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[xmca] Visual Thinking?
Can I have a little bit of help from some of the Russophones on the list (Anton, Mike, Achilles)?
At the end of section 9 in Chapter Five, Vygotsky is telling us about the difference between a pseudoconcept and a real concept. Prout, translating this in the Vygotsky Reader, renders it thus:
"This type of complex and this form of visual thinking dominate a child 's real thinking both from the functional and from the genetic point of view."
Seve claims that he writes this:
"Ce type de complexe, cette forme de pense/e intuitive (sic) joue un ro^le pre/dominant dans la pense/e re/elle de l'enfant tant par sa fonction que sous le rapport ge/ne/tique. (This type of complex, this type of intuitive (???) thinking plays a predominant role in the real thinking of the child as much by its function as by its genetic relations.)"
"Intuitive"? That can't be right. Let's try the Italian. Meccaci, who almost always sticks RELIGIOUSLY to Vygotsky's actual paragraph breaks, in this one case breaks his rule and adds a sentence from the previous paragraph to begin the paragraph, and comes up with:
"Egli ha costruito un complesso associativo limitato; e` arrivato allo stesso punto, ma allo stesso tempo ci e` arrivato un'altra via. (The child has constructed a limited associative complex; arriving at the same point at the same pace but by another road) Questo tipo di complesso, questa forma di pensiero concreto ha un ruolo predominante nel pensiero reale del bambino sia sotto l'aspetto funzionale che quello genetico (This type of complex, this form of concrete thinking has a predominant role in the real thinkign of the child in its functional as well as in its genetic aspect)"
"Concrete"? Hmmm...Well, what Vygotsky's REALLY got is this: Форма наглядного мышления.
So that's literally "form visual of thinking". But it seems to me that what is really going on here, what threw Seve (who as van der Veer says is normally quite scrupulous) is that Vygotsky means something like APPERCEPTIVE, practical, actual, factual.
It's easier for me to understand how the pseudoconcept is different from the DIFFUSE complex than how it is different from the true concept. The diffuse complex has a trait at its centre (rather than a concrete object with all its different traits), but that trait varies in an unbounded fasion, as if it were a chain of things rather than an abstract trait: yellow, then yellow-green, then yellow-green-blue, then yellow-green-blue-black.
With the pseudoconcept there are LIMITS and BOUNDARIES to that variation, but these LIMITS are factual, concrete, apperceptive limits rather than general, abstract, conceptual ones. So for example with a pseudoconcept we can actually see the child picking up the yellow triangle and physically comparing it to the green one, or matching the sides of a triangle to those of a trapezoid.
Am I on the right track? Is "visual thinking" really a kind of practical intelligence?
Seoul National University of Education
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