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  1. #21
    Senior Member Maabus1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Not relevant to this inquiry.
    So then anyone who disagrees on how things should be done is not relevant eh? Reminds me of an ENFP I know...

    Question then: Do you believe you can create a true IQ test or not?

    Another question: What about history? We including this in philosophy? Because with straight intellect and no wisdom...yeah, not my type of education that is going to doom society.

  2. #22
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maabus1999 View Post
    So then anyone who disagrees on how things should be done is not relevant eh? Reminds me of an ENFP I know...

    Question then: Do you believe you can create a true IQ test or not?

    Another question: What about history? We including this in philosophy? Because with straight intellect and no wisdom...yeah, not my type of education that is going to doom society.
    I must confess, I have no clue what you are talking about nor do I see any relevance of this to the OP.

    Disagree with me? You're not even talking about the same subject! To disagree means to express views on the same subject that conflict with mine, you're nowhere close to that!
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #23
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    I was always under the impression that education was for compiling and compounding knowledge.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Intellectual disciplines you mentioned presuppose one's ability to imagine not only the most basic things, but highly complex things. Very few people have the ability to imagine such things to a satisfactory degree and that is why many complex ideas are off limits for them.

    It seems to be the case that practicing imagining things can enhance one's imagination slightly, not significantly however. Do you wish to argue that it is possible to enhance one's imagination significantly? For instance, could a person who was at once very unimaginative become a visionary?
    I disagree here. Only a basic ability to imagine is a prerequisite. The discipline itself teaches how to design the complex things from the simple elements. There are rules to follow for combination, and rules for how to visualize the complex things, based on simple things.

    I do believe it is possible to improve one's imagination significantly in other ways.

    One book that will greatly aid in this process is:
    Amazon.com: Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide To Better Ideas, Third Edition: James L. Adams: Books

    Drafting and perspective drawing in general will improve your structural/spatial visualization skills.

    Designing Software and Circuits will improve your abstract visualization skills, as will solving math problems.

    The main impediment people have to imagination is distraction or agitation. Yoga, especially Hatha Yoga, is great at releasing the mind's ability to imagine.

    Playing an abstract visualization game like chess will improve those skills.

    Playing a spatial visualization game like Tetris will improve those skills.

    Also, imagination and memory are intimately linked. Improving one will improve the other.

    In addition, one can use NLP. For most people, if they look up and to the right, they will find it much easier to create images.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  5. #25
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I disagree here. Only a basic ability to imagine is a prerequisite. The discipline itself teaches how to design the complex things from the simple elements. There are rules to follow for combination, and rules for how to visualize the complex things, based on simple things..
    Could an unimaginative person learn to perform complex mathematical operations? For instance, could an unimaginative person conceive of a way to do a 100 step proof?

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I do believe it is possible to improve one's imagination significantly in other ways...
    One book that will greatly aid in this process is:
    Amazon.com: Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide To Better Ideas, Third Edition: James L. Adams: Books...[/QUOTE]

    Summarize this for me. I do not see how this would enhance one's imagination to a significant degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Drafting and perspective drawing in general will improve your structural/spatial visualization skills. ...
    That is true, as we have earlier established that it is possible to become more imaginative by engaging in tasks that require one to use imagination. Earlier you were arguing that it is possible to improve one's imagination to a significant degree. Explain how this could be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Designing Software and Circuits will improve your abstract visualization skills, as will solving math problems.

    The main impediment people have to imagination is distraction or agitation. Yoga, especially Hatha Yoga, is great at releasing the mind's ability to imagine.

    Playing an abstract visualization game like chess will improve those skills.

    Playing a spatial visualization game like Tetris will improve those skills.

    Also, imagination and memory are intimately linked. Improving one will improve the other.

    In addition, one can use NLP. For most people, if they look up and to the right, they will find it much easier to create images.

    Explain how these activities could improve one's imagination to a significant degree. The main obstacle to this thesis that I see is that imagination is not a skill that is clearly observable, like one's logical analysis capabilities. The faculties that are responsible for imagination are amorphous because of this we are not exactly clear on what is necessary to cultivate such skill. We know that the activities you mentioned above do cultivate imagination purely inductively, or our experiences show that people who have engaged in such tasks have enhanced their imagination. The problem remains, however, that we do not know exactly how their imagination was enhanced. For example, certain activities we may find in this book Amazon.com: Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide To Better Ideas, Third Edition: James L. Adams: Books... will ignite the imaginations of some, but not others. Yet, instructions concerning logical reasoning, if properly presented should ignite the reasoning faculties of all. The only exception we may find to this is on the higher levels of reasoning, those to be found in advanced study of logic and mathematics, but in that case, the problem appears to be not with the instructions concerning how logical analysis is to be conducted, but with the student's lack of imagination.

    For example with logical analysis, we have a very clear explanation regarding what one must do to become more proficient at logical analysis. Many mathematics and logic books have thorough instructions regarding this matter, yet this is far from the case for imagination.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Could an unimaginative person learn to perform complex mathematical operations? For instance, could an unimaginative person conceive of a way to do a 100 step proof?
    No. But the point I am making is that the capability of the person doing the imagining was honed on smaller things, on simpler things.

    Just like memory, the imagination is also special purposed.

    The skill is built up through practice. By the time someone is capable of doing a 100-step proof, their imagination capabilities have been honed to do that.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Summarize this for me. I do not see how this would enhance one's imagination to a significant degree.
    It is essentially a book of exercises aimed at improving one's imagination. The exercises mainly allow you to access your modalities at will, and enable you to switch between modes of representation.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    That is true, as we have earlier established that it is possible to become more imaginative by engaging in tasks that require one to use imagination. Earlier you were arguing that it is possible to improve one's imagination to a significant degree. Explain how this could be done.
    I suppose "significant" is a relative term.

    Frankly, so is "imagination."

    There are many types. One could imagine sights, sounds, and sensations in any combination. What is imagined could be vivid or ephemeral, abstract or rich, colorful or bland, correspond to real world objects or have nothing at all to do with reality.

    The particular ability to imagine chess moves for instance does not exist in people who don't know chess. Ask a master how he plays blind-fold chess. He does not imagine the board and pieces in vivid detail--in fact, this has little more use for him than an for an amateur who can actually see the whole board and still blunders. The Master's representation is more partial and abstract. It relates how pieces are attacked and supported, how much room pieces have to maneuver, what his plan is in the game, and what his opponent is planning to do. It is chess-specific imagination built-up from playing chess.

    Similarly, for a mathematical proof. I am by no means a professional, but I am certainly much better at imagining the structure of a mathematical proof than I was before I started my Math degree.

    When first learning, perhaps I thought of individual statements, and trid to see particular rules to be applied to transform an expression into another. This is still useful, and I use it from time to time, but later, the process becomes more abstracted, quicker, more ephemeral, almost kniesthetic. I can plan simpler proofs from beginning to end and be fairly confident I can finish the details, I can also speculatively try entire strategies, and approaches to a problem, have them not work, and still learn quite a bit about the original problem. A younger me, would have had to start back from scratch.

    All this is Math-Proof-specific imagination, built-up from doing math proofs.

    When designing computer programs, an amateur may flow-chart, or think expressly in code. But with experience, an expert can think in high level design patterns or a modeling language, and be confident the actual code can be implemented. This is programming-specific imagination and built up through practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Explain how these activities could improve one's imagination to a significant degree. The main obstacle to this thesis that I see is that imagination is not a skill that is clearly observable, like one's logical analysis capabilities. The faculties that are responsible for imagination are amorphous because of this we are not exactly clear on what is necessary to cultivate such skill. We know that the activities you mentioned above do cultivate imagination purely inductively, or our experiences show that people who have engaged in such tasks have enhanced their imagination. The problem remains, however, that we do not know exactly how their imagination was enhanced. For example, certain activities we may find in this book Amazon.com: Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide To Better Ideas, Third Edition: James L. Adams: Books... will ignite the imaginations of some, but not others.
    What we are talking about here is representation. How does one represent what one is thinking about in ones mind? We may not be able to see the representations of other people until expressed, but they are often expressed. What does an artist, painter, or musician express?

    The notion of "enhancement" is also a very fuzzy one. Studies of experts in many fields show that the experts themselves maybe the ones with the least vivid of representations--they act on a much more sub-conscious level, and may have the hardest time explaining what it is that they do (or rather explain a much simpler process than what they actually do).

    There are many objects of analysis or study when doing an activity. These objects of study will need a representation in ones mind. Once studied, these representations are often stored as memory (as per the discussion above, we will have chess-specific memory, math-proof-specific memory, computer-programming-specific memory). At a later time, these previously imagined representations are pulled forth from memory and enhanced or reused in new imagination activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Yet, instructions concerning logical reasoning, if properly presented should ignite the reasoning faculties of all. The only exception we may find to this is on the higher levels of reasoning, those to be found in advanced study of logic and mathematics, but in that case, the problem appears to be not with the instructions concerning how logical analysis is to be conducted, but with the student's lack of imagination.

    For example with logical analysis, we have a very clear explanation regarding what one must do to become more proficient at logical analysis. Many mathematics and logic books have thorough instructions regarding this matter, yet this is far from the case for imagination.
    Logic and reasoning does not work in a vacuum. They work on particular representations.

    In many disciplines, these representations are formalized in some way (whether they are chess pieces, mathematical symbols, elements in a schematic, or phenomenon in the physical world).

    When we judge the quality of reasoning, we are also judging the quality of representation.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  7. #27
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    No. But the point I am making is that the capability of the person doing the imagining was honed on smaller things, on simpler things.

    Just like memory, the imagination is also special purposed.

    The skill is built up through practice. By the time someone is capable of doing a 100-step proof, their imagination capabilities have been honed to do that.




    It is essentially a book of exercises aimed at improving one's imagination. The exercises mainly allow you to access your modalities at will, and enable you to switch between modes of representation.



    I suppose "significant" is a relative term.

    Frankly, so is "imagination."

    There are many types. One could imagine sights, sounds, and sensations in any combination. What is imagined could be vivid or ephemeral, abstract or rich, colorful or bland, correspond to real world objects or have nothing at all to do with reality.

    The particular ability to imagine chess moves for instance does not exist in people who don't know chess. Ask a master how he plays blind-fold chess. He does not imagine the board and pieces in vivid detail--in fact, this has little more use for him than an for an amateur who can actually see the whole board and still blunders. The Master's representation is more partial and abstract. It relates how pieces are attacked and supported, how much room pieces have to maneuver, what his plan is in the game, and what his opponent is planning to do. It is chess-specific imagination built-up from playing chess.

    Similarly, for a mathematical proof. I am by no means a professional, but I am certainly much better at imagining the structure of a mathematical proof than I was before I started my Math degree.

    When first learning, perhaps I thought of individual statements, and trid to see particular rules to be applied to transform an expression into another. This is still useful, and I use it from time to time, but later, the process becomes more abstracted, quicker, more ephemeral, almost kniesthetic. I can plan simpler proofs from beginning to end and be fairly confident I can finish the details, I can also speculatively try entire strategies, and approaches to a problem, have them not work, and still learn quite a bit about the original problem. A younger me, would have had to start back from scratch.

    All this is Math-Proof-specific imagination, built-up from doing math proofs.

    When designing computer programs, an amateur may flow-chart, or think expressly in code. But with experience, an expert can think in high level design patterns or a modeling language, and be confident the actual code can be implemented. This is programming-specific imagination and built up through practice.



    What we are talking about here is representation. How does one represent what one is thinking about in ones mind? We may not be able to see the representations of other people until expressed, but they are often expressed. What does an artist, painter, or musician express?

    The notion of "enhancement" is also a very fuzzy one. Studies of experts in many fields show that the experts themselves maybe the ones with the least vivid of representations--they act on a much more sub-conscious level, and may have the hardest time explaining what it is that they do (or rather explain a much simpler process than what they actually do).

    There are many objects of analysis or study when doing an activity. These objects of study will need a representation in ones mind. Once studied, these representations are often stored as memory (as per the discussion above, we will have chess-specific memory, math-proof-specific memory, computer-programming-specific memory). At a later time, these previously imagined representations are pulled forth from memory and enhanced or reused in new imagination activities.



    Logic and reasoning does not work in a vacuum. They work on particular representations.

    In many disciplines, these representations are formalized in some way (whether they are chess pieces, mathematical symbols, elements in a schematic, or phenomenon in the physical world).

    When we judge the quality of reasoning, we are also judging the quality of representation.
    I have 1 question. We have a very clear and a systematic notion of how one's logical reasoning skills could be cultivated. This is because logical reasoning is completely objective.

    Yet we do not have such a clear and a systematic notion with regard to cultivation of imagination. This is because imagination, as a cognitive faculty, is much less clear and objective than logical reasoning. I think this is what you have had in mind when you said that imagination is a relative term.

    There can be no doubt that one's imagination could be improved, but, because it is an amorphous cognitive faculty, and we therefore do not understand how exactly imagination works, we cannot expect to discover a very reliable way to cultivate our imagination.

    Consider the following examples in support of the claim that imagination is amorphous and we are unclear regarding how it functions; if you show a Texan a cowboy hat, he will envisage more images than a man from Alaska. If you show color yellow to a person who regards yellow as their favorite color, they will be inspired to think about color yellow more and therefore will envisage more images than the person who regards yellow as their least favorite color. There may be some very general techniques regarding how imagination could be cultivated, but in many cases, the internal condition of the psyche of the person whose imagination is to be cultivated holds an important role, as we notice person A is often impacted differently from person B. There are many psychological nuances regarding imagination that we are not aware of, nor do we have a reliable way of being aware of simply because imagination is a very amorphous and a subjective cognitive faculty.

    Thus, I stand by my thesis that the purpose of education is to first and foremost cultivate our logical reasoning skills. If we manage to cultivate imagination as well, that shall be a noteworthy bonus, however, we should not except to reach such an objective for reasons mentioned earlier in this post.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  8. #28
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    It sounds like ygolo is saying that the imagination will be cultivated automatically in the process of teaching people the basic skills (logical, mathematical, literary, etc...). So even if we do not have a systematic way to set out and improve someone's imagination directly, it will nevertheless be the indirect consequence of learning at successively higher levels.
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  9. #29
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    It sounds like ygolo is saying that the imagination will be cultivated automatically in the process of teaching people the basic skills (logical, mathematical, literary, etc...). So even if we do not have a systematic way to set out and improve someone's imagination directly, it will nevertheless be the indirect consequence of learning at successively higher levels.
    That sounds rather plausible, however, my point was that cultivation of imagination should not be part of our educational agenda. Only activities that could be presented in a systematic fashion should be part of our agenda. To promote activities that cannot be systematically presented means to promote activities that we do not have a clear understanding of.

    Cultivation of imagination should be implicit in our agenda for reasons that you mention, but not explicit for the reasons I mentioned in this post.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  10. #30
    Senior Member Maabus1999's Avatar
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    This theory still seems like you are trying to teach a computer more then a person, by concentrating so much on logic and reasoning. Being imagination is often illogical, I see this as a detriment to creativity by concentrating only on increasing logic and reasoning skills. It is like explaining the logic behind certain theories in quantum physics i.e. there is none but they can't be proven wrong either.

    And I still don't know what you are going to do about increasing wisdom, which is often more important then intellect, when it comes to society as a whole (which I stand that the purpose of education is to improve not only yourself, but society).

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