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[Xmca-l] Re: vygotsky's theory and symbolic interactionism

Thank you for your considered and considerate reply Paul, great to be in
touch again.

You can predict my reply.

But although I resolutely stick with my operational Earth-bound
materialism, at a cosmic level given the nature of the Universe (known), I
acknowledge that my total rejection of the vodou 'reality' is somewhat
unverifiable (au Popper)

Bon jour, mon ami

On 1 April 2014 16:58, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <pmocombe@mocombeian.com> wrote:

> Tom I agree with every bit of your reading of marx.  However, there is
> absolutely something missing.  That something is also grounded in material
> existence and it sparks life, whether at the atomic or subatomic level I do
> not know as of yet. As zora neale hurston highlighted in her ethnographic
> fieldwork in haiti, she came across that something, called ti bon ange, in
> haitian vodou.  It is the sui generis self that can be captured and
> manipulated in haitian vodou.   Doing my ethnographic fieldwork in haiti.
>  I watched ceremonies in which immediately after someone's death, that
> aspect of their consciousness is captured and stored in a bottle to be
> manipulated by the houngan, vodou priest, for favor.   I witnessed in
> ceremonies the priest gathering information about future and past life
> experiences of guests at the ceremony from the genie in the bottle..,
> tongue-in-cheek...
> As a researcher trained in western social science...I am seeking to
> explore this phenomenon which is not seen anywhere in marx, but the
> practitioners of vodou believe in this sui generis consciousness that
> precedes the personality and the consciousness of socialization.  It is not
> the soul in the western tradition because vodou is a materialist religion.
>  Max beauvior the ati of vodou argues that it is the energy of the
> universe...what physicists call subatomic particles..which constitutes all
> of us that is manipulated....in other words, we are constituted as
> subatomic particles, which is individuated (leibniz's monads come to mind
> here), to spark life and form individuals at the atomic level...it is that
> subatomic level that is socialized.  The question for me is that is that
> conception ideological or ontological...phenomena or noeumena?
> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> President
> The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> www.mocombeian.com
> www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> www.paulcmocombe.info
> Race and Class Distinctions within Black Communities
> www.routledge.com/9780415714372
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Tom Richardson <tom.richardson3@googlemail.com>
> Date:04/01/2014  11:25 AM  (GMT-05:00)
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: vygotsky's theory and symbolic interactionism
> Hello Paul
> At the risk of correcting your egg-blowing technique, Gramps, here is a
> quote which seems relevant to this problem to me:
> A problem of the greatest importance is raised in the passage just quoted,
> that of human consciousness. The crucial statement is: "It is not
> consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary,
> their social being that determines their consciousness." Marx gave a fuller
> statement with regard to the problem of consciousness in German Ideology:
> "The fact is, therefore, that definite individuals who are productively
> active in a definite way enter into these definite social and political
> relations. Empirical observations must in each separate instance bring out
> empirically, and without any mystification and speculation, the connection
> of the social and political structure with production. The social structure
> and the State are continually evolving out of the life-process of definite
> individuals, but of individuals, not as they may appear in their own or
> other people's imagination, but as they really are; i.e., as they are
> effective, produce materially, and are active under definite material
> limits, presuppositions and conditions independent of their will.
> "The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first
> directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse
> of men, the language of real life. Conceiving, thinking, the mental
> intercourse of men, appear at this stage as the direct afflux from their
> material behavior. The same applies to mental production as expressed in
> the language of the politics, laws, morality, religion, metaphysics of a
> people. Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc. -real,
> active men, as they are conditioned by the definite development of their
> productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these, up to its
> furthest forms. Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious
> existence, and the existence of men in their actual lifeprocess. If in all
> ideology men and their circumstances appear upside down as in a camera
> obscura,[*]<
> https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/notes.htm#n*>
> this
> phenomenon arises just as much from their historical lifeprocess as the
> inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process."
> [18] <https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/notes.htm#n18>
> In the first place, it should be noted that Marx, like Spinoza and later
> Freud, believed that most of what men consciously think is "false"
> consciousness, is ideology and rationalization; that the true mainsprings
> of man's actions are unconscious to him. According to Freud, they are
> rooted in man's libidinal strivings; according to Marx, they are rooted in
> the whole social organization of man which directs his consciousness in
> certain directions. and blocks him from being aware of certain facts and
> experiences. [19]<
> https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/notes.htm#n19>
> Its is important to recognize that this theory does not pretend that ideas
> or ideals are not real or not potent. Marx speaks of awareness, not of
> ideals. It is exactly the blindness of man's conscious thought which
> prevents him from being aware of his true human needs, and of ideals which
> are rooted in them. Only if false consciousness is transformed into true
> consciousness, that is, only if we are aware of reality, rather than
> distorting it by rationalizations and fictions, can we also become aware of
> our real and true human needs.
> It should also be noted that for Marx science itself and all powers
> inherent in man are part of the productive forces which interact with the
> forces of nature. Even as far as the influence of ideas on human evolution
> is concerned, Marx was by no means as oblivious to their power as the
> popular interpretation of his work makes it appear. His argument was not
> against ideas, but against ideas which were not rooted in the human and
> social reality, which were not, to use Hegel's term, "a real possibility."
> Most of all, he never forgot that not only do circumstances make man; man
> also makes circumstances. The following passage should make clear how
> erroneous it is to interpret Marx as if he, like many philosophers of the
> enlightenment and many sociologists of today, gave man a passive role in
> the historical process, as if he saw him as the passive object of
> circumstances:
> "The materialistic doctrine [in contrast to Marx's view] concerning the
> changing of circumstances and education forgets that circumstances are
> changed by men and that the educator himself must be educated. This
> doctrine has therefore to divide society into two parts, one of which is
> superior to society [as a whole].
> "The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or
> self-changing can only be comprehended and rationally understood as
> revolutionary practice."
> Surely, while I know that my daughter and my son were clearly very
> different individuals when I saw them each (1970 and 19732) just several
> minutes after birth, their 'being' is/was shaped by us, and the rest of the
> totality of their society. At this moment, I reject the idea of an innate,
> immanent 'individual consciousness' of each human, as an idealist chimera,
> to be blunt. But this may be an attitude shaped by an over-reliance on
> those very received wisdoms I am attempting to reject - argh!
> Yours contradictorily
> Tom (Richardson)
> Middlesbrough UK
> On 1 April 2014 10:58, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <pmocombe@mocombeian.com>
> wrote:
> > At the heart of vygotsky's and mead's work is hegels master/slave
> > dialectic as they apply it to the constitution of identity, I.e.
> > Consciousness...As though there is no consciousness/identity prior to
> > socialization via language and symbolic interaction.  This is similar to
> > the identitarian logic of frankfurt school logician theodor adorno.  I
> have
> > a problem with that as I view language and symbolic interaction as always
> > an element of power and domination.  In essence my research question is,
> > "is there a sui generis consciousness that exist prior to
> > socialization/domination by symbols and language.  Haitian metaphysics
> says
> > yes...it exists at the subatomic particle level and is just as real as
> the
> > i and me of language and symbolic interaction.  Zora Neale hurston in her
> > ethnographic field work in haiti was attempting to theorize about this in
> > her literature...it is the essence of who we are.  I may have to go into
> > the realm of physics to make sense of this metaphysical logic.
> >
> >
> > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > President
> > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> > www.mocombeian.com
> > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> > www.paulcmocombe.info
> >
> > <div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Greg Thompson <
> > greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> </div><div>Date:03/31/2014  11:53 PM
> >  (GMT-05:00) </div><div>To: Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>,"eXtended
> > Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> </div><div>Subject:
> > [Xmca-l] Re: vygotsky's theory and symbolic interactionism </div><div>
> > </div>Paul,
> > And another piece you might be interested in:
> > Winter, J. A. and Goldfield, E. C. (1991), Caregiver-Child Interaction in
> > the Development of Self: The Contributions of Vygotsky, Bruner, and Kaye
> to
> > Mead's Theory. Symbolic Interaction, 14: 433-447.
> > doi: 10.1525/si.1991.14.4.433
> >
> > I suspect a Hegelian/Marxian root is shared between Vygotsky and Mead.
> Mead
> > said at one point that his social psychology was an attempt to do what
> > Hegel did, with the hopes that it would be "less incorrigible." I have
> the
> > exact quote somewhere if you're interested.
> >
> > The Vygotsky-Hegel connections have been much debated here on XMCA, but
> it
> > seems that there is good reason to think that Vygotsky would have been
> > influenced by Hegel, whether directly or indirectly (quick duck - I think
> > they'll be some words flying soon in defense of one side or the other of
> > this argument...).
> >
> > I'm interested in this intersection as well, more in terms of links and
> > complementarities with Goffman and Vygotsky, but I'm happy to chat about
> > the Mead/Vygotsky link.
> >
> > -greg
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 5:53 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Anne Edwards has an article on this topic in *The Cambridge Companion
> to
> > > Vygotsky".
> > >
> > > I have inquired of Anne, and would of anyone interested, to understand
> > > where the concept of culture appears in the Meadian framework.
> > >
> > > mike
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <
> > > pmocombe@mocombeian.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I am working on a paper comparing and contrasting george herbert
> mead's
> > > > symbolic interactionism with
> > > > vygotsky's theory....any suggestions anyone?
> > > >
> > > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > > > President
> > > > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> > > > www.mocombeian.com
> > > > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> > > > www.paulcmocombe.info
> > > >
> > > > Race and Class Distinctions within Black Communities
> > > > www.routledge.com/9780415714372
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > Assistant Professor
> > Department of Anthropology
> > 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >
> >