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Re: [xmca] in-between


I wish I could put up a fight on either of these, but

on count 1 I'd claim ignorance since I didn't have anything to do with the
assembly of the conference (and I suspect that the wording "mind is
mediated" was something hastily thrown together by a young faculty who is
already overburdened and is coordinating the conference out of her/his own
interest in the topic. But I will do my best to report back on any papers
that I see that happen to make this claim.

On count 2 (that commognition is better then communication), I too prefer
Sfard's formulation to my own. What I will stand by is the importance of
the in-between - whatever we want to call it!

Thanks for keeping me on my toes. I'll try to put more stuff out there that
I can fight for... At the end of the day it often seems that disagreement
is one of the things that motivates participation on these listserves.
(like "intersubjectivity," "collaboration" does not always require

Looking forward to many more commognitive disagreements (i.e.


On Sat, Sep 1, 2012 at 5:44 PM, kellogg <kellogg59@hanmail.net> wrote:

>   Greg--
> You recently sent around a Call for Papers to a conference on second
> language learning and sociocultural theory, with some truly mouthwatering
> offerings. But it also contained the puzzling concept note that "mind is
> mediated".
> What could that possible mean, that mind is mediated? Does it mean that
> the mind is formed through mediation? We can't really say that, since
> mediation doesn't exist until there is mind on the one hand and non-mind on
> the other.
> Or does it mean that the mind is a mediating layer between things of the
> world and the brain/body? That doesn't seem right either; it's dualistic,
> and it says that not only communication but even perception is a kind of
> telementation.
> Of course, the problem is really one of naming things: mediation is not
> equal to itself, and what is mediation at the end of the process is not the
> same as mediation at the beginning. But if we accept that the concept of
> mediation has algebraic content, then we also have to accept that a formula
> like "mediated mind" explains absolutely nothing.
> I worry that concepts like mediation, or intermediation, or communication
> are essentially Gestalts--that is, undifferentiated wholes that contain
> both Jewish psychologists and Nazis. I think that's why I prefer Anna
> Sfard's formulation: the in-between is not communication, but commognition,
> and commognition is, at the beginning of the process, communignition
> (firstly communication) and at the end of the process cognimunication
> (foremostly cognition)
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> --------- 원본 메일 ---------
> *보낸사람*: Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> *받는사람* : "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> *날짜*: 2012년 9월 01일 토요일, 01시 02분 22초 +0900
> *제목*: [xmca] in-between
> In a prior conversation that Martin and I were having regarding language
> ideology, I was arguing that the trouble with dominant language ideologies
> (including Saussure, Chomsky, Derrida, Searle, and perhaps Austin) is that
> they split the world in two. Here is Bruno Latour's characterization of
> this problem:
> "If you turn round suddenly, as in the children’s game ‘Mother, may I?’,
> [the moderns]
> will freeze, looking innocent, as if they hadn’t budged: here, on the left,
> are things
> themselves; there, on the right, is the free society of speaking, thinking
> subjects, values
> and signs. Everything happens in the middle, everything passes between the
> two,
> everything happens by way of mediation, translation and networks, but this
> space does
> not exist, it has no place. It is the unthinkable, the unconscious of the
> moderns." (Latour,
> 1993.:37)
> I'd add that it points to the importance of the unthinkable "between" - and
> I take "communication" to be the great between.
> -greg
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> 833 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Department of Anthropology
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
833 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Department of Anthropology
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
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