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Re: [xmca] (no subject)
- To: email@example.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] (no subject)
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 17:27:34 -0800
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ontology of the individual that focuses on
the issue of being able to reflect upon
the world BEFORE acting on it; reflection before action. If I understand
correctly the views of people such as Vladimir Zinchenko, a student of
Leontiev's, based upon a variety of evidence from his research on
stabilized images on the retina and the microgenesis of action, both point
toward a kind of "simulation" theory of mind, one which can operate far
more rapidly than the events they are a part of and constituting. It is
implied by the very folk cultural notion that
we all should remember to "stop and think" when things are not flowing
smoothly our way.
I want to enter ths question by clarifying "stop and think". Do young
infants stop and "think". Yes they "pause" and "hesitate" and "stop" before
moving in a new direction, but are they "thinking"? This hesitation and
pausing [and referencing mom's REACTIONS] BEFORE proceeding seems to be a
capacity of all infants. However, can we say the infant is "reflecting"?
[turning backwards on activity before responding] Depnding on how we
answer these questions will help determine what we mean by these concepts.
Also by the concept "simulation" are you referring to a kind of "reading"
of other minds? and "understanding" that they are operating by "having
This contrasts with the notion of "attention" and "joint attention" which
is a form of RESPONSIVENESS to the others bodily movement in space [which
does not posit "reading" intentionality of the others actions]
The other question is the more "ontological" question if "shared
experience" precedes "self-experience". Self-experience as a reflective
turning back on shared experience and with the advent of language this
turning back can be culturally named and elaborated as "self-experience".
I'm not sure if Vico has anything to add to this question of temporality
and intentionality. Gadamer in 1996 [at age 92] was interviewed by Jean
Grondin. Jean asked Gadamer about the relation between logic and rhetoric.
Gadamer suggests Vico [1668-1744] had a different perspective on this
relationship. Gadamer writes,
"You certainly remember that the Latin expression for science in Vico is
"critica". What this word really means, however, is NOT communication with
something, but DISTINGUISHING something from something else. Thus, the
whole modern concept of OBJECTIVITY begins to take shape in this time
period. Originally, objectivity meant what SHOWS ITSELF to the subject,
that which stands over against it"
The emphasis is on what shows itself, not on two separate entities
communicating from their already distinct positions. In the process of
"showing itself" objectivity arises and becomes distinct.
Mike I do agree that the question you are posing about temporality and the
place of reflection and intentionality within temporality IS CENTRAL to our
notions of learning and psychology and concept formation.
Let's invite others to this conversation :-}}
On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> I find this a very challenging topic, Mike, but as I see it the idea of
> future invoked here goes back to Aristotle's conception of the essence of a
> thing being that which it is moving towards. Or, a person is their destiny,
> not just the various attributes that they manifest at a given moment. So in
> our language, that of Activity Theory, the future is the aim which is
> immanent in an Activity, or what Vasilyuk calls a "life relation." By our
> commitment to a project (aka a life relation, an activity) we build our
> personality. There may of course be mutliple projects, and the possibility
> of conflicts and of difficulty. This should be distinguished from the idea
> of character being made up of prejudices, skills, memories, etc., which
> have kind of rubbed off on us through participation in past activities.
> This is something different from personality, I think. These are things
> which can be said of us, but are not essentially us.
> mike cole wrote:
>> Larry. Thanks for your earlier posting selecting from the Vasiliuk text. I
>> know too little about the realm of ideas
>> into which you took this passage to comment. -- But I found the passage
>> very helpful. Here is the passage again.
>> Andy, Thanks for sending out Chapter ll of Vasilyuk's book.
>> On page 87, I appreciated how he articulated the "ontology of the isolated
>> individual." I quote:
>> For the latter [ontology of the isolated individual], the situation taken
>> as primary for subsequent theoretical development is one where you have,
>> the one hand, a separate being isolated from the world, and, on the other
>> hand, objects, or more precisely things, existing "in themselves". The
>> SPACE BETWEEN, empty and contentless, only keeps them APART from one
>> another. Subject and object are both thought of as existing from the
>> BEGINNING and as INTRINSICALLY definite, PRIOR TO and independently of any
>> practical connection between them; they are independent natural ENTITIES.
>> Activity, which brings about a practical connection between subject and
>> object is STILL IN THE FUTURE; in order [for activity] to commence, it
>> be sanctioned while the PRIMARY situation OF SEPARATION between subject
>> object still prevails."
>> This is the classical psychological understanding of the source of
>> as DERIVED and IN THE FUTURE. In the ontolology of the isolated
>> individual's most highly rationalized FORM can be REDUCED to a view that
>> activity is BASED on a cognitive calculation thesis. Reflection PRECEDES
>> the activity within the subject's mind and only after does the activity
>> take place.
>> Larry suggest this passage as a jumping off point into a discussion of
>> terms such as "personality" and
>> "character" . I hope to keep learning from that discussion, but meantime,
>> would like some advice on
>> the productivity of thinking about alternative formulations in terms of
>> way they deal with temporality.
>> We see very clearly in this passage a characterization of what Goethe
>> attributes to those scientists who
>> first declare a "first" from which seconds and thirds can be deduced. He
>> uses the weaving metaphor
>> to capture the properties of the life process which have been exterminated
>> as the scientist murders while
>> dissecting. So far as I can tell, the weaving metaphor is a lot more
>> to thinking about life processes, so long as
>> we think of weaving as the constant creation of a variety of strands.
>> There is an argument about the ontology of the individual that focuses on
>> the issue of being able to reflect upon
>> the world BEFORE acting on it; reflection before action. If I understand
>> correctly the views of people such as Vladimir Zinchenko, a student of
>> Leontiev's, based upon a variety of evidence from his research on
>> stabilized images on the retina and the microgenesis of action, both point
>> toward a kind of "simulation" theory of mind, one which can operate far
>> more rapidly than the events they are a part of and constituting. It is
>> implied by the very folk cultural notion that
>> we all should remember to "stop and think" when things are not flowing
>> smoothly our way.
>> It seems to me that it is premature to turn away from kind of claim. It
>> goes well beyond any narrow discussion
>> of obscure Russians doing obscure stuff. Its sits right in the middle of
>> some influential contemporary developmental theories concerning "theory of
>> mind" that are the foundation of forms of education and therapy ubiquitous
>> in society.
>> There are probably some issues of morality of concern at this level, as
>> To begin with
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