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Meaning and Motoricity

Essays on Image and Time

Kristof Nyiri

There is an intrinsic connection between the notions of image and time. Visual images can strike us as incomplete, as ambiguous, unless they are moving ones, happening in time. However, time cannot be conceptualized except by metaphors, and so ultimately by images, of movement in space. The philosophy of images and the philosophy of time are interdependent. This book argues for the reality of time and for visual images as natural carriers of meaning. The experience of the passage of time, of the reality of time, is embodied and made visible in the bodily gestures of time, and indeed in all our gestures. Meaning, both emotional and cognitive, is grounded in the motor dimension. By implication, no meaningful philosophy of time can neglect the aspect of motor imagery.
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6. Images in Conservative Education


Conservatism is a perennial human attitude and a constantly present cultural factor. As a consciously held theory it was however not formulated before the eighteenth century, and the expression “conservatism” itself was not in use before the 1830s. In the second section of the present chapter, under the heading “The Meaning of Conservatism”, I will attempt both to convey a general idea of conservatism as well as to give a brief characterization of its three main historical phases: premodern, modern, and postmodern. Especially in its modern and postmodern phases, conservatism is tormented by paradoxes. My ultimate aim in the chapter will be to show that these paradoxes dissolve once the dominance of, and the exclusive focus on, verbal communication is supplanted by allotting a proper role to the pictorial – to mental and physical images, and to visual thinking. Setting the stage for my argument, in the first section below I offer some glimpses of the vastly rich literature, extending well back into the nineteenth century, on the visual mind – the visual as accompanying, or even serving as the basis of, the verbal, and as accompanied, or even based on, the motor. In the third section, drawing in particular on the ideas of the liberal-conservative thinker F. A. von Hayek, I will describe the main dimensions of what might be called a conservative concept of knowledge, characterizing knowledge as local, dispersed, and embedded in practice. The implications of such a concept of knowledge for the educational system under modern/postmodern conditions are...

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