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Re: [xmca] Mike Cole on Instrumentalist understanding of mediation
In Chapter Two of "The HIstory of the Development (?) of the HIgher Psychological Functions", Vygotsky shows how the two interpretations of psychological experiments (the interpretative, phenomenological one and the explanatory, behaviorist one) lead to two separate outcomes occupying the same experiment without touching: perizhvanie on the one hand, and dyatel'nost on the other.
I think that in the first paragraph of Thinking and Speech, where Vygotsky says that thinking and speech are two activities of consciousness, an instrumentalist reading says that he is just kidding, or speaking metaphorically, because there is no real activity which is only words or word meanings.
But if thinking is not REALLY an activity but only a metaphor for activity, and word meanings are not really mediators but only metaphors for instruments, then consciousness is a metaphor for a human being, and Vygotsky has a purely homuncular view of it.
I think that "Tool and Sign" is partly written to counter this view, by showing that labor is only externally described as man bearing tool. Its inner form is a social relation. But social communication is only externally described as men bearing words. Its inner form is a generalization (Sapir). And a generalization is an activity (dyatel'nost) of thinking, that is, of perizhvanie.
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
--- On Tue, 3/13/12, Martin Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Martin Packer <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Mike Cole on Instrumentalist understanding of mediation
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 11:48 AM
What about psychotherapy, Andy?
On Mar 12, 2012, at 1:07 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> so long as we are only "doing things with words," then we indeed in the realms of idealism. You cannot, in my opinion, have "an activity" which is only words.
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