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Re: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
If we assume that Reddy is right, then the move from 2nd person to 3rd person is pretty straightforward: one withdraws from engagement and participation with the other person, and instead observes them, as a spectator.
This is a pretty familiar move: it is central, for example, to the way ethnographic fieldwork is usually presented, as 'participant-observation,' a combination of these two modes.
But if Reddy is right, this is not a move from empathy to objectivity. It is a move from one way of knowing to another way of knowing, and the second is no more accurate or valid than the first. In fact, Reddy argues, the 3rd person perspective is distorting, because it introduces dualisms that we then have to struggle to explain away.
Furthermore, the 3rd person mode continues to operate within what is in the literature often now ]called (rather confusingly) a we-intentionality: what John Searle describes as the shared agreements that 'X stands for Y in context C.' When we study language from a 3rd person perspective, for example, and claim to be objective while at the same time treating the words not as meaningless noises but as valid lexical items, we are evidently still taking for granted a cultural background that operates in terms of what Reddy calls the 2nd person and Searle the 1st person-plural.
The 3rd person stance is still not objective in the sense of dealing with phenomena that 'do not depend on the mind for existence,' as my dictionary has it. That's not the only definition of objectivity, of course, and perhaps you have something else in mind.
On Mar 21, 2012, at 9:22 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
> David, one further thought on my trying to make sense of 2nd person
> intentionality [as engagement or enactments]
> Your comment,
> 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.
> David, I agree that how we get from 2nd person engagement to 3rd person
> objectivity is a central question. However, I'm wondering if we need to
> pause for awhile and linger on the significance of 2nd person experiences
> as Reddy is asking us to do.
> Reddy concludes her artice that Martin referenced [Participants Don't Need
> Theories: Knowing Minds in Engagement] reflecting on 3rd person accounts.
> I will quickly paraphrase her main point.
> Theorizing about mental states PRESUPPOSES the knowledge of others that is
> evident [shown] INSIDE 2nd person engagements. Reflections upon and
> theories about other people's intentions and motivations DO enter into
> everyday discourse, but these discourses, theories, and reflections are
> experientially and developmentally SECONDARY [derived] to ACTUAL
> engagements with these intentions and motivations. Theory of Mind [theory
> theory] has simply not taken the SIGNIFICANCE of engagement [enactment]
> and engagements development seriously enough. Reddy gives significance to
> 2nd person engagement and therefore accepts the transparency of mind in
> Speaking ABOUT mental states is not clear evidence of the theory of mind.
> Speaking about mental states is a narrative behavior and discourses,
> theories, and models ABOUT mental states are actions that may be experience
> within engaged or disengaged forms of life.
> David, after pausing, the question of HOW this engagement gets played out
> objectively is also a fascinating question.
> On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM, David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:
>> 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 <email@example.com> wrote:
>> From: Larry Purss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
>> 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'
>>> in order to colour it with the 'body and vitality' of our own
>>> concepts, are we 'borrowing' processes which we have picked up, absorbed
>>> internalised from our experiences of engaging with others (and
>>> 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
>>> All the best,
>>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] On
>>> Of David Kellogg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
>>> 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
>>> 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,
>>> the early nineteen eighties, a similar bloody uprising against the
>>> leader's father.
>>> It has been estimated that by the time a child is twelve or thirteen
>>> old the child has witnessed, on television, several hundred, possibly
>>> 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
>>> visual experience of observing something but that the acutal переживаний,
>>> the lived experience or the feeling of what is happening to you, is
>>> 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
>>> 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.
>>> you mean is that you are seeing the sights but not feeling the feelings
>>> what happens to you; you are lacking the переживаний.
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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 lived
>>> experience: it is like a movie or like a dream.
>>> It's that SECOND meaning of reflection, which I am almost sure really is
>>> 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
>>> upon in tranquility.
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca mailing list
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