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Drawing and intellectualism: Contested paradigms of knowledge

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This article analyses the philosophical backdrop to the exclusion from academic exchange of situated, embodied and tacit modes of knowing, whereby conceptual/ propositional knowledge and textual articulation is presented as the gold standard against which these other types of knowledge are measured and found wanting. By way of counterbalance, this article questions the premise that these forms of knowledge are best understood as belonging to a completely separate epistemological category to that of conceptual/propositional knowledge. The lack of parity of esteem afforded to multimodal formats of dissemination is, it is argued, ultimately rooted in these disparities. The article focuses on a number of theories that posit a sub structural relationship of practical and tacit knowledge to conceptual/propositional knowledge. These include the work of Michael Polanyi as well as more recent work by Alva Noë, Mark Johnson, George Lakoff and Vittorio Gallese. In this context, the article focuses on the legitimacy of descriptive drawing as a knowledge-producing activity, with particular reference to Noë's work.

Keywords: cognition; drawing; epistemology; perception; situated cognition; tacit knowing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Chester

Publication date: 2012-10-26

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