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Re: [xmca] Mike Cole on Instrumentalist understanding of mediation

I am not arguing that nothing can be done with words. Goodness!

I am saying that somewhere in the whole chain of actions in an extended project one intends that something will happen, that's all. And any single action within a whole aggregate of actions which makes up a project or activity gains its meaning and its motivation from what is intended to happen. An actor performs in a play hoping only (perhaps) to induce enjoyment in the audience. Fine. Lots of difficult cases of course. What about someone whose action is governed by a moral code, and not in order to achieve some particular thing? That just means (in my opinion) expanding the view to see the person's actions as part of the living of a good life, and each individual action would have to be interpreted in that light, whether spoken or acted.

Perhaps I should have been more circumspect in my original response to Greg. "Other than words" includes changes of mood, learning, maintenance of a moral or social code, etc, etc.


Martin Packer wrote:

Of course the changes would be evident outside the therapy room. But "doing things with words" takes place inside the therapy room, where it is done with, well, words. If you were not arguing that words can't accomplish anything, then I've lost track of the argument.


On Mar 13, 2012, at 7:39 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

Oh one doesn't even have to go as far as psychotherapy, Martin. Any
manager or supervisor is changing someone's mind with words, but in
either case, if the purpose is to change someone else's actions, then
the word-actions are part of an activity. Psychotherpay as an example
just raises the possibility that someone's troubled inner state could be
amelioriated without expecting any change whatsoever in how they lived
their life. That's hard for me to imagine.

Martin Packer wrote:
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.

*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608461459/

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