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[xmca] 2nd person perspective
Larry, Rod, Monica et al.
I've been reading Reddy's article, and while I think she's completely correct in her identification of a complex and subtle relatedness during the first year of life, or even the first months (I've always been a fan of Colwyn Trevarthen's work), I'm having trouble getting some things clear.
Reddy writes that "the self is emotionally aware of being an object to others before it is an object to itself." We are talking, then, about at least two forms of self-consciousness - namely consciousness of self as an object to other people, plus consciousness of self as an object to oneself. Add to that the consciousness that a child comes to have of self as an agent, a subject....
Recognition of self in a mirror seems to be Cs of self as an object, no? Secondary emotions such as shame would be evidence for Cs of self as an agent (and hence as having responsibility for some action or event) - or would they be evidence of Cs of self as an object in the eyes of others (who hold one accountable)? Or both?
See, I'm hopelessly confused! Has anyone figured out Reddy's position? Or have a coherent account of when children acquire these different forms of Cs? Add to the mix the fact that for LSV the crisis at 12m is the child differentiating biologically from the mother, while the crisis at 30m is the child differentiating psychologically. Each of these is evidently a new kind of self/other distinction. Do they align with Reddy's account?
On Mar 18, 2012, at 7:31 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
> David and Monica
> The central question is still how we get from empathy to objectivity; from
> 2nd person to 3rd person perspectives.
> David, I will pause at the recognition that 2nd person lived experience may
> be a basic form of experience and therefore a central mode of interaction
> throughout the life span. That re-cognition is a difference which may make
> a difference.
> David, you wrote
> "Neither unit is "activity" in the sense used by activity theorists;
> neither has an outcome in production. Neither inheres in a purely "you-me"
> relationship which can be and often is carried out without any use of word
> meaning or any self-reflection. But, as Rod points out, both are
> inextricably bound up with the "activity" of using verbal meanings upon
> The last sentence,
> "both are inextricably bound up with the activity of USING verbal meaning
> upon yourself."
> seems to be a central point.
> As I understand Wittgenstein he is making this exact point. Using verbal
> meanings is "another form" of interaction [distinct from 2nd person
> engagements] that also follow specific rules of engagement. These 3rd
> person narrative genres are culturally and historically situated and appeal
> to our current notions of "common" sense. The "contents" used to compose
> these 3rd person narrative accounts that we learn to "tell ourselves" use
> 2nd person lived experiences as basic phenomena to be explained.
> However, we come to confuse the 2nd person and 3rd person forms of life
> which may actually evolve within different rules and patterns of
> engagement. 2nd person and 3rd person perspectives may share a family
> resemblance but not dentity.
> This in no way diminishes 1st person or 3rd person narratives. It is merely
> an attempt to also draw attention to the basic ways 2nd person lived
> experiences contribute to our compositions of forms of life. [Not unity but
> composition which implies aggregates] 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person accounts
> may intertwine but not within a systematic pre-determined sequence. Each
> type of account may follow its own path of development and whether 1st,
> 2nd, or 3rd person perspectives are priviledged and legitimated may be
> culturally and historically constituted.
> Very tentative speculations on my part but it does at least introduce some
> doubt about 2nd person lived experience as possibly continuing to be a
> central form of life throughout the life span.
> On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 4:42 PM, monica.hansen <
> email@example.com> wrote:
>> I like what you write, David, at the end of this post. It is more like a
>> movie because multiple modes of perception and the experience of
>> consciousness of self ARE more like a movie than a book. Images are
>> multimodal, not just visual. They are direct links to our feelings and
>> emotions. Words are just a subset of possible signs for meaning.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
>> Behalf Of David Kellogg
>> Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2012 3:40 PM
>> To: Culture ActivityeXtended Mind
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
>> Three things I noticed in perusing the article:
>> a) Like you, I noticed that the "you-me" relationship is "one possible
>> perspective" on the development of reflected upon experience.
>> b) But I also noticed, with faint annoyance, that the author seemed to be
>> be claiming universality, despite clear evidence in her own data (e.g.
>> "Show mommy the potty, Nanny") that her conclusion might be very child
>> c) I noticed, with some relief, a minimum of 'theory of mind"
>> discussion. I guess we are finally getting it through our thick skulls that
>> a theory of mind is going to develop as long as the mind that
>> contemplates and the mind that is contemplated does so.
>> Let's assume that Reddy is right, and that the "you-me" interaction is the
>> essential source of all joint intersubjectivity in later life. That still
>> leaves us an essential problem--and for Brecht, and for Chinese opera, as
>> well as for my ruminations on murders witnessed but not experienced, it is
>> the essential problem--of how we get from empathy to objectivity, from the
>> second to the third person.
>> I think Rod is right. On the one hand, Vygotsky refers to word meaning as
>> the microcosm of consciousness in the conclusion to "Thinking and Speech"
>> and on the other he clearly lists "perizhvanie" as the unit of child
>> consciousness in "The Problem of the Environment" (p. 342 of the Vygotsky
>> Neither unit is "activity" in the sense used by activity theorists;
>> neither has an outcome in production. Neither inheres in a purely "you-me"
>> relationship which can be and often is carried out without any use of word
>> meaning or any self-reflection. But, as Rod points out, both are
>> inextricably bound up with the "activity" of using verbal meanings upon
>> And that, to me, explains why when we observe some horrific incident and
>> we immediately notice, whether with relief or with guilt, the unmistakeable
>> fact of our own non-involvement, we often say "It was just like a movie"
>> but we never say "It was just like a book".
>> David Kellogg
>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>> --- On Sun, 3/18/12, Larry Purss <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Date: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 6:23 AM
>> Rod, David, Peter
>> The relationship between perezhivanie and reflecting on *second hand*
>> experience. How does this relationship manifest? What sequences unfold
>> in this process.
>> Rod, a year ago you recommended a book by V. Reddy who was exploring the
>> negotiation of feelings as well as understandings within what is referred
>> to as primary intersubjectivity developing within 2nd person communicative
>> I recently came across this 6 page summary of V. Reddy's *2nd person*
>> perspective on lived experience as the basic process from which emerges the
>> derived 3rd person perspectives which are *borrowing* the processes
>> previously lived through within 2nd person engagements.
>> The article uses charts which clearly distinguish her perspective from
>> more cognitively oriented accounts
>>> From Reddy's perspective, these borrowed 2nd person processes are
>> profoundly transformed within language games [Wittgenstein's term]
>> acquired as culturally informed skilled practices expressing the giving of
>> reasons. Reddy posits the skill of offering justifications in the 3rd
>> person as derived from 2nd person *I-YOU* encounters previously lived
>> through. Derived justifications borrow the content from 2nd person lived
>> through experiences and use this derived content within the activity of
>> giving reasons.
>> I also noticed she posits two *basic* movements within our emotional 2nd
>> person engagements: *hiding* & *revealing* our selves. As I understand
>> Reddy's position these basic intersubjective orientations continue to play
>> out within more complex cultural-historical informed engagements.
>> Reddy's 2nd person perspective offers one possible approach into the
>> relationship between perhezivanie and activity.
>> On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 4:45 AM, Rod Parker-Rees <
>> R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:
>>> Many thanks for this, David - a really valuable clarification of the
>>> relationship between perezhivanie and activity. I wonder what you
>>> would have to say about the extent to which your second type of
>>> reflection is
>>> actually a culturally mediated process of mediation. In other words,
>>> when we practise the activity of reflecting on a 'second-hand'
>>> experience, in order to colour it with the 'body and vitality' of our
>>> own spontaneous concepts, are we 'borrowing' processes which we have
>>> picked up, absorbed or internalised from our experiences of engaging
>>> with others (and negotiating the sharing of feelings as well as
>>> understandings)? When we reflect in tranquility on observed second
>>> hand (second body) experiences do we not have to draw on internalised
>> sociocultural processes to be able to do this?
>>> All the best,
>>> From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] On
>>> Behalf Of David Kellogg [email@example.com]
>>> Sent: 18 March 2012 03:33
>>> To: xmca
>>> Subject: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
>>> We have been worrying about how to correctly render the word
>>> in Korean, and above all how to link it to "activity" (because it is
>>> clear to me that Vygotsky saw the one as a reflection upon the other).
>>> At the same time, I have been following the news from Syria, where I
>>> witnessed, in the early nineteen eighties, a similar bloody uprising
>>> against the current leader's father.
>>> It has been estimated that by the time a child is twelve or thirteen
>>> years old the child has witnessed, on television, several hundred,
>>> possibly many thousands, of simulated murders. We didn't have a
>>> television when I was a kid, but when I first witnessed real murders
>>> as a twenty-year-old I remember thinking that it was "like a movie".
>>> Of course, when you say that, what it means is that you are undergoing
>>> the visual experience of observing something but that the acutal
>>> переживаний, the lived experience or the feeling of what is happening
>>> to you, is somehow missing. It means almost the same thing as when you
>>> say that something is a dream (I still dream a lot about Syria, and
>>> sometimes I dream things that are very disturbing, but I know that the
>>> dreams feel very different from the way the reality felt).
>>> Here, it seems to me, we have an almost complete contrast of the two
>>> meanings of reflection. For on the one hand, the scene that you see
>>> before your eyes is a clear reflection; when you say that you feel
>>> like a particularly gruesome or traumatic scene is like a movie or
>>> like a dream, you do not in any way have the sense of watching a movie
>>> or dreaming. What you mean is that you are seeing the sights but not
>>> feeling the feelings of what happens to you; you are lacking the
>>> And it seems to me that there are two ways to interpret that lack that
>>> corresond to the two meanings of the word "reflection". One is to say
>>> that you are not feeling and thinking the experience because you are
>>> too busy directly experiencing it, reflecting it like a mirror or a TV
>>> screen or a flickering image on the back of your dreaming eyelids.
>>> But the other is that you are not participating in the experience, and
>>> that your first reaction is that you yourself are neither the murderer
>>> nor the murdered one. In other words, it is an experience, but it is
>>> not an activity. And an experience that is not an activity is not a
>>> experience: it is like a movie or like a dream.
>>> It's that SECOND meaning of reflection, which I am almost sure really
>>> is a type of activity, even though it involves no actions and only
>>> indirectly involves verbal meanings, that converts an experience which
>>> is not an activity, into переживаний, or what Wordsworth would call
>>> emotion reflected upon in tranquility.
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca mailing list
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