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[Xmca-l] Re: Alex Kozulin's notion of three planes of understanding

I often feel *in over my head* in these conversations
 without enough background to comment.
However, I will comment on what I found intriquing in Kozulin's commentary
on Vygotsky's exploration of art and Hamlet and the *mythological*
trans-disciplinary  theme of tragedy
Kozulin's *reading* of Vygotsky's early work on esthetics and tragedy shows
Vygotsky engaged with similar themes which were emerging in Marburg with
Heidegger and Gadamer at this same time. [the 1920's &30's].

Chapter one and two of Kozulin's book bring to awareness that Vygotsky was
deeply immersed in exploring this *mythological realm* questioning the
supra-psychological aspect BEYOND the merely subjective.
Kozulin shows that the book Doctor Zhivago was also a genre of writing
exploring the way we are *called* and that there are *forces* calling
BEYOND the personal which however are historical.  Kozulin for example says
neither Doctor Zhivago or Vygotsky's writings [which Kozulin reads as
sharing a family resemblance] could  have been written in any other
epoch except within this historical epoch. THIS is because of the shared
questions which they were attempting to answer
THIS *3rd plane* which Kozulin is *illuminating* [his book is developing
this theme] is pointing to this trans-disciplinary supra-psychological [but
effected within history] reality.

David, I hope Alex Kozulin will respond and share his current reflections
on your question. I was amazed how deeply Vygotsky as a young man could
engage with these themes and I came away with a new appreciation for the
vitality and depth of engagement Vygotsky *incarnated* in his writings at
this *liminal* time in his own development within this  historical epoch.

As I say, I am in over my head, but through these *canonical* texts the
notion of the *romantic* AND the *supra-psychological* in DIALOGUE seems to
me the way to play with these themes.

Everybody except Hamlet AS *ghosts* brings in the awareness of a
realm BEYOND the personal which is expressed THROUGH the personal.

David, I don't have answers but I find these questions have a vitality
which I sense Kozulin was expressing in his book.

On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 2:34 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> Larry:
> I'm not sure if this is on topic, but I'd like to pick up a strand of
> our thread that nobody else has touched. It's the idea that part of
> the trans-disciplinary, supra-psychological element of Vygotskyan
> theory lies in his early work on esthetics, and specifically on
> Hamlet.
> I have always resisted the Lurian characterization of Vygotsky as a
> romantic scientist, because I think he was, as Nadezhda Mandelstam
> said and as Bakhurst confirmed (in his piece on "Vygotsky's Demons" in
> the Cambridge Companion), a defender of Enlightenment ideas AGAINST
> the Romantic counter-revolution of the nineteenth century. When I read
> Vygotsky on Hamlet, I can see that he has completely rejected the
> nineteenth century idea of Hamlet as romantic hero--that is, an
> inspired individual hero among lesser breeds without the law. Hamlet's
> depressed, not inspired. He's divided, not individual. And the others
> in the play actually perceive Hamlet more accurately than he perceives
> himself; Hamlet simply cannot feel the weight of his own body, nor is
> he sufficiently aware of his own awareness to be able to distinguish
> it from the way things are.
> But I recently read a lot about Gordon Craig and Konstantin
> Stanislavski's 1912 Moscow production of Hamlet. Whether he saw it or
> not (and there is some debate on this point), it had a huge influence
> on the way that Vygotsky read Hamlet (we know that Vygotsky saw the
> revival of the 1912 production and that he disapproved of it).
> Perversely true to the play text, Craig's and Stanislavski's version
> was a completely divided production that almost fell apart before
> opening night: Craig saw the play as monodrama (that is, everybody in
> the play except Hamlet himself is a "ghost" in the mind of Hamlet).
> Stanislavski, of course, insisted on a historical drama of real people
> whose motivations were all too human; Hamlet was simply a man amongst
> men.
> You can see that all of Kozulin's planes are present and accounted
> for. Stanislavski, the social realist, accounts for the way in which
> Vygotsky made sense to his contemporaries. Craig is much closer to the
> way we interpret Vygotsky today: a way of making sense of individual
> psychology, alongside the work of Freud, Piaget, and others. And the
> third, trans-disciplinary, supra-psychological plane? Well, I think
> that is yet another plane that has gone missing. But when we find, I
> am sure that we will see that Vygotsky himself is safe and sound on
> board.
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> On 17 March 2014 06:17, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Mike,
> > thanks for sending the article on the risks of being a public
> intellectual.
> > Anna Sfard also recently posted on who university scholars *address* in
> > their publications.
> > I have been re-reading Alex Kozulin's book written 25 years ago
> [Vygotsky's
> > Psychology: A Biography of Ideas.]
> >
> > Alex, in the epilogue to that book summed up by positing three trends in
> > Vygotsky scholarship which he called three *planes*.
> > The 1st plane corresponds to the understanding of Vygotsky's theory by
> his
> > contemporaries in the 1920's and 1930's.
> > The 2nd plane emerges with the discovery of Vygotsky's theory in the West
> > in the 1960's .
> > In 1990 Kozulin perceived the emergence of a 3rd plane of Vygotsky
> > scholarship which is re-evaluating the presuppositions of the 1920's.
> What
> > in the 1920's appeared to be a straight forward thesis of social
> mediation,
> > and in the 1960's as a necessary corrective to the individualistic
> > approaches of Western Psychology, in 1990 emerges as a radically new
> > question. The realization that within Vygotsky's theory social AND
> cultural
> > mediatory mechanisms do NOT coincide.
> >
> > Alex writes:
> > "The origins and context of Vygotsky's theories are now being seen in a
> new
> > light; in place of comparisons to Pavlov, the Gestaltists and Piaget
> comes
> > the context of philosophical hermeneutics and the theory of communicative
> > action. In an even broader sense, what looked like Vygotsky's
> contribution
> > TO psychology appears now as leading BEYOND psychology or at least BEYOND
> > traditional psychology and into the sphere of human studies BASED on the
> > humanistic, rather than the scientific model." [p. 278-279].
> >
> > I am not sure how relevant Kozulin's epilogue  seems to others 25 years
> > later, but I found the themes in this book very current and relevant.  In
> > particular his analysis of Vygotsky's early humanistic writings explored
> > in chapter one on *The Psychology of Art* and chapter two on the theme of
> > Vygotsky's book on the tragedy of Hamlet.  These works were written by a
> > young public scholar developing his identity through engaging in  the
> deep
> > questions of life and existence.
> >
> > How does this relate to Anna and Mike's postings?
> > The discussion of corporate *money* controlling who gets to be the
> audience
> > for researcher's articles [Anna Sfard's question] and the question of the
> > role of *public* intellectuals who are addressing humanistic questions
> and
> > Vygotsky's writings as a humanistic writer seem related to the concept of
> >  Kozulin's 3rd plane of engagement BEYOND narrow academic disciplinary
> > discourse.
> > Will the university as an institution remain a place for these humanistic
> > studies and the type of scholarship which Alex captures in his biography
> of
> > Vygotsky's ideas, based on the humanistic model?. How central to
> Vygotsky's
> > later psychological theories were his earlier reflections on art and
> > tragedy?
> > Larry
Status: O