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LINGUIST List 22.807

Thu Feb 17 2011

Calls: Philosophy of Language/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>


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        1.     Jacob Daniel , Imagination: Functions of Virtual Experience

Message 1: Imagination: Functions of Virtual Experience
Date: 17-Feb-2011
From: Jacob Daniel <daniel.jacobromanistik.uni-freiburg.de>
Subject: Imagination: Functions of Virtual Experience
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Full Title: Imagination: Functions of Virtual Experience

Date: 12-Oct-2011 - 16-Oct-2011
Location: Potsdam, Germany
Contact Person: Daniel Jacob
Meeting Email: daniel.jacobromanistik.uni-freiburg.de

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language

Call Deadline: 20-Feb-2011

Meeting Description:

Workshop held as a panel at the 13th International Congress of the German
Society of Semiotics:
'Repräsentation - Virtualität - Praxis'

This panel is concerned with specifying the relation between individual mental
processes or images ('experience') and their external 'objective' substrate or
analogon (sensu Sartre). Recently, significant differentiations have been
discussed with regard to both sides of this dichotomy. On the external objective
level, we are faced with a question that has been highly controversial from
antiquity to the present day: to what extent does 'reality', as an object of
perception, present itself as an objective entity in its own right, and to what
extent is it the result of a communicative construction, and thus constituted
collectively, through media and discourse? If, like Berger/Luckmann or
Watzlawick, one favours the second position, one can further differentiate
between a social reality that is collectively constructed in communication and
can therefore be grasped objectively, and an imaginary world that stays within
the boundaries of the virtual, the mediated and the discoursive. Even though the
imaginary, as literature or art, can be seen as an 'anthropological constant',
the profusion of virtual worlds in the new media appears to bring the fusion of
the imaginary and reality to a new level. Since Cervantes sent his Don Quixote,
who fancied himself a knight, on imaginary adventures, there have time and again
been literary works (and, more recently, films) which blurred the boundaries
between imagination and reality (e.g. Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Pirandello's
Quaderni di Serafino Gubbio operatore, Unamuno's Niebla, Fellini's Otto e mezzo,
Cronenberg's eXistenZ).

Concerning the issue of individual mental experience, a question that is
becoming ever more pressing is where (if at all) we should draw a line between
those forms of mental experience that have been induced by sensory perception of
external phenomena, those that have been induced by discoursive (linguistic)
events, and those that have been induced by wholly internal processes (such as
dreams, memories, plans, wishes, counterfactual thinking, fantasies, etc.).
Cognitive modelling (e.g. connectionist models) as well as neuroscientific
findings suggest that there is significant overlap between these modes of mental
experience.

Finally, an important question is whether we should deduce from the fundamental
limitation and unreliability of sensory perception that it is not the latter
which mediates between internal cognition and an external substrate, but that it
is individual imagination, as a prerequisite for internal construction and the
emphatic projection of constructs on the minds of other individuals, which
constitute the basis for a construction of external collective reality.

Call for Papers:

Extended deadline for abstract submission: February 20, 2011

We especially encourage contributions focussing on the issue from the
perspective of semiotics, phenomenology, systems theory, cognitive studies or
neuroscience, but other approaches from any of the disciplines involved in this
field of study - from philosophy to neuroscience - are also highly welcome.

The working languages of the congress are German and English.

Abstracts (approx. 300 words) containing the names, email addresses,
affiliations of the author(s) and five keywords should be submitted to Daniel
Jacob (daniel.jacobromanistik.uni-freiburg.de).

Contact and Submission Address:

Prof. Dr. Daniel Jacob
Romanisches Seminar Universitaet Freiburg
Platz der Universitaet
79085 FREIBURG i. Br.
Tel. +49-761-203 31 71
Sekr. +49-761-203 31 73
Fax +49-761-203 31 95
http://www.romanistik.uni-freiburg.de/jacob/
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