Re: [xmca] Banana Mediated Emotions

From: C Barker <C.Barker who-is-at>
Date: Sat Sep 01 2007 - 04:59:38 PDT

The link seems not to work, despite various tries. Any thoughts?
Colin Barker

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>>> "deborah downing-wilson" <> 08/31/07 9:59 PM >>>
Mike, John Shotter references Clark occasionally. below is a link to his
provocative review of "using language"


On 7/26/07, Paul Dillon <> wrote:
> Estimados xmcaeros:
> The mere fact that the article being discussed was selected with a 52 % of
> the vote demonstrates the importance of emotion for those who valued the
> CHAT/AT etc. framework. And I am really glad that Wolf-Michael has put
> himself out there to open this up but I'm not sure that "Emotion at Work"
> quite fulfilled expectations, especially the way the thread unravelled. But
> that didn't surprise me since in the article, "emotion", never got defined
> to begin with and was eventually breduced to a valence of positive/negative.
> I was thinking of the emotions evoked when Ellington led the band through
> "harlen nocturne" and wondering how the fish smell folded into East River
> reveries. Emotion reduced to a Monkee's harmony?? Thanks to everyone who
> can't accept the notion of emotional valene. Sarte: emotions are just as
> intentional as cold cognition, Emotions aren't simply reactions, getting
> banged on the knee with a little tomahawk. Really, emotions can be "read"
> just like any other text. And there are maybe, hopefully, higher
> emotions? The Buddhist notion, hsin, heart-mind???
> So, Mescheryakov. Does anyone know if Leslie White had contact with the
> Vygotsky folk when he was in Russia 1928-29. His classic article (1960?) on
> symbolism took off from Helen Keller. Any connection there. Round and
> round and round and round.
> Paul Dillon
> Mike Cole <> wrote:
> David and Michael--
> 1) David; I need to re-read the Gray et al "integration of emotion" paper
> for the complexity you point to. What most interested me in it was the
> idea
> of behavioral/anatomical/functional evidence to support the idea that " A
> functional integration of emotion and cognition would allow the goal
> directed control of behavior to depend upon the emotional context.
> Goal-directed behavior is a complex control function mediated neurally by
> prefrontal cortex and involves higher cognitive processes...... I am not
> sure I am on the same page concerning what they believe higher cog
> processes
> to be, but that will take more reading to determine.
> I have also encountered some interesting developmental work along these
> lines but have not had time to track it further. The general line of
> arguments seems to be carrying on the program that LSV was gesturing
> toward.
> 2. All. I have just, after an inexcusable oversight lasting more than a
> decade, found
> Herb Clark's book, *Using Language*. Does anyone know it? It starts by
> arguing that
> language arises from pre-linguistic joint activity. In fact, the entire
> first chapter is about
> joint activity. I have just started it, but it reads very much as is it
> had
> been written by
> Mescheryakov thus far. Does anyone know this work? Am I on the right
> track??
> mike
> On 7/24/07, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
> >
> > Hi David,
> > when I refer to David McNeill's work, it is in particular to two
> > pieces, his 1984 or 1985 chapter where he writes about Vygotsky and
> > the 2002 paper that is clearly taking speech and gesture as a
> > dialectical pair sublated into a higher unit, of which each is a one-
> > sided expression.
> >
> > Lilian Pozzer-Ardenghi and I have continued to explore communicative
> > units, and bring any meaning-making resource into it (Roth & Pozzer-
> > Ardenghi, 2006). We view all of these moments as constitutive of
> > meaning, which is not something to be pointed to in an unambiguous
> > way but more like a sense of how the world works. As Heidegger says,
> > words do not get meaning (or people construct meaning of words), but
> > rather, words ACCRUE to meaning, and the world is entirely shot
> > through with it.
> >
> > So all the different moments--speech, gesture, prosody, position,
> > orientation, and the rates of all of these--do not act independently
> > but are subordinated to and constitute a higher order unit, none of
> > them expressing this higher order unit on its own (especially not
> > speech [language], to which we, in a phal-logo-centric culture want
> > to reduce everything) but rather only one-sidedly.
> >
> > I like Holzkamp's analysis, which brings together motion,
> > emotiveional valence, motive, and motivation (you see the common
> > origin in all these words), and begins with a possible beginning when
> > one-cellular organisms correlate initially arbitrary motion with more
> > food concentrations, which are of higher valence. He then shows how
> > through episodes of quantitative and qualitative changes, we can
> > eventually get to anthropogenesis, where the motive of activity
> > becomes a new unit... and so on. In a paper a few years back, I
> > developed this approach.
> >
> > I am not trying to be objectivist or subjectivist or materialist or
> > anything, just trying to make sense and understand. In a paper you
> > can do only so much within the limited amount of space (word
> > count).... Thus, Andy provided a label that an Australian colleague
> > of his would absolutely disagree; to this colleague, I am the
> > constructivist devil in person, subjectivist to the point of
> > poisoning our youth.... :-)
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Michael
> >
> >
> >
> > On 24-Jul-07, at 2:51 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
> >
> > Dear (Wolff-)Michael:
> >
> > Thanks for your reply, but above all thanks for your work on
> > science teaching which I've read with great interest (I've got an
> > article coming out next July in Language and Education which
> > references you). I've also closely followed your work on gesture
> > (particularly now that I'm reading a lot of McNeill's).
> >
> > When I read McNeill on gesture, I always get this feeling that he
> > has to keep shaking things to keep them from separating. His view of
> > speech is as something completely arbitrary, segmental, symbolic and
> > systematic, and his view of gesture is completely iconic, holistic,
> > and jerry-rigged.
> >
> > So in his latest book (Gesture and Thought, University of Chicago
> > Press 2005) he has to give up the idea of categorizing gestures into
> > iconics, metaphorics, emblems, deictics and beats. and he argues that
> > everything is everything else as well as itself. Unlike speech.
> >
> > Unlike speech? When I first read "Emotion and Work" I was a little
> > taken aback by your use of the Praat program to measure the emotional
> > content of speech. I was even more taken aback by where you show that
> > intonation contours are co-constructed, broken off, and then
> > continued. Exactly what we'd expect if intonation were really just an
> > internalization of gesture, pointing with your voice instead of your
> > hands because you are using your hands to type at at computer, just
> > as people point with their eyes or tongues when their hands are full.
> >
> > Intonation is indubitably part of speech; nobody has to keep
> > shaking intonation and speech to get them to stay together. But this
> > means that McNeill's description of language as being segmented,
> > compositional, lexicon-based, syntactic, arbitrary and unilinear is
> > all wrong.
> >
> > It's rather hard to see how speech could ever express emotion if
> > it were the way McNeill imagines it. It can only express emotion if
> > it is a little more the way McNeill imagines gesture to be: iconic
> > and improvisational.Speech with expressive intonation and evaluative
> > overtones is really a lot more like gesture then like lines of
> > computer code.
> >
> > In fact it seems to me that with a whole range of emotions (which
> > we might call the "higher emotions" by analogy with the higher
> > psychological functions that Vygotsky posits) are not only expressed
> > by speech but mediated and constructed by speech, so permeated with
> > speech that language is as much a part of the emotion as bodily
> > feelings or even more.
> >
> > These include all the emotions that Vygotsky writes about in the
> > Psychology of Art, but they also include the sort of emotions that
> > are central to ethics education (that's my big project this summer).
> > And it seems to me that with these language-mediated emotions, the
> > relationship between "feelings" and "emotions" that Damasio claims
> > has to be reversed.
> >
> > Damasio really thinks that "feelings" come very much after the
> > fact: they are "subordinated" to bodily states, to use the expression
> > that so annoyed Andy. (I'm not sure why we can't say "subordinated",
> > since Marxists certainly do use the term "superstructure" and base,
> > and a base is be definition logically prior to a superstructure.) But
> > in your data it seems to me that feelings come into being through
> > their expression.
> >
> > Damasio thinks that we have some way of evaluating events for
> > their emotional content without actually reacting emotionally to
> > them, as when you see a car headed toward you and turn away without
> > thinking or even feeling very much and the emotion that attends on a
> > narrow brush with death comes very much after the fact. But in your
> > data it seems to me that Jack needs to UNDERSTAND verbal interactions
> > first before he can evaluate their emotional content: Jack needs to
> > COMPREHEND (yes, consciously!) the lukewarm response of his superiors
> > before he can experience disappointment and react with cynicism.
> >
> > I guess I don't think Jack's experience is a matter of chickens
> > and eggs, or even of knowing that one was successful mediating a
> > bodily state which then mediates performances that are far beyond
> > normal. That would be true if there were no social dimension to
> > success; that is, if it were not dependent on explicit, conscious,
> > even verbal recognition.
> >
> > (To tell you the truth, I was a little saddened by the ending of
> > the article.The idea of Jack and Ellen living from hand to mouth and
> > from grant to grant does not seem to me to bode at all well for the
> > future of their project or even of their current high morale. Here in
> > Korea, every primary school teacher is a national civil servant with
> > permanent tenure, and this is an extremely important part of their
> > high social status, their desirability as marriage partners, and of
> > course their self-esteem. It even has a noticeable effect on my
> > graduate students; since they do not really require their MAs for
> > advancement, they are quite willing to undertake risky research
> > projects, like our current one on ethics education! The whole idea
> > teaching ethical principles using rewards and punishments is not a
> > little self-contradictory, and so is the attempt to stimulate
> > intellectual adventurousness with carrots and sticks.)
> >
> > One of my grad students was playing a game with her kids called
> > "Find the Banana" which involved hiding a banana behind some cards
> > (which represented activities and days of the week) and then guessing
> > which card had the banana by asking "Can you go swimming on Monday?"
> > "Yes/no" The problem was that the kids kept turning around and
> > peeking when she hid the banana, and so the game was over too
> > quickly. In fury, she seized the banana, peeled it and devoured it
> > before the children's appalled eyes. She then brandished the banana
> > skin and told the children they would henceforth have to play for an
> > empty peel.
> >
> > Soon the banana skin became a kind of trophy, a little like the
> > World Cup. When one team one the banana skin, it was displayed
> > proudly and prominently on the team leader's desk until the next team
> > won it back. The banana had gone from being a pure use value to an
> > exchange value, from a means to a physical state of well-being to a
> > signifier of social status alone.
> >
> > From that point on the children saw no point in peeking to see
> > where the banana peel was hidden.The first priority was now last, and
> > the last priority was now first; obeying the rule on not peeking was
> > now a precondition for the social signficance attendant on winning
> > the Golden Banana Skin, and the idea of consuming the banana dwindled
> > into insignificance. The corresponding emotions also underwent a
> > transition, from the lower banana-mediated emotions to the higher
> > banana-peel mediated emotions. So you see it is not just academics
> > who intellectualize these things!
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Seoul National University of Education
> >
> >
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Deborah Downing Wilson
Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition
University of California San Diego
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Received on Sat Sep 1 06:25 PDT 2007

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