Re: [xmca] Antirecapitulationism and the Logical Impossiblity of Social Progress

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at>
Date: Sun Apr 06 2008 - 16:35:20 PDT

Thanks David,

Very helpful material.

Gutsy of Widdowson to take on Halliday. And Ed's link shows that Beaugrande
didn't let him get away with it easily!


On 4/6/08 5:33 PM, "David Kellogg" <> wrote:

> No problem, Martin!
> In Halliday's 1992 essay "How do you mean?" (Collected Works, Vol. 1, p.
> 354) he says:
> "We have often pointed out that it takes two to mean; but we still tend to
> refer to consciousness as if it was an individual phenomenon, with the social
> as an add-on feature. I would prefer the Vygotskyan perspective, whereby
> consciousness is itself a social mode of being."
> I asked Halliday about this when I met him in Tokyo, and he said that he
> doesn't refer to Vygotsky much because he finds that when people do they do
> not mean what Vygotsky meant, but that he DOES mean what Vygotsky meant.
> The first page of the grammar is Halliday and Matthiessen, Introduction to
> Functional Grammar, third edition, p. 3, where he says the grammar purports to
> answer the question "Why does the text mean what it does (to me, or to anyone
> else)?" To me and to Widdowson, this suggests that a grammar, which
> necessarily decontextualizes language, can explain how texts mean.
> Widdowson criticizes this view at BOOK LENGTH in his 2004 work "Text,
> Context, Pretext: Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis", which is essentially
> a reworking of his Ph.D. thesis. See especially 16-35, Chapter Two.
> David
> ---------------------------------
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Received on Sun Apr 6 16:37 PDT 2008

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