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Re: [xmca] Re: xmca Digest, Vol 45, Issue 47


Is it possible to reach this article "Marxist and non-Marxist aspects of the
cultural historical psychology of L.S. Vygotsky" via email please?

Thank you.


On 18/02/2009, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> Perhaps I could risk throwing in my thoughts Mike, because David and I have
> discussed this in the past too.
> My understanding has been that LSV brought forward the concept of word
> meaning as a foundation for solving the problem of intelligent speech. I am
> not sure how wide that territory was for Vygotsky; self-evidently I think it
> is wider that simply "intelligent speech", but there are two reasons I would
> not go so far as to say that it was meant as a "unit of analysis of human
> consciousness".
> (1) Words are probably the most important of artefacts, but they are just
> one kind of artefact. My work with "teaching spaces" when I first started to
> use Vygotsky was to do with how building forms succeeded in transmitting
> theories of learning to future generations, despite books and papers
> claiming the opposite of what was set in concrete.
> (2) Apart from artefacts, is also activity. Doubtbless activity is implicit
> in meaning in some way, but it is unclear to me. I think it is a mistake to
> make the foundation of consciousness just words, rather than practice.
> Andy
> Mike Cole wrote:
>> Without the time (or skill to switch to cyrrilic!) I have been thinking
>> about Kolya's questions, ,David.
>> For those who forget in the stream of xcma chatting, Nikolai asks:
>> where Vygotsky posits word meaning as
>> unit of analysis of human consciousness?
>> In which text and on what page? From what Vygotsky's work it is taken?
>> Could
>> I ask you to make a quotation from Vygotsky?
>> Thank you in advance
>> Nikolai
>> I was thinking how nice it would be to know how to search the vygotsky
>> corpus online in Russian, which I do not know how to do.
>> And remembering fragments of why I thought David's comments resonated
>> strongly
>> with my own intuitions, formed in part, by LSV.
>> such as (no quotations or page numbers, just failing memory here):
>> meaning is the most stable form of sense-- every totally stable? really?
>> word meaning changes in development
>> the closing of *Speech and Thought *that David points to, the drop of
>> water,
>> perhaps,
>> being in my eye.
>> The citation of the fragment from Doestoevsky where a bunch of guys are
>> standing
>> around saying, it seems, the word "product of defecation" (oh poo!) and
>> every one
>> is using the same word and every one is both saying the same thing and
>> saying something different.
>> Don't all of these and many other examples (Paula, are the Sakharov -LSV
>> blocks of any help here?) point to the general conclusion that David was
>> asserting?
>> Might our Russian friends join Nikolai and help us to understand the core
>> of
>> the issue
>> David raised? Is he incorrect? Can you search the corpus and help us to
>> understand
>> if we are misleading each other?
>> mike
>> On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 5:26 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com
>> >wrote:
>> Dear Professor Veresov:
>>> Let me begin by saying how much we enjoy your work here in Korea. Our
>>> group
>>> has been discussing your 2005 "Outlines" article "Marxist and non-Marxist
>>> aspects of the cultural historical psychology of L.S. Vygotsky" since we
>>> read it last year, and I found your 2006 article "Leading activity in
>>> developmental psychology" very useful in figuring out why I don't accept
>>> the
>>> whole construct of "leading activity".
>>> I think that BOTH works are really quite central to the periodization
>>> problem under discussion, but I also think that BOTH works refer mainly
>>> and
>>> centrally (and thus for me somewhat misleadingly) to a period of
>>> Vygotsky's
>>> oeuvre that is quite different from the one I have in mind.
>>> The 2005 article places a good deal of stress on early Vygotsky, a
>>> Vygotsky
>>> who is almost non-Vygotskyan, or at least non-psychological, Vygotsky in
>>> his
>>> early twenties, a student of the humanities with a very strong sense that
>>> nothing human is alien to them.
>>> The 2006 article in contrast seems to me to place a great deal of stress
>>> on
>>> the post-Vygotsky period, and I was very surprised and pleased to read
>>> that
>>> the work on "leading activity" is really not as far as I had thought from
>>> the fragments LSV left behind in his unfinished "Child Development".
>>> Elkonin, at any rate, seems to have been fully aware that the "leading
>>> activity" is in no way typical or characteristic of a particular period
>>> (though Leontiev and lately Karpov have said exactly the opposite). The
>>> problem remains that I do not see any place for the crisis in this work,
>>> and
>>> there is no question but that MY Vygotsky, LATE Vygotsky, the Vygotsky of
>>> Thinking and Speech gives the crisis an absolutely central (one might
>>> even
>>> say a critical) role.
>>> Of course, when I said that word meaning is a unit of analysis for human
>>> consciousness I am not simply repeating what others have said (e.g.
>>> Werstch
>>> 1985). On the contrary, I mean what for me is the most mature and
>>> therefore
>>> in some ways least characteristic moment of Vygotsky's own work; I might
>>> even call it the "leading activity" of his thinking.
>>> I meant, especially, the very last three paragraphs of Thinking and
>>> Speech.
>>> I have always found this to be a little like the last page of "Origin of
>>> Species", rather more than a conclusion, but a whole revolutionary
>>> program,
>>> complete with a clarion call in the very last six words:
>>> Осмысленное слово есть микрокосм человеческого сознания.
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Seoul National University of Education.
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>> _______________________________________________
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
> andy.blunden
> Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
> http://www.marxists.org/admin/books/index.htm
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