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RE: [xmca] Re: microcosm/unit of analysis and xmca discourse
David, thank you.
I understand - tautological explanations are not the aim. But what we can say about non-tautological relations between object of psychology, explanatory principle and unit of analysis? I wonder that if the object can not explain itself and demand a "extract of reality from which it is function" (explanatory principle), perhaps a criteria to think "unit of analysis" could be its role in permits to the searcher establishes some kind of indirect relationship between the object of study and its explanatory principle... if we assume that these relations are not isomorphic nor tautological. Must the unity of analysis be ontologically pertinent to both "planes" (or spinozian "modes") of reality: "object of study" and its "explanatory principle" (for instance, consciousness and the extract of reality from which its is function - perhaps "social relationships"(?)) to permit a concrete analysis? Or this ontological pertinence is not necessary and we can speak about more formal kinds of units? In other words, I'm asking for dialectical relations between the unit of analysis as a discursive conceptual construct and and as a concrete living aspect of human reality... perhaps a transitional aspect between the object of psychology and its explanatory principle, and vice versa... (genetically/historically aproached, of course)...
> Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 01:50:58 -0800
> From: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: microcosm/unit of analysis and xmca discourse
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> 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.)
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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