RE: [xmca] Vygotsky s historicism

From: Michael Glassman <MGlassman who-is-at>
Date: Tue Apr 08 2008 - 12:12:22 PDT


I don't think Illyenkov was talking directly to the learning paradox here. The article was written in 1974 and the debate between Chomsky and Piaget was in 1975.

There is a chance I suppose that he actually answered the question before the debate (Piaget would have liked that), but I really don't see it in the article.

It seems to me an article that sort of tries to refute visual (rote? direct?) learning. His main these seems to be, and maybe I have this wrong, that actually you use understandings of the object and its development in the process of engaging in (progressive?) activity with the object. I think perhaps that Chomsky might say where does the knowledge that allows the child to master the activity come from? Does it come from the child's activity or does it come from the way the object is used in activity? For instance a child picks up a knife and uses it to cut wood. Is this idealist in that the child thinks, hmmm the essence of this knife must be to cut, or is it realist in that the cutting properties are in the knife and discovered there through activity? Is Illyenkov the type of philosopher who uses materialism as a jumping off point for idealism? But then we are back to the learning paradox, at least according to how I am now reading this article.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Peter Moxhay
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 12:40 PM
Subject: RE: [xmca] Vygotsky s historicism


Isn't the learning paradox part of what Ilyenkov addresses in "Activity and Knowledge" (available at


>>> "Michael Glassman" <> 04/08/08 12:22 PM >>>
>>- making the case for the learning paradox (which has been discussed on this list).
>>So I'm curious, how does Illyenkov deal with these problems - the learning paradox and the possible arbitrariness of thought driven end points.

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