Cognition and Temporality

The Genesis of Historical Thought in Perception and Reasoning

by Mark E. Blum (Author)
©2019 Monographs XVI, 210 Pages


Cognition and Temporality: The Genesis of Historical Thought in Perception and Reasoning argues that both verbal grammar and figural grammar have their cognitive basis in twelve characteristic forms of judgment, distributed among individuals in human populations throughout history. These twelve logical forms are context-free and language-free foundations in our attentional awareness and shape all verbal and figural statements. Moreover, these types of historical judgment are psychogenetic inheritances in a population, and each serves a distinct problem-solving function in the human species. Through analysis of verbal and figural statements, Mark E. Blum contends, the researcher can find evidence of these forms of judgment and in turn analyze how the event to which those statements attend is formally constructed by that judgment. This construction guides how the event is assessed, approached, and engaged in the process of problem-solving.
Artists and aestheticians in the early twentieth century—including Wassily Kandinsky, Stephen C. Pepper, and Andrew Paul Ushenko—have all posited an inherited attentional perspective in individuals, manifested in the logical correspondence between their distinctive verbal and figural grammars. Cognition and Temporality elaborates these claims, arguing that while the styles of well-known writers and artists are conditioned by the public styles of a particular time period, variations in personal style manifest one’s inherited form of judgment and the characteristic grammars that express that form. Through rigorous visual and stylistic analysis, this book demonstrates the expression of these forms among notable painters, historians, and writers across history. The result is a wide-ranging and provocative contribution to phenomenology, aesthetic philosophy, and cultural history.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for Cognition and Temporality
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Discerning the Attentional Episteme in Its Verbal and Figural Grammar
  • Chapter 2. The Problematic Modality of Continuity, Quantum, Continuum, and Dialectic
  • Chapter 3. The Assertoric Modality of Continuity, Quantum, Continuum, and Dialectic
  • Chapter 4. The Apodeictic Modality of Continuity, Quantum, Continuum, and Dialectic
  • An Evolutionary Myth of the Development of Differing Forms of Historical Judgment
  • Chapter 5. The Argument for the Psycho-genetic Cause of Historical Logics
  • Chapter 6. Ergon and Energeia in Verbal and Figurative Judgment: The Ushenko and the Pepper Family

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Figure 1.1. Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890). The Night Café at Arles, 1888.

Figure 1.2. Edouard Manet (1832–1883). Dejeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), 1863.

Figure 2.1. Sandro Botticelli (1444–1510). Mars and Venus, ca. 1485.

Figure 2.2. Sandro Botticelli (1444–1510). Primavera (Spring). Post-Restoration. Ca. 1481.

Figure 2.3. Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890). Pére Tanguy, 1887/88.

Figure 2.4. Johannes Itten (1888–1967). Encounter / Begegnung, 1916.

Figure 2.5. Johannes Itten (1888–1967). Horizontal Vertical / Horizontal Vertikal, 1915.

Figure 2.6. Salvador Dali (1904–1989) © ARS NY. The Persistence of Memory, 1931.

Figure 2.7. Salvador Dali (1904–1989). The Sacrament of the Last Supper, 1955.

Figure 3.1. Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606–1669). Entombment of Christ.

Figure 3.2. Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606–1669). Resurrection of Christ. ← ix | x →

Figure 3.3. Paul Cézanne (1839–1906). The Quarry at Bibemus, ca. 1895.

Figure 3.4. Paul Cézanne (1839–1906). Quartier Four, Auvers-sur-Oise (Landscape, Auvers), ca. 1873.

Figure 3.5. Paul Cézanne (1839–1906). Still Life with Apples, 1895–98.

Figure 3.6. Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). The Stonebreakers, ca. 1848.

Figure 3.7. Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). Desperate, self-portrait, 1841.

Figure 3.8. Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519). Annunciation. Post-cleaning. ca. 1472.

Figure 4.1. Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770). The Angel Stops the Sacrifice of Isaac.

Figure 4.2. Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770). Mercury Exhorting Aeneas to Depart Carthage, c. 1757.

Figure 4.3. Winston S. Churchill (1874–1965). At the Pyramids, 1921 (C 86).

Figure 4.4 Winston S. Churchill (1874–1965). Mimizan Plage, Landes, 1920 (C 69).

Figure 4.5. Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796–1875). Stone Quarry at Fontainebleau.

Figure 4.6. Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796–1875). The bridge at Narni, Italy.

Figure 4.7. Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665). The Shepherds of Arcadia (Et in Arcadia Ego).

Figure 4.8. Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665). Landscape with the Burial of Phocion.

Figure 4.9. Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665). Autumn or the Grapes brought from the Promised Land, 1660–1664.

Figure 4.10. Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) © ARS, NY. Circles in a Circle, 1923.

Figure 4.11. Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) © ARS, NY. Composition 8, July 1923.

Figure 5.1. Fraternal Twin 1, Sandbox Composition.

Figure 5.2. Fraternal Twin 2, Sandbox Composition.

Figure 5.3. Identical Twin 1, Sandbox Composition.

Figure 5.4. Identical Twin 2, Sandbox Composition.

Figure 6.1. Stephen C. Pepper (1891–1972). Sketch of Greek Ruins.

Figure 6.2. Stephen C. Pepper (1891–1972). Sketch of Athens and Acropolis. ← x | xi →

Figure 6.3. Charles Hovey Pepper (1864–1950). Mountain Lake.

Figure 6.4. Charles Hovey Pepper (1864–1950). Dutch Girl.

Figure 6.5. Charles Hovey Pepper (1865–1950). Self-Portrait.

Figure 6.6. Andrew Paul Ushenko. Sketch of Alphabetic Letter.

Figure 6.7. Andrew Paul Ushenko. Man and Crowd of Sailors.

Figure 6.8. Audrey Ushenko. Self-Portrait Painting.

Figure 6.9. Audrey Ushenko. All of Mankind (Group Engaged with Each Other and Art).

Figure 6.10. Audrey Ushenko. Homage to Mel Leipzig (Group Engaged with Each Other and Art).

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The extraordinary openness of so many archival sources, and significant individuals, enabled the primary research of this text. Among these individuals are Audrey Ushenko whose generosity and thoughtful cooperation facilitated my work with both her art and that of her father. Derek Tarson kindly gave me permission to use the archival sources of his grandfather, Stephen C. Pepper. Jim Merrick of Colby College whose help with the Charles Hovey Pepper archives secured invaluable primary materials. Qianni Zhu, Director of the Colby Museum, graciously provided paintings by Charles Hovey Pepper. Courtney Kopplin of the Vose Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts generously facilitated my getting permission from a private individual for additional paintings of Charles Hovey Pepper, including a rare self-portrait. Adam Matheny, head of the Twin Study at the University of Louisville made possible my research with the thought of twins, so central to the etiology which I have pursued in my interpretation of why and how verbal and figural grammar are essentially the same. And, a special acknowledgement must go to the many students over many years who agreed to participate in the descriptive exercises that lent to the development of my theory.

Finally, as a cultural historian I want to honor the history of thought to which I trust I have contributed. This text began as a seminal idea at the Moore College of Arts as I read and taught 30 cooperative students Johannes ← xiii | xiv → Itten’s philosophy of art. His mind reached across the decades and generated a career long search for what he wanted to know—what is the underlying meaning of figural form. Over the years Immanuel Kant and Edmund Husserl helped me see the essential sameness of verbal and figural grammar in the pre-reflective mind-set of each individual.

From this basis, the historiographical theory of Stephen C. Pepper, Andrew Paul Ushenko, and Hayden White enabled me to understand the differing levels of grammar and concept that functioned to differentiate what I came to call the “historical logics” in verbalization and figuration in individual expression.

Jonas Langer, a child behavioral psychologist, in his inquiry into the logic of ostensive and figural grammar in children gave me a basis that enabled me to move towards an understanding of psychogenetic cause in our pre-reflective formation and use of grammars.

I must also include my indebtedness to Thomas Hobbes and his rejuvenation of the ‘Riddle of the Theseus’ as a statement that preserves the vision of multiple objective perspectives in judgment. Johann Martin Chladenius continued that in German culture.

Finally, Noam Chomsky’s development of his theory of deep structural generation of sentences made my work theoretically grounded in normative linguistics.


XVI, 210
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (October)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2019. XVI, 210 pp., 33 b/w ill., 9 ill.

Biographical notes

Mark E. Blum (Author)

Mark E. Blum has served in the Department of History at the University of Louisville since 1976 and has been a professor in the department for almost twenty years. He received his MA and PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the University of Louisville faculty, he was Visiting Fellow at the Carl Rogers Center for Studies of the Person. His previous book, Continuity, Quantum, Continuum, and Dialectic: The Foundational Logics of Western Historical Thinking, was published by Peter Lang in 2006.


Title: Cognition and Temporality