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Re: [xmca] Spanning Traditions: ingold and vygotsky

Oh! and in the short term, stating the obvious, you should write him a personal letter explaining your concern with what Tim is missing out on.


mike cole wrote:
I want to take up the problem of spanning seemingly appropriate theoretical
orientations with a quotation
from Ingold. As I was creeping my way across his landscape, admiring
discussions of Gibson and Bateson and
Merleau-Ponty,  I came upon the following quotation that gave me a start. It
perhaps was presaged by the
comment on symbolic mediation that appeared in our discussion earlier.

Here it is:
On the other side are those, influenced more by Piaget’s Russian
contemporary, Lev Vygotsky,
who compare every child to a novice apprentice. Setting out with open minds,
are said to acquire their knowledge piecemeal, in loosely connected
fragments, through
participation in a social and cultural environment scaffolded by
knowledgeable adults such
as teachers, but also by artefacts such as the ubiquitous globes of school
classrooms. Since,
according to this latter approach, there is no initial conceptual barrier to
be overcome, and
given adequate scaffolding, children have little difficulty in acquiring a
‘scientific’ picture of
the earth.

Its VERY difficult for me to take this kind of characterization of
Vygotsky's ideas seriously, although
I can find good candidates for the those pushing loosely connected fragments
and scaffolding among those
who consider them LSV followers. It reads to me more like a drive by
reference taken second hand.

What interests me most here is that if someone as smart and well educated as
Ingold engages in such talk, what are we to do? Making serious bridges
across this kind of intellectual divide appears beyond us, collectively. If
some ONE has done it, they should speak up again. But barring that unforseen
contingency, what sort of collective activity using this medium
could be of use?

Maybe none. In any event, it all has to filter though those of us who wander

(Separately, I really like Engold's notion of organism-environment relation
as entanglement. Works just fine for
the james-inspired threads of rope metaphor i also find useful)

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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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