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Re: [xmca] Vygotsky and Behaviourism
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- Subject: Re: [xmca] Vygotsky and Behaviourism
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- Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 18:12:34 +1100
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It would be helpful to clarify this wouldn't it, David.
In Vygotsky's speech, when he says:
"Classical reflexology ... reduces everything to a common
denominator. And precisely because this principle is too
all-embracing and universal it does not yield a direct
scientific means for the study of its particular and
I took this to be a damning criticism of reflexology, but
maybe "reaction" is different from "reflex"?
On "Behaviourism," I have always taken this word in a very
broad sense as including all those approaches which say that
"consciousness" is not a legitimate object for science.
Vygotsky says: "Consciousness is only the reflex of
reflexes" which he says have a "social origin". And he says
this in the context of praising Wm James. But he goes on to
*criticise* reflexology for *excluding* mental pheneomena
from its investigations, i.e., he criticises reflexology for
what I have always called behaviourism (though I may be
eccentric in that use of the word).
So my reading he criciises reflexology and behaviourism, but
to different readers he is both a reflexologist and a
behaviourist. :) As he says: "Kings are not always royalists."
As Alice would say: "mysteriouser and mysteriouser."
David Kellogg wrote:
On p. 31 of "Making of Mind", Luria writes of arriving in Moscow from Kazan in 1923:
"The situation in the institute when I arrived was peculiar indeed. All of the laboratories had been renamed to include the term 'reactions': there was a laboratory of visual reactions (perception), of mnemonic reactions (memory), of emotional reactions, and so forth. All this was meant to eliminate any traces of subjective psychology and to replace it with a kind of behaviorism."
Luria clearly thinks that "reactology" really was a kind of relabelled behaviorism. So do I!
Seoul National University of Education
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Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435
Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
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