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Re: [xmca] Re: microcosm/unit of analysis and xmca discourse
Yes and no, Andy. Yes, I assert it and no, I never unasserted it. I never agreed with either you or with Nikolai. For me, and I think for LSV, word meaning is the unit/microcosm of consciousness. That's what he says in Chapter One, and that's what he says again in Chapter Seven.
Achilles--I think that Andy's (Wertsch's and Leontiev's) attempt to substitute "mediated action" is a good example of an attempt to combine the unit of analysis ("action") with the explanatory principle ("mediation"). That is why it is bound to fail. There are obvious ADVANTAGES to doing this; you can claim to explain more (e.g. non-verbal phenomena, lower psychological functions).
But for precisely that you end up explaining less (e.g. the non-generalizeability of non-verbal skills as opposed to the generalizeability of verbally based knowledge). When the explanatory principle and the unit of analysis are coterminous, the explanation is tautological, and the analysis is non-analytical.
(Sorry if this sounds uncharacteristically curt and half-baked. I'm still on holiday, so not much time.)
Seoul National University of Education
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