Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Saturday, July 21, 2018

ALI 2018 Plenary Session Panel 7 (July 21st 1:30 pm EDT)

1:30 pm–3:00 pm: Plenary Session Panel 7 (Location: Meeting Room)
Chair: Thomas Ciavatti (Cornell University/Xu Research Group)

Complete conference program (subject to change)

Update: Plenary Session video

Speaker: Donna West (SUNY at Cortland), “Eidetic Images as Vicars of the Object: Insights from Maritain and Peirce”
For Maritain and Peirce, eidetic images are pivotal in the inferencing process; they are the vehicles for receipt of insights which suggest new relations.   For Maritain, “eidetic visualizations” serve two functions: to display the intuition, and to practice the event relations conceived of in the intuition (when considering the viability of the relations inherent in the enactments).  The ontogeny of Maritain’s sign-object relations begins with eidetic visualizations of events, their enactments, followed by accompanying verbal-enactment descriptions, then mental words expressing sequences of event consequences.  The episodic and embodied nature of the images/enactments facilitates the inferencing process, supplying early on the event syntax. 
By way of his transcendental character of intuitions, Maritain proposes three kinds of intensive visualization: physical abstraction (not allowing material qualities to be primary), quantitative abstraction (relations of order and measure proper to quantity), and metaphysical abstraction (foregrounding the intelligible) (Sept leçons 88-99, Morawiec 2013: 27-28).  For Maritain, while eidetic visualizations obviate objective states of affairs, “mental words” inform those states of affairs by applying novel intuitions.  
The teleology of these eidetic visualizations is significant – as intuitions, they eventually transform the practical into the speculative (Maritain 1943: 203).  As such, cultural practices (chants, incantations) convert eidetic visualizations into episodes having an origin/etiology, transforming the practical into the logical.  According to Maritain (following Bergson), the transformation entails both submissiveness and potency.  Imagined action sequences are eventually converted into “being as such” or “transobjective…offering  itself as object” (Maritain 1934:120-121).  For eidetic visualizations to proceed from the practical to the speculative, attenuation from self is mandatory,  together with “toying” with these visualizations as signs imaging potential contributory conditions of consequences.  This process must surface apart from contexts in which sign and object have co-occurred; otherwise novel meanings would be truncated.  The “mental word” attenuates the often-misperceived logical connection between two concurrent/contiguous events.  This attenuation minimizes the compelling suggestion that co-present entities/events are logically related merely based on proximity of space and/or time.  In this way, intuitions become speculative with the implementation of mental words, because they have the means to suggest other, particular spaces, times, participants, and conditions necessary for semiosis.  
Similarly for Peirce, moving vivid images give rise to instinctual inferences which relate consequences to novel conditions.  In folding in the Interpretant (meaning, effects) into the sign itself, Peirce characterizes these images as “virtual habits” (1909: MS 620), because the plausibility of their inferences (abductions) impel changes in action and/or belief (West 2016; 2017; 2018).  In Peirce’s semiotic, the indexical nature of the eidetic image suggests event relations by illustrating structural paths between objects, as well as between contributory events and their consequences.  The nature of its representamen to force the attention to co-present objects/mental objects by “brutely direct[ing] the mental eyeballs…to the object in question” (1908: 8.350), and to hint at subsequent cause-effect relations champions the effectiveness of those indexes which must take the form of definite icons (1911: MS 674; 1898: MS 485).  Maritain’s model can benefit from Peirce’s semiotic, in that index, as eidetic visualization, constitutes the quintessential sign to take on the role which Maritain (1946: 204; 1932/2014: 124) assigns to signs in general, the “vicar of the object.”   Accordingly, index along with icon serves as the “vicar” of the object, when it dynamically depicts object likenesses (Maritain 1932/2014: 132; cf. Kemple 2017); in its potency to sequence and situationalize, index refracts some fabric of future objects within event relations into the sign’s framework.
Speaker: James Maroosis, Ph. D., “The Liberal Arts of Management: Reading for Results”
How today's managers invented ancient and medieval reading patterns inorder to effectively understand the quality, identity and purpose of their organizations.

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