The Poetics of Thought


Posted in Uncategorized by Fred McVittie on September 9, 2009

Up til this point all the posts in this project have concerned the evolutionary and adaptive background to the development of a ‘poetics of thought’.  This is as intended but I feel as if I am moving into territory which, whilst I feel reasonably secure about it, I am just not as familiar with as I need to be.  I don’t want to proceed with this particular section until I get that intuitive sense of what the landscape of these ideas really looks like, til I can feel the gradient of ideas slipping away under my feet so that, whilst I may not know exactly where it leads, I can be sure that I am on firm ground.  In order to develop this understanding I’ll be walking around the various thoughts and concepts and theories and practices which form this land, but that walking will take place elsewhere, not in this blog or in the Poetics of Thought youtube channel.  What I will be doing here instead is jumping ahead a ways, and beginning to talk about ideas which are much further along the story than the material I have considering this far.


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  1. Kaposvári Márk said, on September 11, 2009 at 7:39 am

    last week I promised to share a childish logic of mine just for fun
    so, here it goes, but remember this is all an imaginative fancy of mine and I wouldn’t think of arguing for this, but I find it ’’poetic’’ enough to share it as a ’’thought’’
    I’ve always had this idea that we and other organisms obstruct somehow or arrest the diffusive flow of the cosmos
    in that the cosmos is an infinitely vast and multivalent dynamism of resonance or something like that
    and planets and their potential organisms act as a counterforce against the ecstatic, say, orgasmic pull
    so that organisms in particular bind this cosmic “jiggling” into the ’’rhythm-schemas’’ of their bodies
    which is to say, they constrain the extensions of it into the parameters of the confines of their embodiment
    which is then manifested in distinct “rhythms of being”
    and perhaps humans are the most effective organizers of this constrainment
    because they managed to digitize or compress it the most efficiently into their cognition
    which carried over into their language and emotions
    so, movement is perhaps a complex stratification of rhythm
    and humans possess the most complex and “intelligent movement” (as Llinás says)
    (indeed, sometimes I watch people on the bus or in the shop etc, and observe their complex patterns of rhythm or measures of behaviour and it seems indeed quite an intelligent choreogrpahy of movement)

    now, turning to a more substantial territory, think of how one can easily detect the expressive patterns of anxiety, or calmness, or anger, or excitedness

    as Winkler et al have shown: beat perception is innate
    (I primarily mention this because of the Hungarian conncetion obviously)
    but what this suggests to me is that music or dance and even language are constrained by innate metric measures
    so maybe we could add a further schema (next to the body and the image):
    maybe there’s a metric schema at work also
    and all these are, of course, dynamically interrelated
    Robert Frost the American poet always emhasized the idea of “the sound of sense”
    in which he claimed (in the cognitive or constructionist grammar vein) that sentences are also such entities as words
    in the way they carry a tone and sentiment, a trajectory of sense, I guess,
    and he said that it could be a most interesting enterprise to gather together a vocabulary of “sounds of sense”
    I find it a fascinating idea, all the more, because I think in everyday life, especially nowadays,
    we deploy numerous measures of expression depending on the actual environment we are involved in,
    but this is barely tangential to your stuff so I stop here, now,
    what I want to emphasize is that
    to me ’’all’’ cognition seems to revolve around the process of constraining,
    in the past I read somewhere that grammar is a constraint satisfaction system
    maybe I totally misunderstood the idea there, but I immediately drew a parallel
    somewhat along the “the mind is embodied the body is embedded” schema,
    to the effect that organisms are some kind of constraint satisfaction systems
    and the patterns of constrains are inherited by human cognitive faculties

    hope you can carry something away from all this,

    all the best

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