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Re: RE: [xmca] The Frail Chain
- To: email@example.com, "enksXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: RE: [xmca] The Frail Chain
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2012 10:50:37 -0700
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Thanks everyone for expanding on this theme.
Mike, I appreciate the gentle reminder not to bring in more voices while
we try to get some clarity on what we now share as some common perspectives.
My intent with bringing in Jung and Freud was to point to what I see as a
possibly deeper current flowing beneath the various notions and theories of
psychology. Andy and David's responses have amplified beautifully what I
was gesturing and pointing towards. Especially the fragility of the *and*
when David cited Brown as discussing a larger whole that both romanticism
and enlightenment are expressing. David wrote,
But in the end of his essay, Brown (in true Romantic fashion!) relates both
romanticism and enlightenment to a larger whole, of which we are certainly
a part. Romanticism, he argues, is a revolutionary reflection upon
enlightenment--romantic man is the enlightenment becoming self-conscious,
or, if you like, Herder extending the heterogeneity that Kant had found
within the mind to "the race".
Now, in Brown, this "revolutionary" reflection means revolution in the
eighteenth century sense--a turning inward, an ingrowing, or what Vygotsky
would later call "intro-volution", vraschevaniye. But I think it can also
be understood as a disenchantment with the political and social revolution.
And I find that it is in that sense that it most applicable to Vygotsky,
and it's really in that sense that Vygotsky himself is an anti-romantic.
THIS meaning of *both/and* is the sense in which I use the metaphor
of a deeper current flowing through temporality that embraces multiple
enlightenment impulses and also multiple romantic impulses.
Mike, to bring this question back to the particular ways this deeper
current flows through each unique persons stream of consciousness, may
be viewed as forms of "reading" or forms of "conversation".
I would add to Ivan's metaphor of meshes that don't privilege temporality,
directionality, or dimensionality the comment that different KINDS of
"reading" privilege different aspects of temporality, directionality, and
dimensionality. When Vygotsky discusses "into-volution" can this be viewed
as turning to a particular KIND of reading (understanding)?? Is it possible
to see with "bi"nocular vision or "tri"nocular vision, OR is the best that
is possible is to become versatile and flexible in all 3 versions of
reading and become more consciously AWARE when we are operating from a
particular KIND of reading. This metaphor of reading as understanding links
nicely with metaphors of meshing and nets.
Andy, the way we move in our readings from temporality to dimensionality
[and in the move loose awareness of temporality] seems central to notions
of forms of reading that "become" ahistorical and structural as positivist
explanations. My central puzzlement is the tension between these forms of
reading being merely individual or are these forms of reading essentially
In other words, are Dante's reader, Vygotsky's reader, Freud's reader, and
today's reader "reading" - as both actions and activity - in ways that can
be understood and "seen through" as particular versions of reading.
When we privilege one way of reading [for example structural
dimensionality] does temporality inevitably move to the shadows, or can we
oscillate flexibly between dimensionality, temporality, and directionality
as the multiple romantic and enlightenment "ways" of reading, as action
and activity, are expressed as inner "and" outer processes.
On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 8:15 AM, mike cole <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi David-
> More to agree on. Development is badly mis-conceived as links in a chain
> which misleads one into linearality, an addition to its negative
> you chose.
> Could you perhaps provide us with source for Marshall Brown's essay
> to which you refer?
> I am having difficulty with the insertion of "primitive" into that note --
> did it
> refer to my prior note in some way, or romantic science in some way, or
> just my habitual distrust of the way "primitive" is used.
> >From Andy and Nektarios' note we are heirs to a complex history. I learned
> about Herder from Marvin Harris's opus on the history of Anthropology from
> about the 1960's and Berlin's book on Herder and Vico. To me he seemed a
> kind of precursor to Boas. The links to fascism might be worth
> more explication. Invoking the Volk?
> I, too, thought of Mary Shelley when reading the prior notes on the
> romantic science topic. Seems like a "must read" book for anyone who
> thinks its about Bella Lugosi and zombies.
> On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 2:54 AM, kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > First of all, I want to thank everybody who has contributed to this
> > thread, not only for their remarkable contributions (from which I too
> > learnt rather more than these poor lines will reflect) but above all for
> > NOT changing the subject line. I know my subject lines are not
> > informative and they have annoyed more than one reader. But in this case
> > there is a very good reason.
> > I think that development is UNLIKE a chain in at least two senses. First
> > of all, the links may be of very different sizes (e.g. the "link" of the
> > child's heaps is almost dimensionless and in a very different way so are
> > the older child's concepts of the universal, while complexive ways of
> > thinking must change with every degree of latitude on the measure of
> > generality). Secondly, they are made of very different stuff: of holding,
> > of grasping, of pointing, of naming, and of signifying. So in that
> > sense development is always a fragile link--like the "and" between
> > "Romanticism" and "Enlightenment".
> > Marshall Brown, in his wonderful essay on romanticism and enlightenment,
> > begins with the rather obvious remark that there was not one
> > nor was there any essential romanticism, and if we want to understand
> > either, we can really only focus on the "and" that stands between them,
> > treat it as a vector without any actual location or velocity (rather like
> > the "and" in Thinking and Speech", or the "and" in Tool and Sign). I
> > Andy implicitly recognizes this when he reduces the enlightenment to Kant
> > alone, and romanticism to Herder.
> > But in the end of his essay, Brown (in true Romantic fashion!) relates
> > both romanticism and enlightenment to a larger whole, of which we are
> > certainly a part. Romanticism, he argues, is a revolutionary reflection
> > upon enlightenment--romantic man is the enlightenment becoming
> > self-conscious, or, if you like, Herder extending the heterogeneity that
> > Kant had found within the mind to "the race".
> > Now, in Brown, this "revolutionary" reflection means revolution in the
> > eighteenth century sense--a turning inward, an ingrowing, or what
> > would later call "intro-volution", vraschevaniye. But I think it can also
> > be understood as a disenchantment with the political and social
> > And I find that it is in that sense that it most applicable to Vygotsky,
> > and it's really in that sense that Vygotsky himself is an anti-romantic.
> > Larry--I think that Freud and Jung BOTH were "revolutionary" in the sense
> > of turning back to prescientific ideas about dreams. Both had a fully
> > "primitive" idea that these were "royal roads"--not to the future, but
> > rather to the past. I also think that Vygotsky despised Freud and for
> > reason--he recognized that all of the most important ideas in Freud
> > (transference, the subconscious mind, displacement) were stolen from poor
> > old Janet, spiced up with pansexualism, and then marketed to the neurotic
> > rich (whereas Janet had placed himself at the service of public
> > What was good in Freud was not Freud, as far as Vygotsky was concerned,
> > and what was Freud was not good. In particular, I think that Vygotsky
> > resented the fact that where Janet really did believe that neurosis was
> > caused, as it is in the novel Frankenstein by the great
> > enlightenment-romantic Mary Shelley, by the social mistreatment of the
> > individual, Freud positied that it was all the individual mistreating
> > himself. For Janet--and for Vygotsky--that was blaming the victim.
> > Mike--there is really no question in my mind that you are right; Vygotsky
> > did use the term "primitive", and he also believed that at some level the
> > disabled person, the uneducated peasant (he actually uses Jews rather
> > Muslims in his examples), and the child do have some things in common.
> > what they have in common with each other they also have in common with
> > a need for development, and a real sense that development is always and
> > everywhere a very fragile "and".
> > David Kellogg
> > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> > <email@example.com>
> > __________________________________________
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