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Re: [xmca] Adult before their time?

Hi Andy and others
In SA many children have to become adult because of loss of parents from HIV/AIDS related illness and death.  They are often under extreme pressure/stress, caring for sick adults, younger siblings and trying to earn an income. I'm sure the cognitive survival skills you are referring to are conditional on the extent of these stressors. There have been many studies conducted on child resilience under these conditions - will try to find direct sources

Mary van der Riet; School of Psychology; University of KwaZulu-Natal
Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209

email: vanderriet@ukzn.ac.za
tel: 033 260 6163;  fax: 033 2605809

>>> David Preiss <ddpreiss@me.com> 10/22/09 20:18 PM >>>
Dear Andy,

As regards child soldiers, this recent book is a good reference: A  
Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah.
It is testimonial.



On Oct 22, 2009, at 11:33 AM, mike cole wrote:

> Andy --
> Two quick points:
> 1. The consequences are for development of the whole child in  
> society so
> focusing on the cognitive seems especially counterproductive in the  
> cases of
> interest to you and xmca. And may, indeed, provide a privileged site  
> for
> inquiry. But its very dangerous. A colleague of a friend of mine  
> doing such
> research was shot and killed in Rio a few days ago.
> 2. Good Brazilian street children or child soldiers or several cognate
> categories and you should be inundated. I was.
> mike
> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 6:19 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>  
> wrote:
>> Mmm that looks interesting in itself, about the modern fad among  
>> middle
>> class parents for pushing their children to overperform  
>> academically. But I
>> suspect I am not going to get an answer to what's intriguing me  
>> that way.
>> When a child is suddenly deprived of their support systems -  
>> becoming a
>> street urchin or a child soldier for example or having to look  
>> after their
>> siblings if the parents become dysfunctional - then they are thrown  
>> into a
>> social situation which we talked of before, in which it is possible  
>> to learn
>> concepts, the very opposite of course of the "scientific concepts"
>> inculcated at school. I was wondering if the result is a very  
>> stunted kind
>> of thinking (like the policeman who knows how to spot a criminal by  
>> age,
>> race, and so on) or precocious wisdom which understands that words  
>> express
>> social meanings, not just what they appear to mean on the surface,  
>> and
>> watches the lay of the land.
>> But what is that precocious worldliness in cognitive terms?
>> Andy
>> mike cole wrote:
>>> Early claims:
>>> David Elkind, The hurried child. Cambridge. DeCapo Press. 1981
>>> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 3:25 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>  
>>> wrote:
>>> Not quite the same sort of trauma, but there's plenty of pop  
>>> analysis on
>>>> the life of Michael Jackson these days. p
>>>> Peter Smagorinsky
>>>> Professor of English Education
>>>> Department of Language and Literacy Education
>>>> The University of Georgia
>>>> 125 Aderhold Hall
>>>> Athens, GA 30602
>>>> smago@uga.edu
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu 
>>>> ]
>>>> On
>>>> Behalf Of Andy Blunden
>>>> Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:19 AM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: [xmca] Adult before their time?
>>>> Can anyone tell me of any research done on the idea of
>>>> children who have "grown up before their time," as a result
>>>> of war, family disaster or otherwise having been projected
>>>> into the adult world on their own? And how is such a
>>>> characterization "adult before their time" made? On the
>>>> basis of the use of concepts?? Lack of interest in play??
>>>> Andy
>>>> Tony Whitson wrote:
>>>>> I would add Nietzsche, along with Heidegger and Derrida, to what  
>>>>> Michael
>>>>> says.
>>>>> Heidegger is sometimes dismissed as incomprehensible, but  
>>>>> Nietzsche and
>>>>> Derrida are more often treated as wild and reckless writers who  
>>>>> can be
>>>>> fun to read, but without looking for any careful argument.
>>>>> If you don't expect either of them to be writing seriously, you  
>>>>> won't
>>>>> read them seriously and you won't see what they're writing. N  
>>>>> said as
>>>>> much, but then if you're not taking him seriously, you won't  
>>>>> take him
>>>>> seriously when he says that, either.
>>>>> I saw an interview with D once where the interviewer, in the  
>>>>> interview,
>>>>> in D's presence, ventured that deconstruction was basically the  
>>>>> same as
>>>>> the US sitcom "Seinfeld"--It's just a matter of taking everything
>>>>> ironically. D replied that if you want to know anything about
>>>>> deconstruction, you need to do some reading. The interview was  
>>>>> pretty
>>>>> much over at that point.
>>>>> On Wed, 21 Oct 2009, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>>>>> I don't know what people read that Heidegger has written. I  
>>>>> personally
>>>>>> have not met a person who has read Sein und Zeit to the end,  
>>>>>> people
>>>>>> appear to read secondary literature rather than the primary.  
>>>>>> Moreover,
>>>>>> nobody appears to be talking/writing about Unterwegs zur Sprache
>>>>>> (David K., this should be of interest to you), or about  
>>>>>> Holzwege and
>>>>>> other works. First, I can't see anything that would fit the  
>>>>>> political
>>>>>> ideas of Nazism, for one, and I can't see anything that would be
>>>>>> understandable in terms of the quote that Steve contributes  
>>>>>> below.
>>>>>> I do understand that Heidegger is difficult to read---I had to  
>>>>>> take
>>>>>> repeated stabs since I first purchased Sein und Zeit in 1977.
>>>>>> Heidegger, by the way, does very close readings of some ancient  
>>>>>> Greek
>>>>>> philosophers. And when you pay attention to his writing, and do  
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> same with Derrida, for example, then you begin to realize that  
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> latter has learned a lot from the former.
>>>>>> Now that my English is better than my German ever has been  
>>>>>> (although
>>>>>> it was my main language for 25 years) I personally know about the
>>>>>> problems of translations. Above all, any of the mechanical
>>>>>> translations that have been proposed on this list won't do even  
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> simplest of texts. And it is about more than literal content.
>>>>>> We can learn from both of them, Heidegger and Derrida, that  
>>>>>> things are
>>>>>> more difficult than they look, and even more difficult than  
>>>>>> reading
>>>>>> their texts.
>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>> On 21-Oct-09, at 7:37 PM, Steve Gabosch wrote:
>>>>>> I appreciate Martin's insights on Heidegger, as I do those of  
>>>>>> others.
>>>>>> I for one don't really know that much about Heidegger's ideas.   
>>>>>> I am
>>>>>> glad to learn from those that have studied him.
>>>>>> Here is an interesting glossary entry on Heidegger in a book of
>>>>>> Marxist essays by George Novack (1905-1992), Polemics in Marxist
>>>>>> Philosophy: Essays on Sartre, Plekhanov, Lukacs, Engels,  
>>>>>> Kolalkowski,
>>>>>> Trotsky, Timpanaro, Colletti (1978).  The glossary to the book  
>>>>>> was
>>>>>> written by Leslie Evans and edited by Novack.
>>>>>> "Heidegger, Martin (1889-1976) - German existentialist  
>>>>>> philosopher.
>>>>>> His ideas were best expounded in Sein un Zeit (Being and Time,  
>>>>>> 1927).
>>>>>> A philosopher of irrationalism.  Heidegger maintained that the  
>>>>>> chief
>>>>>> impediment to human self-development was reason and science,  
>>>>>> which led
>>>>>> to a view of the world based on subject-object relations.   
>>>>>> Humans were
>>>>>> reduced to the status of entities in the thing-world which they  
>>>>>> were
>>>>>> thrown (the condition of "thrownness").  This state of  
>>>>>> inauthentic
>>>>>> being could be overcome neither through theory (science) nor  
>>>>>> social
>>>>>> practice, but only by an inward-turning orientation toward  
>>>>>> one's self,
>>>>>> particularly in the contemplation of death. Heidegger was  
>>>>>> influenced
>>>>>> by Kierkegaard and Husserl (see entries), and in turn deeply  
>>>>>> affected
>>>>>> the thought of Sartre, Camus, and Marcuse.  He was himself a  
>>>>>> chair of
>>>>>> philosophy at the University of Freiburg in 1928 after his  
>>>>>> mentor,
>>>>>> Edmund Husserl, had been forced to relinquish it by the Nazis.
>>>>>> Heidegger supported Hitler, which led to his disgrace at the  
>>>>>> end of
>>>>>> World War II and his retirement in 1951 to a life of rural
>>>>>> seclusion."  (pg 307-308)
>>>>>> - Steve
>>>>>> On Oct 21, 2009, at 5:04 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>> I think Martin is completely right in the proposition that  
>>>>>> (taking
>>>>>>> account of the continuing fascination the academy has with  
>>>>>>> Heidegger)
>>>>>>> his works should be read to understand why and how Fascism and
>>>>>>> Heidegger's philosophy supported each other and what should be  
>>>>>>> done
>>>>>>> about it.
>>>>>>> As Goethe said "The greatest discoveries are made not by  
>>>>>>> individuals
>>>>>>> but by their age," or more particularly every age is bequeated a
>>>>>>> certain problematic by their predecessors, but the different
>>>>>>> philosophers confront that problematic in different ways. To  
>>>>>>> say that
>>>>>>> those on either side of the battle lines in the struggle of a
>>>>>>> particular times have something in common, seems to be in  
>>>>>>> danger of
>>>>>>> missing the point.
>>>>>>> Also, in my opinion, Husserl and Heidegger may have been  
>>>>>>> responding
>>>>>>> to Hegel, but between them they erected the gretest barrier to
>>>>>>> understanding Hegel until Kojeve arrived on the scene. But  
>>>>>>> that's
>>>>>>> just me. A grumpy old hegelian.
>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>> Martin Packer wrote:
>>>>>>>> A few days ago Steve made passing reference to an article that
>>>>>>>> apparently Tony had drawn his attention to, titled "Heil  
>>>>>>>> Heidegger."
>>>>>>>> I Googled and found that it is a recent article in the  
>>>>>>>> Chronicle of
>>>>>>>> Higher Education.
>>>>>>>> <http://www.chroniclecareers.com/article/Heil-Heidegger-/ 
>>>>>>>> 48806/>
>>>>>>>> The focus of the article is Heidegger's links with and  
>>>>>>>> support of
>>>>>>>> the Nazis, and its principal recommendations are that we  
>>>>>>>> should stop
>>>>>>>> paying attention to Heidegger, stop translating and  
>>>>>>>> publishing his
>>>>>>>> writing, and "mock him to the hilt."
>>>>>>>> I feel I should comment on this, since I have occasionally  
>>>>>>>> drawn on
>>>>>>>> Heidegger's work in these discussions. I certainly have no  
>>>>>>>> intention
>>>>>>>> of apologizing for Heidegger, who seems to have been a very  
>>>>>>>> nasty
>>>>>>>> person, who was responsible for some deplorable actions. I do  
>>>>>>>> want
>>>>>>>> to question, however, the proposal that because of these  
>>>>>>>> facts we
>>>>>>>> all would be better off ignoring his writing.
>>>>>>>> I was introduced to Heidegger by a Jewish professor of  
>>>>>>>> philosophy
>>>>>>>> who shared his last name (coincidentally as far as I know)  
>>>>>>>> with one
>>>>>>>> of the best-known victims of antisemitism. At that time less  
>>>>>>>> was
>>>>>>>> known about Heidegger's Narzism, but by no means nothing, and I
>>>>>>>> recall discussion in the classroom of the issue. I came to  
>>>>>>>> feel that
>>>>>>>> the last thing one should try to do is separate the man's  
>>>>>>>> work from
>>>>>>>> his life. Perhaps if he had been working on some obscure area  
>>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>> symbolic logic, say, that would have been possible, but  
>>>>>>>> Heidegger
>>>>>>>> had written a philosophy of human existence, and this would  
>>>>>>>> seem to
>>>>>>>> *demand* that there be consistency between what he wrote and  
>>>>>>>> how he
>>>>>>>> lived. Indeed, perhaps it would be important to study the man's
>>>>>>>> writings to try to understand where he went wrong; at what  
>>>>>>>> point in
>>>>>>>> his analysis of human being did Heidegger open the door to the
>>>>>>>> possibility of fascism? I think in fact that it is in  
>>>>>>>> Division II of
>>>>>>>> Being and Time, where Heidegger is describing what he called
>>>>>>>> 'authentic Dasein,' which amounts to a way that a person  
>>>>>>>> relates to
>>>>>>>> time, specifically to the certainty of their own death, that  
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> mistake is made and the door is opened to evil.
>>>>>>>> Carlin Romano, the author of the article, doesn't seem to know
>>>>>>>> Heidegger's work very well. Dasein ("being there," i.e. being- 
>>>>>>>> in-
>>>>>>>> the-world) is not a "cultural world," nor do "Daseins  
>>>>>>>> intersect," as
>>>>>>>> he puts it. (But I suppose that he is mocking Heidegger.) And  
>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>> brings me to my other reason for recommending that we  
>>>>>>>> continue to
>>>>>>>> read Heidegger, his politics and (lack of) ethics  
>>>>>>>> notwithstanding.
>>>>>>>> It is that his analysis throws light on issues that have been  
>>>>>>>> raised
>>>>>>>> in this group, and were important  to LSV and others. I am  
>>>>>>>> sure it
>>>>>>>> seems odd to link a Nazi philosopher to a socialist  
>>>>>>>> psychologist,
>>>>>>>> but I am hardly the first to see connections. Lucien Goldmann  
>>>>>>>> wrote
>>>>>>>> "Lukacs and Heidegger," a book in which he acknowledged the
>>>>>>>> incongruity but argued that there are "fundamental bonds"  
>>>>>>>> between
>>>>>>>> the two men's work, that at the beginning of the 20th century  
>>>>>>>> "on
>>>>>>>> the basis of a new problematic first represented by Lukacs,  
>>>>>>>> and then
>>>>>>>> later on by Heidegger, the contemporary situation was slowly
>>>>>>>> created. I would add that this perspective will also enable  
>>>>>>>> us to
>>>>>>>> display a whole range of elements common to both  
>>>>>>>> philosophers, which
>>>>>>>> are not very visible at first sight, but which nevertheless
>>>>>>>> constitute the common basis on which undeniable antagonisms are
>>>>>>>> elaborated" (p. 1).
>>>>>>>> What is this common basis? It is that of overcoming the  
>>>>>>>> separation
>>>>>>>> between subject and object in traditional thought, overcoming
>>>>>>>> subject/object dualism, by recognizing the role of history in
>>>>>>>> individual and collective human life, and rethinking the  
>>>>>>>> relation
>>>>>>>> between theory and practice. As Michael wrote, Heidegger  
>>>>>>>> reexamined
>>>>>>>> the traditional philosophical distinction between an object (a
>>>>>>>> being) and what it *is* (its Being), and rejected both  
>>>>>>>> idealism and
>>>>>>>> essentialism to argue that what an object is (and not just  
>>>>>>>> what it
>>>>>>>> 'means') is defined by the human social practices in which it  
>>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>> involved, and in which people encounter it. These practices, of
>>>>>>>> course, change over historical time, so the conditions for an  
>>>>>>>> object
>>>>>>>> to 'be' are practical, social, and historical. And since people
>>>>>>>> define themselves in terms of the objects they work with, the  
>>>>>>>> basis
>>>>>>>> of human being is practical, social, and historical too.
>>>>>>>> I continue to believe that this new kind of ontological  
>>>>>>>> analysis,
>>>>>>>> visible according to Goldmann in the work of both Lukacs and
>>>>>>>> Heidegger, influenced in both cases by Hegel, is centrally
>>>>>>>> important. If we can learn from studying Heidegger how to
>>>>>>>> acknowledge these cultural conditions without falling into a
>>>>>>>> valorization of the folk, without dissolving individuals in the
>>>>>>>> collective (a failing of the Left just as much as the Right),  
>>>>>>>> then
>>>>>>>> we will have gained, not lost, by reading his texts.
>>>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> xmca mailing list
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>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>> --
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>>>> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov,
>>>> Ilyenkov $20 ea
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>> --
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov,  
>> Ilyenkov $20
>> ea
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David Preiss

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