2006, at 5:21 PM, Phil Chappell wrote:
>> Mike,
>> I happen to have the Wartofsky chapter which can be downloaded
>> here It's an artefact from our online course a few years back.
>> Really enjoying this discussion, although sadly no time to
>> contribute other than read and offer this chapter.
>> Phil
>> On 22/01/2006, at 6:55 AM, Mike Cole wrote:
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

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