Emotion & intellect LO27021

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 07/20/01

Replying to LO26986 --

Dear Organlearners and Winfried,

Greetings to you all.

This is my second reply to your contribution. I was wrong in my first
reply with the suggestion that /_\intellect = /_\imagination. Allow me to

Should /_\imagination=/_\X be the entropic flux with emotion=/_\Y as its
entropic force, then the intensive /_\Y is being-like and the extensive
/_\X is becoming-like. However, imagination is more than merely becoming
as a study of languages will indicate.

The suffix "-tion" indicates that imagination is the process "imagine" as
well as its outcome "image". These words come from the Latin root
"imago"=likeness. Should this root itself come from "en-"=in +
"magos"=wizard, then "imago" would mean "the wizard within". This would
give us a striking indication of what we are up to when trying to
comprehend imagination.

The Greeks east of the Romans used several words in conjunction with
imagination. For example, they used for the verb imagine="meletao". The
etymology of this word is uncertain. On the left we may have something
like "mele"=care, "melli"=honey, "mello"=become or "melos"=members. On the
right we may have something like "tagma"=order, "taktos"=set,
"tamion"=closet or "tasso"=determine. Whatever the verb, they did not make
a noun from it. For the noun "image" they had rather several words like
"ikon", "karakteer" and "dianoema". For imagination they also had several
words like "dialogismos" and "dianoia".

What strikes me about the "karakteer" (from which the word character is
derived) is how close it is to "kara"=joy and "karagma"=mark.

It is clear that the Greeks and the Romans thought differently about
imagination. How I wish we could have the input here of fellow learners
from all the different language families from the world. Please speak up!
>From the Germanic languages we get a somewhat different picture. In my
mother tongue Afrikaans "verbeelding"=imagination whereas in German it is
"Einbildung". The roots "beeld" and "bild" go back to the same root
"byldan". This verb meant erecting anything like a house or a statue which
gives pleasure or joy. We still find a remnant of this in the verb build
and the noun building.

The gerund "-ing" in Afrikaans and "-ung" in German has a powerful message
here. It is not merely the "-tion" of English (act + outcome), but an
endless string or staggering of the act imagine and the outcome image. The
prefix "ver-"(=fore) in Afrikaans has the effect of extending an action,
either in its same kind or into a different kind. The prefix "ein-"=within
in German has the effect of bringing the outside to the inside so that
imagination is a "building within".

In other words, "verbeelding"="Einbildung"=imagination refers to a
"becoming-being" pair (liveness) relating within the mind of a person,
resulting in pleasure or joy. Thus my notion that /_\Yx/_\X where
/_\Y=emotion and /_\X="flow of imagination" cannot hold. Actually, the
/_\Yx/_\X manifests (emerges) into a "change of imagination". In lack of
such a change we get "mental model", i.e. past imaginations persisting or
repeating themselves.

So I am back to square one. If entropic force /_\Y=emotion (and my gut
feeling is that it is very much the case), what will be the entropic flux
/_\X? Winfried, you have argued that it is "flow of intellect", but I am
still not convinced. I have to admit that the two Greek words
"noema"=thought and "noesis"=intellect favours your viewpoint. However,
intellect is for me rather the whole of a person's creativity and

I have argued above that it is also not a "flow of imagination" since
imagination emerges from the entropy production of the pair /_\Yx/_\X =
"emotion"x/_\X as a mystery and a joy. When such emergences are absent, I
have to fall back on my past emergences of the same kind so that they
become "mental models".

My gut feeling is that /_\X has to do with the "flow of thoughts", but of
what kind? This is strengthened by the use of the Greek word "dianoia" for
imagination where "dia-"=through and "noeo"=think. Thoughts, when
formalised by language or other objects, can be counted and this points to
thoughts being extensive. This is especially clear to me in the
imaginative playing of young children.

How I wish that fellow learners could speculate what /_\X might be!!!
Search in your languages, search in psychology and search wherever you
can. Any suggestion (with some explanation to its origin would be most

For example, Polanyi in his The Tacit Dimension seems to call the flowing
chain of thoughts through the various stratifications of knowledge as
"ideogenesis" (p48, Emegergence). In each level they are the proximal
comprehensive entities of that level (p49). He clearly distinguish between
this "ideogenesis" and comprehension as the emergent outcome. Is it /_\X
not perhaps /_\"comprehensive entities"?

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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