[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [xmca] RE: CHAT/SCT - A voice from the past
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: Re: [xmca] RE: CHAT/SCT - A voice from the past
- From: mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 20:18:03 -0800
- Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dkim-signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=gmail.com; s=gamma; h=domainkey-signature:mime-version:received:received:reply-to :in-reply-to:references:date:message-id:subject:from:to:cc :content-type; bh=rqqVb8/h0b/wisM41xnlsr1COVMp/iUj8ogMEU+82tY=; b=ggQ8vG8uxr1nPXTYMRkAyzjqB/EdMl7tC6unBZswfEe6IpaIna6um/m9BI3veB3Qxe tG6kR4W/msT2tSAMy5cKDTOCPxJ/DqK/kuyz9u6dJoaEAXHup+EO0oz0MMJcmtuz1tEC Wfus34A3trNDpiJG0Ue9YKxPJ0Qgtdk0S9mLo=
- Domainkey-signature: a=rsa-sha1; c=nofws; d=gmail.com; s=gamma; h=mime-version:reply-to:in-reply-to:references:date:message-id :subject:from:to:cc:content-type; b=vi4p7MJ0QqqXEmshs0b5YG4e/TbKMKHIAbpe9Z0kQALxAW7kKt/VXwmIHRqJ3yYKhO 75jDjvXvPVrXemjhNyihsmisLEsrR2a0PBrOhq5IF5Bcy87Euig1+qYwbEyRs0VVLiid P9b5yUyEzVULhGhSTV1jXmiXc23HQXItz/pZ8=
- In-reply-to: <AANLkTimEv2R3JtX2+OR_knsovash3qhmH5kTxnCsafhx@mail.gmail.com>
- List-archive: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/xmca>
- List-help: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=help>
- List-id: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca.weber.ucsd.edu>
- List-post: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
- List-subscribe: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>, <mailto:email@example.com?subject=subscribe>
- List-unsubscribe: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=unsubscribe>
- References: <AANLkTin98iu1FuTZAQh-6gZF4kv_ONzC_sPDF6_GuBMb@mail.gmail.com> <email@example.com> <F786EC8F-7FDB-4E58-B1F3-1D6CC41A31C2@uniandes.edu.co> <AANLkTikyBe0jP9vGiZSGRL+StnYj9dM6FXT80FLnUCfirstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <AANLkTimEv2R3JtX2+OR_knsovash3qhmH5kTxnCsafhx@mail.gmail.com>
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS TEXT IS NOT WRITTEN IN READ.
2010/11/27 mike cole <email@example.com>
> My greenish text below your bluish text, Eugene. One of us may have eaten
> too much turkey!
> Amazingly we are closing the gap! Things got so bad that I thought you
> were talking about DIFFERENCES in that list of characteristics. I will try
> to respond to more local polylog in the red text below. (I will bracket with
> * * in case red does not come through). But we might return to that list
> and see if it helps us to clearer understanding.
> 2010/11/27 Eugene Matusov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Dear Mike and everybody?
>> Thanks, Mike, for your VERY helpful and interesting replies. It looked
>> like I was more committed to my turkey than you to yours! Hahahaha. So, let
>> me to reply now, two days after long and multiple eating… J
>> See my bluish text below, please.
>> *From:* mike cole [mailto:email@example.com]
>> *Sent:* Thursday, November 25, 2010 5:56 PM
>> *To:* eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> *Cc:* ematusov@UDel.Edu
>> *Subject:* Re: [xmca] RE: CHAT/SCT - A voice from the past
>> The family was delayed, the turkey is in the oven and in my text below in
>> response to Eugene I have tried to supply plenty of questions. My guess in
>> response to Jorge is yes, there are more differences. One way to externalize
>> them for examination would be to compare them both with Dewey. I keep hoping
>> for one of those easy to remember lists about all the ways in which they are
>> the same and different!
>> I have placed each of my replies/questions between lines marking it off
>> from Eugene's note.
>> (Eugene starts)
>> 1) You seem to suggest that the differences between CHAT and SCT as
>> have emerged in the "West" (i.e., outside of former Soviet Union) have
>> historically rooted in the Soviet debates. Am I right in understanding of
>> your point? If so, I'm not sure that it is true or fully true. I want to
>> hear more from you about your reasoning connecting these two debates.
>> I was speaking at a conference of people for whom it was true of most
>> participants (I would say the Editors and all of the plenary speakers) that
>> tensions around USSR-derived discourse was a central organizing issue. This
>> included, of course, discord among non-Russians connected with their
>> relationship to different lines of Soviet thought, from NATO or
>> Soviet-dominated positions.
>> Two important early points of general difference among attendees I know
>> were related to Marxist ideas of history as progress and the relative
>> marginalization of voices from the southern hemisphere. Issues of cultural
>> domination and diversity in two guises.
>> It is also the most interesting issues *for me *(but not necessarily for
>> others). But *I* would also add issues of situated cognition and
> * Yes, I would add those too, but I would do so as the way to open up the
> discussion of divesity, "voices" etc.*
>> There are other issues, but those two stand out. Both remain relevant to
>> this day.
>> What is your sense of the relations of events within Soviet social
>> sciences/humanities to the development of ideas at the time of that
>> Do you mean the 1992 Sociocultural conference in Madrid? I do not remember
>> debates there, sorry….*Yes all the above remarks were prepared for the
>> Madrid conf.
>> 2) I think in your original message, you were alluding that, at
>> in part the disagreements among the Soviet scholars were caused by their
>> political squabbles within the "Stalinist science" (the term that was
>> by Krementsov, I think) or in the "post-Stalinist science". In any case,
>> what makes you think that way? Also, do you think that there was any
>> "substance" in these debates or not? For example, you wrote, "At the same
>> time, they criticized Leont'ev for placing too much emphasis on activity
>> external conditions, likening him to a behaviorist
>> (Abulkhanova-Slavskaya,1980)." It can be a fluke, but I have noticed that
>> some former behaviorists
>> became Vygotskians. Mike, can you, yourself, be an example of this
>> Three questions there. Hmmm. I need some clarification this time. What do
>> you mea*n by “in any case”?
>> Sorry for the confusion. By “in any case”, I meant in either it was
>> “Stalinist science” or “post-Stalinist science” (my tentative term). In my
>> view, both you and I know Soviet science, as participants and observants, in
>> its “post-Stalinist” time. In my view, and I wonder if some Russian
>> historians of science disagree, it is useful to divide Soviet science to
>> pre-Stalinist, Stalinist, and post-Stalinist. Recently I had a discussion
>> with one interesting Russian educationalist who claims that even now the
>> educationalist social science in Russia must be characterized as Stalinist.
> * Perhaps such a designation is helpful for some purposes. I believe
> Russian education was pretty authoritarian before Stalin came along. But
> that level of concentrated top-down control via terror could not help but
> spawn cultural adaptations. Sort of like the question of stages in another
> related thread.
> What do you refer to when you write “in your original message” ? snippet
>> from the article or the context setting message?
>> The article.
>> I believe there were political/religious-ideological/careerist/and
>> regional contributions to disputes in Soviet psychology that often displayed
>> themselves and their alignments.
>> So, you deny the scientific substance in these debates, don’t you? I
>> respectfully disagree with you. From the fact that it can be seen
>> ontological basis (that you mentioned) for scientific debates, it does not
>> mean that these debates do not have scientific substance.
> *No. Re-read what I wrote. Its important. I said that such disputes
> contributed to the disputes in psychology. As an editor of a lot of
> psychological writing at the time, many times I simply could not figure out
> if an argument (Luria-Vygotsky vs Ivanov-Smolenski) was based on substantive
> arguments or not. Moscow/Leningrad, Jew/Russian, Leontiev/Rubenshtein (and
> was that a mask for one of the other categories?) and more such conflictual
> "nodes" were constantly in operation. I did not/do not understand the fine
> points off their arguments well enough to decide.
> I have never been able to understand that complex of relationships except
>> in simplified terms. The “signocentricism” vs “behaviorist” mud slinging
>> behaviors (or were those pies?) have some substance to them. And they have
>> some blood curdling terror to them.
>> From my perspective, it is unhelpful parody to depict Vygotsky as not
>> concerned with the world “beyond” or “behind” the sign although it is fair
>> to say he did not investigate this relationship in great detail. It is
>> equally unhelpful to parody Leontiev as a behaviorist.
>> This can be a cultural misunderstanding as well (as a possibility). Often,
>> Russian way of talking is dramatic based on extreme contrasts and is usually
>> not concerned about its focus on accuracy and nuances that are so important
>> in the mainstream Anglo way of expression. For example, among Russian
>> scholars, I may say that “Leontiev was a behaviorist!” and my interlocutor
>> may understand well what I mean. And I mean that Leontiev was a reductionist
>> because of his reductionism of all complexity and diversity of human life to
>> activity. Since behaviorists were extreme “vulgar materialists”, by
>> comparing Leontiev with behaviorists, I’d emphasize this tendency in him.
>> Again, in Russian this trope is culturally legitimate to do as a good claim
>> and argument but it sounds at odd in English translation. As famous Russian
>> poet Tyutchev wrote, “Expressed thought is a lie” (“Мысль изреченная есть
>> ложь”), so truth cannot be found in words (and the authors’ attempts to
>> be accurate and nuanced) but beyond the words, in authors’ intentions.
>> *Yes, I understand this tendency. It is not restricted to Russians. But I
> do not interpret Leontiev as you do. I do not understand Activity as
> Leontiev did either. At least I cannot tell myself a consistent story I
> believe. I came to Leontiev late and incompletely -- the activity discussion
> had not come to dominate MGU professional discourse until after my post-doc
> there. I mis-represented him somewhat in the 1990's because I was so taken
> by his statement about activity "at the weaver's loom" and so on. I did not
> key on the example as a manifestation of an explanatory category but a way
> to get "activities" , e.g., situatedness and context into Vygotsky
> diachronic theory. Pragmatists Anthropologists, not Marxist philosophical
> anthropology led me to (mis?)appropriate activity as related to Vygotskian
> To make matters worse, I do not believe he was a reductionist as you
> categorize him-- that is what i took the "behaviorist" smackdown to be,
> coming from a student of Rubenshtein in a political atmosphere that linked
> behaviorism to American Imperialism, cosmopolitanism, and all sorts of other
> potentially dangerous connections. At that time, when people played with
> labels, it was serious. (I referred to a man I respected as "eclectic" in
> print and scared him witless, quite unintentionally).
>> I do not understand what you are by pointing out when you talk
>> about me starting as a behaviorist and ending with using Vygotsky to think
>> with. You think that has some bearing on Leontiev/Vygotsky relationships? Or
>> are you making a general point that SCT is structuralist, clean of all taint
>> of functionalism and CHAT vice versa? That does not seem possible. What did
>> you mean?
>> Oh, no! I was referring to factual, not judgmental, point. As far as I
>> remember (and my “mature memory” can betray me!), several years ago at AERA
>> you presented the history of your professional development and you seemed to
>> say that you started as a behaviorist by training before going to the Soviet
>> Union where you worked with and studied from Alexander Romanovich Luria. Am
>> I right? If not, I am very sorry. Another important Vygotskian scholar with
>> behaviorist training is Roland Tharp (I hope my “mature memory” does not
>> fail me in this case either!)…. Sure, that's true, but I was having
>> trouble understanding what it was relevant to. Still unsure.
>> If my observation is correct, it can suggest some interesting affinity
>> between behaviorism and Vygotskian family of approaches (e.g., both are
>> functional approaches).
>> Whereas …..?? (what is the contrast?)
>> I already wrote about similarities in my reply to Jorge. Of course, there
>> are huge areas of the contrast! I do not mean to say that Vygotskian family
>> of approaches is behaviorist, not at all. But I do see some affinity among
>> them and common oppositions to structuralism, mentalism, and so on.
> Lets go back and start over with this one because I completely upended the
> intended interpretation, which Jorge caught.
>> 3) I have noticed, and I can be wrong, that you want to diminish
>> differences in Vygotskian family of approaches rather than explore
>> differences and differentiations among them. For me, even this posting
>> along with this tendency. Am I right about that? If so, can you elaborate
>> that? Basically, I want to ask you if you PREFER that there are no
>> differences rather than you do simply do not see any differences but would
>> be EQUALLY HAPPY if the differences really exist.
>> Here the premise is wrong so there is no point in answering the rest. I
>> specifically DO want to explore possible differences and differentiations
>> between them. That is what this discussion is all about!! What are those
>> differentiations? (we are talking here of the P&L article focused on L2 but
>> the point is general). What is the significance of differences? Are there
>> any empirical consequences for the presumed differences? If so, how can
>> people productively understand themselves better by better understanding the
>> other? Or, would you prefer to disown the fictive family and join with those
>> for whom culture is no more than the glove that fits on the hand?
>> For me, difference in scientific approaches, especially paradigmatic
>> differences, are not only empirical but also ontological. For example, many
>> debates in language art education between so called “whole language
>> approach” and “phonics” are not about empirical evidence and efficiency of a
>> particular language instruction, but about differences in cultural values
>> and definitions of literacy that are rooted in institutional and even
>> political differences.
>> What do you think?
> *I am only now slowly learning how to interpret the notion of ontologies in
> this discourse. I agree wholy that questions of differences in cultural
> values, definitions of literacy, rooted in (or at least related to)
> institutional and political differences are mixed up in these discussions.
> This issue requires a special discussion and I have answered at too great
>> On Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM, Jorge Fernando Larreamendy Joerns <
>> firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Do you see any other similarities between Vygotskian approaches and
>> behaviorist ones besides being functionalists? I wonder.
>> Jorge Larreamendy-Joerns, Ph.D.
>> Profesor Asociado y Director
>> Departamento de Psicología
>> Universidad de los Andes
>> On Nov 25, 2010, at 2:38 PM, Eugene Matusov wrote:
>> > Dear Mike and everybody-
>> > Here is my two cents on this interesting topic besides minor correction
>> > the Sociocultural conference in Madrid was I think in 1992, not in 1994
>> > think):
>> > 1) You seem suggest that the differences between CHAT and SCT as
>> > have emerged in the "West" (i.e., outside of former Soviet Union) have
>> > historically rooted in the Soviet debates. Am I right in understanding
>> > your point? If so, I'm not sure that it is true or fully true. I want to
>> > hear more from you about your reasoning connecting these two debates.
>> > 2) I think in your original message, you were alluding that, at
>> > in part the disagreements among the Soviet scholars were caused by their
>> > political squabbles within the "Stalinist science" (the term that was
>> > by Krementsov, I think) or in the "post-Stalinist science". In any case,
>> > what makes you think that way? Also, do you think that there was any
>> > "substance" in these debates or not? For example, you wrote, "At the
>> > time, they criticized Leont'ev for placing too much emphasis on activity
>> > external conditions, likening him to a behaviorist
>> > 1980)." It can be a fluke, but I have noticed that some former
>> > became Vygotskians. Mike, can you, yourself, be an example of this
>> > If my observation is correct, it can suggest some interesting affinity
>> > between behaviorism and Vygotskian family of approaches (e.g., both are
>> > functional approaches).
>> > 3) I have noticed, and I can be wrong, that you want to diminish
>> > differences in Vygotskian family of approaches rather than explore
>> > differences and differentiations among them. For me, even this posting
>> > along with this tendency. Am I right about that? If so, can you
>> elaborate on
>> > that? Basically, I want to ask you if you PREFER that there are no
>> > differences rather than you do simply do not see any differences but
>> > be EQUALLY HAPPY if the differences really exist.
>> > What do you think?
>> > Eugene
>> > ---------------------
>> > Eugene Matusov, Ph.D.
>> > Professor of Education
>> > School of Education
>> > University of Delaware
>> > 16 W Main st.
>> > Newark, DE 19716, USA
>> > email: email@example.com
>> > fax: 1-(302)-831-4110
>> > website: http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu <http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu/>
>> > publications: http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu/vita/publications.htm
>> > Dialogic Pedagogy Forum: http://diaped.soe.udel.edu
>> > <http://diaped.soe.udel.edu/>
>> > <
>> > Description: Journey into dialogic pedagogy Matusov, E. (2009). Journey
>> > dialogic pedagogy
>> > <
>> > Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
>> > ---------------------
>> > From: mike cole [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>> > Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 2:37 PM
>> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
>> > Cc: Luis Moll; Eugene Matusov
>> > Subject: CHAT/SCT - A voice from the past
>> > I know some people who care a lot to distinguish CHAT and SCT. I wonder
>> > there is any consensus on what the critical differences
>> > are between them. Here is what I wrote at the Sociocultural Conference
>> > Madrid about 1994 where Jim Wertsch, who edited the 1981
>> > book on Soviet activity theory, as a major player and lead editor on
>> > subsequent volume - socicultural theories of mind.
>> > More than 15 years have passed since this was written. I may have been
>> > wrong then and making the same argument now
>> > may seem really mistaken. You will see traces of this same discussion in
>> > various messages being posted around the P&L article.
>> > How should I proceed to find out?? Where are all the L2 people here to
>> > us out here? Other than publishers in applied linguistics preferring
>> > what's in those names that makes people get irritated with each other?
>> > are the bad people? What are the
>> > special virtues of the good people?
>> > mike
>> > ------------------------------
>> > For the past several years I have been striving, with rather limited
>> > success, to understand the intellectual issues that divide the
>> > and activity theory approaches, as well as the division between activity
>> > theorists who follow Leont'ev and those who follow Rubinshtein. This
>> task is
>> > complicated because, insofar as I can understand, contemporary followers
>> > Leont'ev continue to adhere to the major principles articulated by
>> > Luria, and Leont'ev in the 1920s and early 1930s, arguing in effect that
>> > Vygotsky was an activity theorist, although he focused less on issues of
>> > object-oriented nature of activity than on processes of mediation in his
>> > work (Engestrorn, 1987; Hyden, 1984). Followers ofRubinshtein, on the
>> > hand, deny that Vygotsky was an activity theorist and tax him with
>> > "signocentricisrn," which in the overheated debates of the last decade
>> > Soviet power seemed to
>> > be roughly equivalent to "idealist," a sin at that time (Brushlinsky,
>> > At the same time, they criticized Leont'ev for placing too much emphasis
>> > activity as external conditions, likening him to a behaviorist
>> > (Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, 1980).
>> > I do not want to minimize the possible scientific benefits to be derived
>> > from attempting to understand these disagreements more thoroughly,
>> > I am not certain how productive such attempts will
>> > be for non-Russian psychologists. From existing historiographical
>> > debates among Russian adherents of these various positions appear to
>> > been tightly bound up with the wrenching political
>> > upheavals that racked the Soviet Union repeatedly between 1917 and 1991
>> > which arc by no means over) (Van der Veer & Valsiner, 1991). What I am
>> > almost positive of, however, is that it would not be
>> > productive for adherents of the various positions to carry those battles
>> > into the international sphere except insofar as they have international
>> > intellectual merit.
>> > What most concerns me is that for whatever combination of reasons, there
>> > not yet been close cooperation on an international scale among
>> > who work under the banner of activity theory and those who use some
>> > of the concept of sociocultural psychology as
>> > their conceptual icon. At the first Activity Theory Congress in Berlin
>> > 1986, there was only one major address that took the work of Vygotsky
>> > Luria to be coequally relevant to the proceedings with that
>> > of Leont'ev, and individual talks that proceeded from a more or less
>> > Vygotskian perspective were relatively rare. At the second Activity
>> > Congress in 1990, there was a far richer mix of viewpoints, but many of
>> > people prominent in organizing the current meeting in Madrid were
>> > preoccupied with preparatory work for the current meeting and did not
>> > contribute.
>> > It would be most unfortunate if adherents of the various streams of
>> > psychological thinking whose history I have sketched were to continue
>> > work in isolation from each other. The common intellectual issues facing
>> > different streams of cultural-historical, sociocultural, activity based
>> > conceptions of human nature are too difficult to yield to piecemeal
>> > It is time for those who have come to questions about the
>> > socio-cultural-historical constitution of human nature to join in a
>> > cooperative search for their common past and to initiate cooperative
>> > to address the difficult intellectual issues and staggering national and
>> > international problems facing humanity in the post-Cold War era.
>> > __________________________________________
>> > _____
>> > xmca mailing list
>> > email@example.com
>> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>> xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list