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Re: [xmca] Any work on the development of egoism in the child(ren)

Thanks Andy, I share completely your point of view as regards the material
basis of individualism.

My initial question was just aiming a simple query if egoism could be an
interesting theme to study from a Vygotskian perspective.

I think that this kind of characteristics are very social. In October, I was
in Cuba, within a children theater, called "Little Beehive".

According to a principle of José Marti, children in this company, come
together every week and they share their experience how they make a good
action towards other people in the society. To make a good action towards
peers or elderly people. But not superficially because José Marti also says
that this good action should be quite voluntary, should come from within the
child not imposed on him/her from without.

I know these children since  several years. And I understood how they
are brought up as good human beings. I do not aim any idealization of Cuba
and her children but the children in this company are apparently formed as
good human beings.

And I also know that in Cuban society egoism is a human characteristic which
is very much fought.

Thus, my question was aiming to the study of the educational, psychological
and other processes in which children grow up as egoistic persons...


2010/11/14 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>

> Ulvi, I take egoism as individualism in ethics, sometimes called
> narcissism, yes? Surely it is widely agreed that the roots of individualism
> lie in bourgeois society (i.e., the economic activity of capitalist society
> outside both state and family). Even Hegel referred to the "business class"
> (both employees and employers) as "the individual class" before Marx went
> further into the institutional roots of individualism. The current state of
> bourgeois society in countries where the population is saturated with
> advertising and a constant stream of propaganda telling people "you deserve
> it" etc., etc., etc., together with political systems based on individual
> voting in large geographical electorates and individualised consumption of
> still more or less centralised means of communicaiton, build on the
> foundation of commodity exchange and the fragmentation of all forms of
> collaboration.
> Andy
> ulvi icil wrote:
>> Mike, David:
>> Sorry for not being clear. I did not mean egocentrism of the child nor
>> his/her egocentric speech.
>> What I meant was the defective characteristic that some human beings gain
>> in
>> the process of being adults: Egoism. And I meant the process of how the
>> chilld, on his/her lifetime, becomes an egoistic adult, I mean the
>> thinking,
>> speech, language of the human society which carries egoism into the child
>> and in this sense the process how the child internalizes egoism from
>> his/her
>> social relations etc.
>> Ulvi
>> 2010/11/13 David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
>>> Ulvi:
>>> I think Vygotsky doesn't accept Piaget's idea that children are
>>> egocentric
>>> in their thinking, and if you read how he uses "egocentric speech" you
>>> will
>>> see that he guts it of all of its "egocentric" comment; he simply means
>>> speech that is meant for the child's own ears rather than those of
>>> someone
>>> else. So Vygotsky essentially rejects the whole idea of child egotism and
>>> even child egocentrism.
>>> Even Piaget eventually decided that the word "ego" was misplaced. In his
>>> later work he describes the child's thinking as "non-decentrated" or
>>> "centrated". What he means is that the child lives in a kind of
>>> pre-Copernican universe (although of course our idea that there is only
>>> one
>>> universe may also be a vestige of centration!).
>>> Vygotsky uses the term "egocentric speech" the way that a thieving magpie
>>> uses a stolen spoon to build a nest. It doesn't really fit his
>>> construction
>>> very well, because Vygotsky thinks that the child really HAS no ego until
>>> quite late.
>>> Functionally, the child begins to act like an ego from the moment (the
>>> Crisis at Age Three, according to Vygotsky's Collected Works Volume Five)
>>> that the child seizes that great and powerful word "No!" from his
>>> environment. But as Vygotsky points out, the child often uses this word
>>> even
>>> when the child wants to say yes.
>>> I remember promising my little neice-lette at five that I would take her
>>> to
>>> Seoul-Land if she finished copying seven Chinese characters. She dawdled
>>> a
>>> long time, but finally did it. So I asked her if she still wanted to go,
>>> and
>>> she said "No!" although she visibly did want to go, and she cried when we
>>> didn't.
>>> So we can say that at this stage the child has an ego "for others" but
>>> not
>>> for herself; it is a purely reactive, interactional, functional ego and
>>> not
>>> a conscious, volitional, controllable one. (We certainly CANNOT say that
>>> the
>>> child has difficulty in detaching her own point of view from that of
>>> others;
>>> she is very conscious that "No!" suggests a fundamental difference in
>>> stance
>>> from those in her circumstance.)
>>> We can't really say that she has an ego for herself, because she is not
>>> able to control her will and her ego. She is able to differentiate an "I"
>>> from what Vygotsky calls "Ur-wir" (The proto-We, or as I like to think of
>>> it, the "Royal We").
>>> But she does this only in action and reaction, and not in thought and
>>> reflection. It's easier done than said, one of those things that is all
>>> very
>>> well in practice, but it doesn't quite work out in theory.
>>> When does "I" become "ego", that is, when do children seize conscious
>>> awareness of the separateness of "I" from "we"?  It seems to me this must
>>> happen about the time that children develop invisible friends,
>>> hero-worship,
>>> and become highly interested in role-playing games. Which strikes me as
>>> non-coincidental.
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Seoul National University of Education
>>> --- On Fri, 11/12/10, ulvi icil <ulvi.icil@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> From: ulvi icil <ulvi.icil@gmail.com>
>>> Subject: [xmca] Any work on the development of egoism in the child(ren)
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>> Date: Friday, November 12, 2010, 3:03 AM
>>> Dear all,
>>> Did anybody meet any work on the development of egoism in the child(ren)?
>>> (
>>> Surely, from the Vygotskian perspective)
>>> Thanks
>>> Ulvi
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