RE: [-empyre-] Accidents (was for example)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of eugenie
> Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2003 6:52 AM
> To: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Accidents (was for example)
> on 6/11/03 11:22 PM, Jim Andrews at email@example.com wrote:
> > We have memories of roses, but presumably this doesn't
> necessitate having a
> > real rose in the brain. Instead, the brain stores
> representations of things
> > and ideas and relations, etc.
> > The brain operates on representations, processes representations.
> as yvonne noted in an earlier post, memory is embedded in the
> body as well -
> think of auditory memories, olfactory memories (arguably, the
> most evocative
> kind) ...
> the brain, as you say, processes representations, but the body,
> if you like,
> processes gestures. Merleau-Ponty uses the example of an organist
> on an unfamiliar instrument. An experienced organist, he argues,
> needs only
> a short time to adapt to a new instrument, even though it may differ
> considerably from the one he or she is used to playing. During this
> preparation time, the organist does not memorize (i.e. create visual
> representations) the new positions of each stop and pedal, nor does he or
> she construct a representation of their relative positions in
> space. Rather,
> the organist adapts to the new instrument by "[getting] the measure of the
> instrument with his body, [incorporating] within himself the relevant
> directions and dimensions, [settling] into the organ as one settles into a
Sure, why not.
My point, Eugenie, was that a gesture, for instance, if it is remembered, is
remembered via some inscription of it somewhere (or multiple places) in the
body. Whether we want to call it writing or inscription or coding or
whatever, doesn't matter. Aspects of the gesture are coded in the body as
information, in some way that makes them memorable, ie, recallable, ie,
decipherable later on as the gesture. Readable later on as the gesture.
To recall something is to retrieve information stored somehow, somewhere,
and interpret that information, which itself is not a gesture or a rose, as
a gesture or a rose.
In other words, the information is coded in a language that is inscribable
and, later, decipherable or readable, amenable to interpretation according
to some rules regarding the language.
I agree that the body is important in our cognitive processes. Even in
apparently cerebral things like remembering how to spell words.
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