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FW: [xmca] Valsiner and pseudoconcepts

Dear Andy and Denise

And I agree with you, Andy, and with Vygotsky too - I think the role of
semiogenesis is actually wonderfully illustrated by pseudoconcepts,
particularly when they are unmasked.  Because really, the main strength of
the blocks methodology is about developing word meanings - one part of the
multifaceted process of semiogenesis, no?  

And I suspect that, though I like "specific unified conglomerates of concept
and complex qualities" very much, it broadens out the pseudoconcept into the
role of "everyday" concepts.  Hmmmm... As always with Valsiner, makes one
think - lots (for me anyway).

And also, even though there's a lot to be said about the HMFs, what my
experience with the blocks research and what all of the debates and
conversations on this forum have shown me is that we cannot afford to be
conceptual snobs.  Hierarchies are really there for analysis and heuristics.
I think all conceptual representations have their role to play, and where
would we be without the highers and the lowers and all the interesting
connections in between?  I think the fabric of human cultural-cognitive
processes is woven from many different kinds of threads.

But there again, I haven't read the Valsiner work yet, and will, so thank
you for that, Denise - I need to get a sense of the theme of the chapter
that this citation comes from.

Paula M Towsey
PhD Candidate: Universiteit Leiden
Faculty of Social Sciences

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: 05 August 2010 11:44
Cc: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
Subject: Re: [xmca] Valsiner and pseudoconcepts

Cool, thanks Denise. That makes it crystal clear, Valsiner does not agree
with Vygotsky on this issue. I wish Vygotsky had lived a litle longer to
furher explain and develop his views on concepts, but in this instance I
still agree with Vygotsky!

BTW, people should have look at :


Paula Towsey, David Kellogg and Mike Cole on Vygotsky's Concepts.



Denise Newnham wrote:
> Hello Andy, the reference as you saw to pseudoconcepts is in his book 
> 'The guided mind' 1998 and the other is : The development of the 
> concept of
> development: Historical and epistemological perspectives. In W. Damon, &
> Lerner(Eds), Handbook of child psychology. 5th Ed. VOl.1. Theoretical 
> models of human development (pp. 189-232). New York: Wiley.
> I quote (1998): 'Vygotsky and his colleagues (Luria would be the 
> closest
> example) attributed and overly idealized role to the role of concepts 
> in human reasoning. The role fitted with his emphasis on the hierarchy 
> of mental functions (i.e. higher mental functions regulating lower 
> ones), yet by this exaggerated emphasis the focus on the process of 
> semiogenesis is actually diminished. In contrast, it could be claimed 
> that pseudo-concepts (i.e. specific unified conglomerates of concept 
> and complex qualities) are the core (and highest form) of human 
> psychological functioning. The claim would fit with the unity of 
> representational fields (of Karl Buhler, described and extended 
> earlier) and with the central focus of abduction (rather than 
> induction or deduction) in the process of making sense (along the lines of
> I read you paper 'when is a concept really a concept' and heard that 
> there was a debate on XMCA but as I was not connected at that time 
> have not heard or read this debate.
> Denise
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> Sent: 05 August 2010 10:22
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [xmca] Valsiner and pseudoconcepts
> Can you give us the full reference for "see Valsiner, 1997d", Denise, 
> and maybe even the context? I just find it incredible that someone 
> could know as much about Vygotsky as Valsiner does and place 
> pseduoconcepts at the top of the development hierarchy.
> Andy
> Denise Newnham wrote:
>> Dear Larry and others,
>> I am new to this game so perhaps am doing something out of turn so if 
>> so
> let
>> me know. Larry I read your reply and this extract below made me think 
>> of Valsiner's work on semiotic mediators and concepts where he states 
>> that pseudoconcepts (1998, p.278-279) should be placed at the top to 
>> the developmental hierarchy as the hierarchy should be seen as 'open 
>> to
> changes
>> or formation of intrasensitive order- [see Valsiner, 1997d]' (2001, p.
>> 85).This brings ot my mind Markova's discussion on the spontaneous of 
>> intuitive in knowledge formation (2003) and I think that Cole's fifth 
>> dimension attests to this argument. There is an interesting paper by 
>> Galligan (2008) "using Valsiner" on the web.
>> Denise
>> 'These reflections of linking up multiple perspectives lead to the 
>> developmental question of how  socially situated microgenetic 
>> experiences get "generalized" into "higher" levels of organization 
>> that organize experience across situations [and organize the relation 
>> of the "lower" and "higher"
>> functions]?'
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu 
>> [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry Purss
>> Sent: 04 August 2010 19:04
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Fwd: [COGDEVSOC] Call For Papers: Special Issue 
>> on Mindreading, Review of Philosophy and Psychology
>> Hi Leif and Katerina
>> Leif,
>> I have recently read Daniel Stern's latest book "The Present Moment" 
>> and I agree that he has a fascinating perspective on the topic of
>> that emphasizes a "non-mind reading interpretation" of engaging with 
>> others.  I will look up his earlier work discussing Vygotsky and Glick.
> It
>> is also interesting that you mention Joseph Glick. Glick's articles 
>> on Werner are also fascinating as they suggest that Werner was also 
>> focused
> on
>> "microgenesis" as central to developmental accounts.
>> Katerina,
>> I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "accept metaphor" but generally 
>> I accept metaphor as a central way of understanding "human science" 
>> as interpretive and "perspectival".  As I read  Glick's 
>> interpretation of Werner's microgenetic developmental theory, I was 
>> also REFLECTING on Mike
> &
>> Natalia's focus on the microgenetic social situation of development, 
>> and also my attempt to link these perspectives with neo-Meadian 
>> notions of social ACTS [interchangeability of actual social 
>> positions].  These reflections of linking up multiple perspectives 
>> lead to the developmental question of how  socially situated 
>> microgenetic experiences get "generalized" into "higher" levels of 
>> organization that organize
> experience
>> across situations [and organize the relation of the "lower" and "higher"
>> functions]?
>> Glick's article "Werner's Relevance for Contemporary Developmental 
>> Psychology"  points out that Werner thought developmental processes 
>> got organized "at one of  three different levels: the sensorimotor, 
>> the perceptual, or the symbolic." (p.562)  Metaphor organizes 
>> experience at
> the
>> 3rd symbolic level and at this level we can have metaphoric models of
> "mind"
>> [for example: conversation, text, computers, dance, orchestra, etc.] 
>> However, this still leaves us with questioning  the RELATIONAL 
>> process of linking language and metaphor to the other levels of 
>> organization at the sensorimotor and perceptual levels.
>> Stern, Reddy, Werner, Glick, Gillespie & Martin, Mike and Natalia, 
>> and others are exploring the possible dynamic fluidity of the 
>> capacity for organizing and structuring the 3 levels of experience 
>> that may be more reciprocal [and possibly simultaneous assemby] than 
>> a linear teleological dynamic.  The question becomes, how central are 
>> the sensorimotor and perceptual ways of "constructing" or "forming" 
>> experience once social situations of development are  symbolic [and 
>> metaphorical]?  As Glick
> points
>> out, Werner believed these language and symbolic functions "undergo a 
>> differentiation process from deeper sensorimotor roots." (p.562) 
>> However these deeper roots are NOT TRANSCENDED but continue to 
>> organize
> experience.
>> The notion of "leading activity" implies an INVARIANT linear process 
>> where
> a
>> specific leading activity DOMINATES each stage of development.  An 
>> alternative perspective emphasizes the fluidity of these "leading 
>> activities" as continuing to remain central for development. For 
>> example functions such as "affiliation" are not only dominant in one 
>> specific stage of developmentand then recede into the background, but 
>> ACTUALLY continue to ACTIVELY organize experience [depending on the
> societal
>> microgenetic situation of development].  Whether the previous 
>> "leading activity" recedes or remains active is dependent, not on the 
>> stage of development [age determined] but rather on the particular 
>> social situation of development. Mike's point that particular school 
>> contexts correlate
> with
>> particular ages of students allows 2 alternative models of development.
>> Stage theory that is age "determined" or layered development that is 
>> socially situated [schools CONSTRAIN affiliative activity which 
>> recedes
> into
>> the background]  If the 2nd alternative guided how we structured 
>> schools
> and
>> affiliation and interchangeability of social positions was VALUED,
> identity
>> and concept development would be altered.
>> My personal fascination, working in schools, is the idea of the
> possibility
>> of creating institutional structures which promote the 
>> "interchangeability of social positions in social acts" and how to 
>> facilitate social spaces which nurture this interchangeability. An 
>> example of this is the creation
> of
>> the 5th dimension METAPHORICAL SPACES where interchangeability of
> positions
>> is fluid and dynamic and leads to the development of "agentic capacity"
>> where ALL participants experience being recognized and experiencing
>> RESPONDING to their recognition.  This affiliative activity is 
>> formative
> of
>> particular "identity" characteristics [communal self] and also 
>> "concept development" formed within microgenetic moments of 
>> development. The reason
> I
>> appreciate  neo-Meadian accounts of development are there privileging 
>> the centrality of ACTUAL INTERCHANGEABILITY of social positions 
>> [which simultaneously organize and regulate sensorimotor, perceptual, 
>> and symbolic experiences].  I also believe this "ideal" of actual 
>> interchangeability is fundamentally affiliative and dialogical as
> the
>> participants openly share perspectives.  This also creates social 
>> spaces where cognitive development [and reflective capacity] is 
>> nurtured
> and
>> "grown" [cultured]
>> Larry
>> On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 7:32 AM, Katerina Plakitsi
> <kplakits@gmail.com>wrote:
>>> Larry, with "trans situated" do you mean that you accept "metaphor",
> which
>>> is been considered as a constructivist argument?
>>> Katerina Plakitsi
>>> Assistant Professor of Science Education Department of Early 
>>> Childhood Education School of Education University of Ioannina
>>> 45110
>>> Greece
>>> tel.: +302651005771 office
>>> fax: +302651005842
>>> tel.: +6972898463 mobile
>>> e-mail: kplakits@cc.uoi.gr
>>> http://users.uoi.gr/kplakits
>>> http://users.uoi.gr/5conns
>>> http://erasmus-ip.uoi.gr
>>> http://www.edife.gr/school/5oschool.html
>>> --------------------------------------------------
>>> From: "Larry Purss" <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 8:43 PM
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Fwd: [COGDEVSOC] Call For Papers: Special Issue 
>>> on
>>> Mindreading, Review of Philosophy and Psychology
>>> Hi Martin
>>>> This topic of "mind-reading" vs  "non-mind reading" models of young 
>>>> infants CAPACITY for attending to and ENGAGING with other "minds" 
>>>> [persons] is a fascinating topic which has been discussed 
>>>> previously in CHAT conversations on this listserve.
>>>> I recently read V. Reddy's book which recommends a 2nd person 
>>>> societal interactional microgenetic model of non-mind reading. I 
>>>> have sympathy
> for
>>>> this particular perspective. However, I would like to read more 
>>>> widely
> on
>>>> this particular topic.
>>>> Do you or others on this listserve have any recommendations for 
>>>> further articles which  engage with the pros and cons of the 
>>>> various models in a spirit similar to the proposed intent of the 
>>>> special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology?
>>>> I'm curious about the various theories of young infants capacity 
>>>> for engaging with others within sociogenesis, ontogenesis, and
>>>> However, I'm also interested in how the various  models of "infants 
>>>> engaging with others" become transformed in the transition to 
>>>> TRANS-situational understandings  [the development of "higher" 
>>>> mental functions.]
>>>> Larry
>>>> On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:
>>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>>>>> From: Victoria Southgate <v.southgate@bbk.ac.uk>
>>>>>> Date: August 2, 2010 4:22:07 AM GMT-05:00
>>>>>> To: cogdevsoc@virginia.edu
>>>>>> Subject: [COGDEVSOC] Call For Papers: Special Issue on 
>>>>>> Mindreading,
>>>>> Review of Philosophy and Psychology
>>>>>> Social Cognition: Mindreading and Alternatives
>>>>>> Special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology
>>>>>> Guest Editors:
>>>>>> Daniel D Hutto, University of Hertfordshire
>>>>>> Mitchell Herschbach, University of California, San Diego
>>>>>> Victoria Southgate, University of London
>>>>>>           CALL FOR PAPERS
>>>>>>           Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2010
>>>>>> Human beings, even very young infants, exhibit remarkable 
>>>>>> capacities for
>>>>> attending to, and engaging with, other minds. A prevalent account 
>>>>> of
>> such
>>>>> abilities is that they involve ?theory of mind? or ?mindreading?: 
>>>>> the ability to represent mental states as mental states of 
>>>>> specific kinds (i.e., to have concepts of ?belief,? ?desire,? 
>>>>> etc.) and the contents of such mental states. A number of 
>>>>> philosophers and psychologists question the standard mindreading 
>>>>> and wider representationalist framework for characterizing and 
>>>>> explaining our everyday modes and methods of understanding other 
>>>>> people. One possibility is that infants may be exhibiting 
>>>>> sophisticated yet non-conceptual, and possibly 
>>>>> non-representational, mind tracking abilities that do not equate 
>>>>> to any sort of mindreading.
>>>>>> Proponents on both sides of this debate must adequately 
>>>>>> accommodate
>>>>> recent work in developmental psychology. Experiments involving a
> variety
>>>>> of
>>>>> nonverbal tasks ? e.g., the ?violation of expectation? paradigm 
>>>>> and anticipatory looking tasks, as well as nonverbal tasks 
>>>>> involving more active responses ?suggest that young infants can 
>>>>> understand others? goals, intentions, desires, 
>>>>> knowledge/ignorance, and beliefs. Perhaps most prominent are 
>>>>> studies suggesting infants as young as 13 months of age
>> are
>>>>> selectively responsive to the false beliefs of others, well before 
>>>>> they are able to reliably pass standard verbal false belief tasks 
>>>>> around 4 years of age.
>>>>>> This special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology 
>>>>>> aims to
>>>>> create a dialogue between the mindreading and non-mindreading
> approaches
>>>>> to
>>>>> basic social cognition. Contributors are asked to clarify their 
>>>>> theoretical commitments; explain how their accounts compare with 
>>>>> rivals; and how
>> they
>>>>> propose to handle the emerging empirical data, particularly that 
>>>>> from human developmental psychology. Themes and questions to be 
>>>>> addressed include but are not limited to:
>>>>>> -       Infants as young as 13 months old display a systematic
>>>>> sensitivity to the beliefs of others. Does it follow that they 
>>>>> must be operating with a concept of belief, or indeed, any concepts at
>>>>>> -       Normally developing children become able to attribute false
>>>>> beliefs to others between the ages of 3 and 5. Does it follow that 
>>>>> they must be operating with a ?theory of mind? or the equivalent?
>>>>>> -       What does mental attribution minimally involve? What exactly
>>>>> distinguishes mindreading from non-mindreading approaches to early
>> social
>>>>> cognition? Are there theoretical reasons to prefer one over the other?
>>>>>> -       What exact roles are mental representations thought to play
>>>>> mindreading approaches? What kind of mental representations might 
>>>>> be involved? Can a principled dividing line be drawn between 
>>>>> representational and non-representational approaches?
>>>>>> -       How precisely should we understand the explicit/implicit
>>>>> distinction as invoked by certain theorists?
>>>>>> Invited contributors
>>>>>> -       José Luis Bermúdez, Texas A&M University
>>>>>> -       Pierre Jacob, Institut Jean Nicod
>>>>>> -       Andrew Meltzoff, University of Washington
>>>>>> Important dates
>>>>>> -       Submission deadline: 1 December 2010
>>>>>> -       Target publication date: July 2011
>>>>>> How to submit
>>>>>> Prospective authors should register at:
>>>>> https://www.editorialmanager.com/ropp to obtain a login and select 
>>>>> ?Social
>>>>> Cognition: Mindreading and Alternatives? as an article type to 
>>>>> submit a manuscript. Manuscripts should be no longer than 8,000 words.
>> Submissions
>>>>> should follow the author guidelines available on the journal's
>>>>> http://www.springer.com/13164  Any questions? Please email the 
>>>>> guest
>>>>> editors: d.d.hutto@herts.ac.uk, mherschb@ucsd.edu,
> v.southgate@bbk.ac.uk
>>>>>> About the journal
>>>>>> The Review of Philosophy and Psychology (ISSN: 1878-5158; eISSN:
>>>>> 1878-5166) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by 
>>>>> Springer
>> and
>>>>> focusing on philosophical and foundational issues in cognitive
>>>>> The
>>>>> aim of the journal is to provide a forum for discussion on topics 
>>>>> of mutual interest to philosophers and psychologists and to foster 
>>>>> interdisciplinary research at the crossroads of philosophy and the 
>>>>> sciences of the mind, including the neural, behavioural and social 
>>>>> sciences.
>>>>>>  The journal publishes theoretical works grounded in empirical
>> research
>>>>> as well as empirical articles on issues of philosophical 
>>>>> relevance. It includes thematic issues featuring invited 
>>>>> contributions from leading authors together with articles answering a
call for paper.
>>>>>> Editorial board
>>>>>> Editor-in-Chief: Dario Taraborelli, Surrey. Executive Editors: 
>>>>>> Roberto
>>>>> Casati, CNRS; Paul Egré, CNRS, Christophe Heintz, CEU.
>>>>>> Scientific advisors: Clark Barrett, UCLA; Cristina Bicchieri, 
>>>>>> Penn;
>> Ned
>>>>> Block, NYU; Paul Bloom, Yale; John Campbell, Berkeley; Richard 
>>>>> Breheny, UCL; Susan Carey, Harvard; David Chalmers, ANU; Martin 
>>>>> Davies, ANU; Vittorio Girotto, IUAV; Alvin Goldman, Rutgers; 
>>>>> Daniel Hutto, Hertfordshire; Ray Jackendoff, Tufts; Marc 
>>>>> Jeannerod, CNRS; Alan Leslie, Rutgers; Diego Marconi, Turin; Kevin 
>>>>> Mulligan, Geneva; Alva Noë, Berkeley; Christopher Peacocke, 
>>>>> Columbia; John Perry, Stanford; Daniel Povinelli, 
>>>>> Louisiana-Lafayette; Jesse Prinz, CUNY; Zenon Pylyshyn, Rutgers; 
>>>>> Brian Scholl, Yale; Natalie Sebanz, Nijmegen; Corrado Sinigaglia, 
>>>>> Milan;
> Barry
>>>>> C.
>>>>> Smith, Birkbeck; Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard; Achille Varzi, 
>>>>> Columbia; Timothy Williamson, Oxford; Deirdre Wilson, UCL
>>>>>> Dr. Victoria Southgate
>>>>>> Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellow Centre for 
>>>>>> Brain and Cognitive Development Henry Wellcome Building Birkbeck, 
>>>>>> University of London Malet Street London, WC1E 7HX.
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> xmca mailing list
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*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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