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

Oh, I got it from a wonderful book by Luria edited by Michael and
Sheila Cole, "The Making of Mind". The phrase "romantic scientist" is
not really Luria's to begin with; he took it from Max Verwoern. But on
p. 174 of "The Making of Mind", he associates "romantic" with holism,
with anti-reductionism and Gestalt, using Vygotsky's favorite quotes.

"Classical scholars are those who look upon events in terms of their
constituent parts. Step by step they single out important units and
elements until they can formulate abstract general laws. These laws
are then seen as the governing agents of the phenomena of the field
under study. One outcoem of this approach is the reduction of living
reality with all its richenss of detail to abstract schemas. The
roperties ofhte iving whole are lost, which provoked Goethe to pen,
'Gray is eery theory, but ever green is the tree of life."

"Romantic scholars traits, attitudes and strategies are just the
opposite. They do not follow the path of reductionism, which is the
leading philosophy of the classical group. Romantics in science want
neither to split living reality into its elementary components nor to
represent the wealth of life's concrete events in abstract models that
lose the properties of the phenomena themselves. It is of the utmost
importance to romantics to preserve the wealth of living reality, and
they aspire to a science that retains this richness."

Don't you think that sounds like a thumbnail of Vygotsky?

On p. 175 he says "One of the major factors that drew me to Vygotsky
was his emphasis on the necessity to resolve (sic) this crisis",
meaning the crisis brought about by the split between classical and
romantic tendencies. He then describes the rise of wave after wave of
reductionism in psychology in the twentieth century.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

On 18 March 2014 12:14, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> David-- Where did luria say that Vygotsky was engaged in Romantic Science.
> I missed it!
> mike
> 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