Drawing for Understanding and Insight

Streaming Media


Drawing is a visible representation of our cognitive processes. We can use drawing exercises and techniques to develop a complex way of thinking, remembering, and problem solving about notions of personal identity. Philosophers think linearly in terms of one claim following another. Once we have the claims lined up, we usually begin discussing philosophic views via a critique of one link in that linear chain. Drawing can disrupt this linear approach. Ideas connect in an organic fashion and relationships between ideas can be more complex than a unidirectional line. Drawing provides a way to illustrate these complex relations so that the interconnections and relationships can be seen. Hence a more complex understanding arises. From the complexity of these new relationships, new insights can be generated. Drawing allows complexity to be felt as well as understood.

Juli Thorson, Professor of Philosophy at Ball State University, Indiana, explores these ideas in her presentation for the Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy held in Clinton, New York. Professor Thorson's talk focuses on lessons learned from using drawings to represent relationships among ideas and generate insights during daily class sessions over the course of the two-week summer program.

Type of Work


Event Name

Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy

Event Sponsor

Philosophy Department, Hamilton College

Event Location

Clinton, NY, USA

Presentation Date


Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Scholarship Series

Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy

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