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[xmca] Mike Cole on Instrumentalist understanding of mediation

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [xmca] further thoughts on the book "Vygotsky in Perspective"
Date: 	Sun, 11 Mar 2012 16:40:36 -0700
From: 	mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
Reply-To: 	lchcmike@gmail.com
To: 	ablunden@mira.net


Hi Andy--

Sorry to be slow. What i reported was a note in the margin of the paper by Latour on Morality and Technology: do not reduced mediation reduced to instrument. In writing this I was thinking that instrumentalism seems to assume a pre-figured goal while mediation emphasizes the ongoing process in which the object of activity is always "just over the horizon." In such a process, goal formation becomes essential for action. With the goal specified, one can conduct an analysis of the means used to achieve that goal. But if the object, and correspondingly, the goal, are under-specified, if they require, let us say, a dollip of imagination, might change, opening up other possibilities for action. I relate this issue to the earlier discussion of Leontiev in his Stalinist/Lysenkoist mode. The object of activity is PRE-scribed. The State sets the agenda.

The issue of goal formation is something we worried a good deal about in /The Construction Zone/. What is unusual about that book in this context is that we took Leontiev's ideas very seriously in attempting to theorize our work. Yet a major conclusion was that in order for learning to generalize broadly, it is essential that goal formation be a part of teaching/learning process.

Anyway, that was what I got to thinking about.


On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 9:47 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

   What would a reduction to intrumentalism claim, Mike, and what (in
   brief) is such a reduction omitting? Is there an examplar we can
   read? ANd who was accusing who in relation to LSV and ANL?

   mike cole wrote:

       To me a central message, among many, Larry, was Do Not Reduce
       Mediation to
       Instrumentalism. Seems like a key issue in the presumed
       development of LSV
       thought from 1928-1934 and a key issue in LSV vs ANL.

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