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[xmca] Lived-through experience? Mind reading or non-mind reading
This is an expansion of the conversation on the themes of abduction,
imagination, pretense and playworlds. However it brings in another
perspective so thought it better to start a new thread. Mike suggested
going back and reading some earlier MCA articles on playworlds and I found
an article from 2005.
S. Baumer et al in MCA 2005 (p. 576-590) wrote an article about playworlds
and its potential to develop narrative competence. A key construct they
discussed was "lived-through experience" which Hakkarainen coined as a
descriptive translation of perezhivanie. "Lived-through experience" refers
to the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of another person's mental state.
I want to reflect on what is implied in the term "direct" experience as a
reflection of "mind-reading" [cognitive] or "non-mind reading" experience.
In the Baumer et al article one specific situation with a child named Jeremy
[who was participating in a Kindergarten/grade 1 playworld] is elaborated.
The playworld was based on C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" narrative. Jeremy's
experience highlights the notion of "lived-through experience". The teacher
was preparing to enact a part in the playworld as the white witch. As the
teacher was dressing up and putting on the costume, Jeremy was transfixed
and was perceptually and sensorimotorly transformed. As the teacher pulled
on the white skirt Jeremy's hands moved in imitation of the teacher's hand
movements. Next, the teacher put on white gloves and as he put on the right
glove, Jeremy put up his left hand and spread his fingers. Jeremy then
reached out with both hands as the teacher reached down to pick up a fur
coat. Next, Jeremy moved his hands AS IF buttoning coat buttons as his
teacher buttoned the coat.
As Jeremy FELT what it was like TO BE the white witch himself, moving in
synchrony with the teacher he was having a LIVED-THROUGH experience. Now the
question that is central in this procedural process is if this is
"mind-reading" or "non-mind reading"??? I believe the type of experience
that Jeremy lived-through is far more common in regulating and organizing of
experience than is often recognized. I also don't believe this phenomena
requires a "mind-reading" theory to explain the procedural process. The
neo-Meadian emphasis on ACTUAL SOCIAL ACTS and the interchangeability of
social positions offers a non-mind reading account of this lived-through
How theories account for Jeremy's actual interactivity [sensorimotor,
perceptual, and symbolic as simultaneous assembly] as Jeremy experiences
lived-through SHARED phenomena [within particular microgenetic developmental
moments] I believe is fundamental for understanding development. I'm
suggesting that "imitation as infering other minds" as an explanation of
these lived-through experiences may not be the "ground" of development. From
a neo-Meadian perspective there are precursors to "imitation" as mind
reading. Those precursors are actual turn taking from the first moments of
infant development. After multiple experiences of recognition and responding
[in turn taking], the person slowly develops the capacity to distanciate and
reflect on lived-through experience and slowly acquires the capacity to
coordinate these shared activities.
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