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The Power of the Image

Emotion, Expression, Explanation


Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri

We think primarily in images, and only secondarily in words, while both the image and the word are preceded by the bodily, the visceral, the muscular. This holds even for mathematical thinking. It is the entire motor system, including facial expressions and bodily gestures, that underlies not just emotions but also abstract thought. Communication, too, is a primordially visual task, spoken and written language only gradually supplementing and even supplanting the pictorial. Writing liberates, but also enslaves; after centuries of a dominantly verbal culture, today the ease of producing and accessing digital images amounts to a homecoming of the visual, with the almost limitless online availability of our textual heritage completing the educational revolution of the 21st century.
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Symbolization in Child Art: Creation and Interpretation of Visual Metaphors


Andrea Kárpáti – Tünde Simon

Primary modes of symbolic behaviour are generally divided according to their media and method of communication. However, in contemporary culture, the linguistic, social-gestural, logico-mathematical and musical modes are intertwined with the iconic. Gardner, Howard and Perkins in the seminal volume of studies on media, symbols and education emphasize the importance of two broad perspectives that characterized the philosophical, and consequently, educational study of symbols. “The cultural-epistemic approach has stressed the origins and genesis of symbolic forms of cognition and knowledge such as art, science, language, myth and religion interpreted as cultural and historic achievements. … The second or semiotic approach, less historically oriented, has focused instead on specific differences and kinships between linguistic, logico-mathematical, pictorial, diagrammatic, gestural, musical and other sorts of symbol systems construed as so many ways of using one thing to refer to another. … an analysis of symbol systems often reveals unexpected contrasts within, say, the arts or sciences and equally startling kinships between them.”1 Already in 1974, Olson suggests that “[t]he invention of new communication technologies results in the development of new symbol systems or at least in the modification of existing ones”.2 One of the most profound bodies of work about this semiotic approach to symbolization, Nelson Goodman’s general theory of linguistic and non-linguistic symbols had a profound emphasis on child art research.3 Art and ← 144 | 145 → music curricula and teaching aids developed and tested by the Harvard Project Zero research group, under the...

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