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Re: [xmca] Redundancy in "Tool and Sign"
Dear Mike and Everyone,
Thank-you for smuggling.
I for one have found* Mind in Society* to be extremely helpful,
especially in writing a primer on Vygotsky's theories of education .
But then again, the only Russian I know is "nyet" , yet that doesn't stop me
from reading and enjoying Tolstoy. Nevertheless I am sure there are nuances
of language that are glaringly absent in English translations, but
masterful ideas still come through as do the revolutionary ideas of LSV.
At least they do in seminal or (maybe ovulational requiring incubation) form
and for that I am one grateful phylo/ onto / microgenerian.
2011/7/9 mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> You guys should have seen the typography shop at Moscow State in the early
> 1960's -- like Singer sewing machines from the 1920's. Paper? You have got
> be joking!
> Anton-- The story I heard, from those who should know, is that Peter
> Tulviste and
> Nick Goldberg were involved in the production of that English version I
> What they were given I do not know. That THEY did a lot of messing with the
> text is doubtful, although mistranslations could, of course, abound.
> SomeoneS else must have.... people who kept track of it during the
> evacuation in 1941, others who got it into the hands of those who gave it
> If the authorities at the airport had found those papers in my luggage I
> would have been one very unhappy camper, and so would those who broke
> law to "get it out." I had no idea in the world that "it" would get very
> out and like a lighted match on a pool of gasoline, cause a boom. I thought
> no one would bother to read it.
> I would like to think that the boom did not kill anyone.
> It will be more fascinating lifetimes of work to figure out what "it" is.
> Good luck hunting!
> On Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 1:11 AM, David Kellogg <email@example.com
> > The version of "Tool and Sign" that is printed in the Vygotsky Reader
> > der Veer and Valsiner, 1994; can be downloaded for free from Andy's
> > site on MIA) has eliminated many MANY pages of redundancy in the interest
> > readability.
> > At first I thought this was a good idea. But the other day it occurred to
> > me that this was exactly the reason given by Hanfmann and Vakar for
> > eliminating nearly HALF of Thinking and Speech when it was translated
> > English.
> > Anton has pointed out that compilations like "Mind in Society" performed
> > extremely important function: without "Mind in Society", I would not be
> > reading "Tool and Sign" today.
> > But Anton ALSO pointed out that this function really lies in our past
> > Vygotsky is here, and he's not going to disappear, at least not as a
> > The real danger now is that the Vygotsky everybody is reading will bear
> > resemblance to the Vygotsky that Vygotsky wrote.
> > Anton even pointed out what we need to do about it: produce an edition of
> > Vygotsky's work that is authoritative and annotated, like the sort of
> > done by the Freud Society and the Jean Piaget society.
> > That means going back to see if the redundancies are really redundancies.
> > And the answer is YES and NO.
> > Here's an example:
> > Chapter Two: Такие функции, как произвольное внимание, логическая память,
> > высшие формы всприятия и движения, которые до сих пор изучались в
> > как отдельные психологические факты, теперь в свете наших экспериментов
> > выступают по существу как явления одного порядка .
> > Chapter Three: Такие функции, как произвольное внимание, логическая
> > высшие формы восприятия и движения, которые до сих пор рассматривались
> > изолированно, как частные психологические факты, выступают в свете наших
> > экспериментов в качестве явлений одного психологического порядка,
> > In other words (roughly):
> > Chapter Two: Functions such as arbitrary attention, logical memory,
> > forms of sensation and motion which until now were studied in isolation
> > separate psychological facts, now in light of our experiments emerge as
> > actually phenomena of one and the same order.
> > Chapter Three: Functions such as arbitrary attention, logical memory,
> > higher forms of perception and movement are still considered in
> > as isolated psychological facts appear in the light of our experiments,
> > the phenomena of one psychological order,
> > This is just an example! Actually, there are several pages of this, where
> > Vygotsky and Luria simply uptake what they said at the end of the
> > chapter. You can see that the idea is repeated--but not word for word.
> > It's not just "Tool and Sign" either. There is a moment in the middle of
> > Chapter Six in Thinking and Speech when Vygotsky appears to begin the
> > book all over again from the very beginning (6-2-28).
> > So what's going on? I think what is happening is that Vygotsky has a
> > PHENOMENAL but memory for words. He carries around GREAT chunks of almost
> > completed text in his head, and uses them in lectures, internal seminars,
> > discussions, and also on paper. When he sits down to write, the argument
> > comes out almost, but not quite, word for word. And then he forgets what
> > said and says it again, SLIGHTLY differently.
> > What is to be done? I guess what we are going to do (in the Korean
> > of this book) is to go ahead and print the redundancies, but set them off
> > a different font so that the reader can skip them if he or she so
> > following the principle that in an authoritative addition all of the
> > to a historical text have to be reversible by the reader so that the
> > original authorial text is recoverable by the reader.
> > And then annotate it! That's really the fun part. Here's what I really
> > think Vygotsky's getting at in this passage. Imagine looking at an actual
> > scene (say, a night-time view from your balcony).The ability to
> > the distant background from the proximal foreground is a natural
> function. A
> > small child or even an animal could probably do the same thing in much
> > same way.
> > Now imagine looking at van Gogh's "Starry Night". The ability to
> > distinguish the distant background from the proximal foreground is no
> > given; it must be learned. We know, for example (from experiments that I
> > have done here in Korea) that small children can find it difficult to
> > distinguish the reflection of the lights in the water from the lights on
> > horizon, and the lights on the horizon from the stars in the Big Dipper.
> > animal would certainly not treat this as a real scene or even a picture
> of a
> > scene.
> > Finally, imagine reading a text (e.g. F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby,
> > where the hero has to pick out a light on his one-time lover's dock
> > the night-time stars). When we read a text we are easily able to discern
> > main characters from the minor ones (we can pick out Gatsby and Daisy
> from a
> > host of lesser characters, such as Wolfsheim, Dan Cody and even Nick
> > Carraway, the narrator, who is not actually a central character). But a
> > child could never do this, even if the child could read (nor could an
> > if we showed the animal a movie). The child would assume that the
> > is a main character, because being able to tell the figure from the
> > is a skill that is fundamentally transformed when it is structured in
> > Vygotsky thinks that these are NOT co-existing and qualitatively
> > functions (which is what Thorndike thinks). Nor are they one and the SAME
> > skill (which is what the Gestaltists think). Instead, the thinks that
> > are different moments in the cultural formation (note: formation, and not
> > evolution) of the child's personality out of words.
> > We can see that this has DIRECT relevance for the argument that Vygotsky
> > going to make years later in defense of GENERAL, LIBERAL education
> > (Herbart), where one GENERAL skill such as grammar, mathematics, and
> > language learning can have a radical effect on many others . (See
> > and Speech, 6-3-23~27). No wonder Vygotsky likes to repeat himself--there
> > an AWFUL lot there to assimlate, and none of us are going to get it the
> > first time.
> > Vygotsky liked to say, "In the beginning was the deed. But that was just
> > the beginning, you know!" For me, in the beginning, there was "Mind in
> > Society" (where you can actually still find this bit of text if you look
> > hard enough). But that was just the beginning.
> > David Kellogg
> > Seoul National Univesity of Educaiton
> > __________________________________________
> > _____
> > xmca mailing list
> > firstname.lastname@example.org
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> xmca mailing list
*Robert Lake Ed.D.
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
P. O. Box 8144
Phone: (912) 478-5125
Fax: (912) 478-5382
Statesboro, GA 30460
*Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
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