Associative thinking: A Deleuzian perspective on social dreaming

Manley, Julian Y orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2548-8033 (2018) Associative thinking: A Deleuzian perspective on social dreaming. In: Social Dreaming: Philosophy, research, theory and practice. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138327337

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Social dreaming is a way of thinking. As soon as we accept this from the beginning we can work towards creating a theory of the phenomena of social dreaming which takes us away from the distraction of the idea of the dream as being in some sense a mystifying and/or mystical abstract representation of something which is so ineffable and confusing that it might as well be nothing. The purpose of this chapter is to reassess the nature and validity of the thoughts emerging in dreams that are shared in the context or container of a social dreaming matrix, and in doing so create a theory of social dreaming, or at least to make a start in this direction. Long (in this volume) and Long and Harney (2013), focus on a semiotic approach that takes as its basis the philosophy of Charles Peirce applied to social dreaming, including his theories of abductive reasoning, and sign-vehicles. However, in this chapter I want to concentrate on the use and meaning of the term “association” in the context of social dreaming. Long and Harney (ibid) have also noted the importance of associative thinking to social dreaming and have coined the useful term “associative unconscious” to describe a key feature of the thinking process in psychosocial thinking or socioanalysis. The theory of social dreaming that I wish to pursue in this chapter concentrates on this aspect of social dreaming, not so much on the dreams themselves within the matrix as individual objects or signs to be shared by the participants in social dreaming, but the gaps in between, the links, connections and relationships that are developed through associative thinking that lead to the transformation of the dreams from single objects into living processes that constitute thinking: moving fragments of thought in constant flows of never-ending incompletion.

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