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[Xmca-l] Intellect and consciousness

The last words of Thinking and Speech surely put an end to the matter


   "The /consciousness of sensation/ and /thinking/ are characterized
   by different modes of reflecting reality. They aredifferent types of

Immediate sensuous awareness and intellect are *different types of consciousness*.

   "Therefore, thinking and speech are the key to understanding the
   nature of human consciousness."

Intellect is the *key* to understanding consciousness, because by understanding just the one, the most developed type of consciousness in its special formation, we unlock the whole ("the hand of man is the key to anatomy of the ape")

But if you equate the highest with the lowest and the microcosm with the unit, then you may not read this the same way,

   "If language is as ancient as consciousness itself, if language is
   consciousness that exists in practice for other people and therefore
   for myself, then it is not only the development of thought but the
   development of consciousness as a whole that is connected with the
   development of the word. Studies consistently demonstrate that the
   word plays a central role not in the isolated functions but the
   whole of consciousness. In consciousness, the word is what - in
   Feuerbach's words - is absolutely impossible for one person but
   possible for two. The word is the most direct manifestation of the
   historical nature of human consciousness.
   Consciousness is reflected in the word like the sun is reflected in
   a droplet of water. The word is a microcosm of consciousness,
   related to consciousness like a living cell is related to an
   organism, like an atom is related to the cosmos. The meaningful word
   is a microcosm of human consciousness."


*Andy Blunden*

David Kellogg wrote:
But I think Mike's specific question is a good one, and it cries out for a
specific answer. Where exactly does Vygotsky speak of "consciousness" as
distinct from "intellect"? He certainly discusses consciousness a lot; it
is the "topic that will not speak its name" throughout the whole of
"Thinking and Speech", and one can easily understand why Zavershneva thinks
that "Thinking and Speech" is only the prologue of a much longer trilogy on
consciousness. He also discusses intellect alot; it is the explicit topic
of most of HDHMF, and part of his outrage over "intelligence" testing in
Chapter Fourteen and "accelerated development" in his Lectures on Pedology
is his anger that intellect could be reduced to a kind of ontogenetic
speeding. But where does Vygotsky distinguish the one from the other?

The best answer I can come up with is Chapter Six of "Thinking and Speech",
where Vygotsky places inner speech at the extreme dialogic end of a
continuum which has oral speech in the middle and written speech at the far
monologic end. Of course, this assumes that "inner speech" is a realization
of consciousness and that "written speech" is a realization of intellect,
and that seems a leap too far for Kozulin: both are both. So perhaps the
solution is to consider some mediating layer--some form of meaning
potential which realizes consciousness and is realized as inner speech, and
some other form of meaning potential that realizes intellect and is
realized as writing. That's where, I think, Larry is going when he brings
in Bakhtin and genre: dialogues at the end of consciousness and narratives
at the end of intellect: the two modes of consciousness/intellect--the
episodic and the narrativistic--discussed by Strawson in a paper discussed
by xmca a few years ago.

My graduate students are trying to write a version of Shakespeare's "The
Tempest" for children. This morning one of them condensed the whole of Act
One (except the actual tempest) into the following dialogue:

Miranda: Father--soften the storm. Where is my lover?
Prospero: Don't worry. No one died. Your lover's coming.

(Miranda sleeps)

Ariel: Great Master! I did what you asked.
Prospero: Where are the king's ship and the passengers?
Ariel: They are all safe. The king's ship is in the harbor.

(Prospero goes to look.)

Ariel: Come unto these yellow sands....!
Ferdinand: Where does the music come from? It softens my fury....

(Ferdinand finds the sleeping Miranda.)

You can see--from the parenthetic stage directions, but above all from the
missing intellectations--that dialogue cannot do it all. We need some
narrative here as well! And when we go back to Shakespeare's original text
we do find that most of Act One consists of Prospero's narrative to the
distracted Miranda.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

On 19 May 2014 22:42, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

Mike, Peter
Thanks for keeping this thread moving.

Mike, your reflection on models of schooling *expanding beyond* the
ethnocentrism of Bibler's model seems to be an underlying *value* built
into the model.
The model seems to  presume multiple logics and rationalities [cultural
historical formations or schemas] and therefore Eurocentric formations
within this model must also be transfigured through dialogue.

Bibler's approach focuses on learning multiple particular schemas through
an *immersion* experience at each grade level. The intent is to live
through the experience of *knowing* within each sociocultural schema
by the approach of reading the *primary documents* and developing the
unique *logic/value* of that particular schema. [various grades in school
offer immersion experiences in different logic formations]

This approach would hopefully develop within each person a polylogical
sensibility that would situate the scientific logic of our current
sociocultural schema as only one particular formation which could be put
into dialogue with previous formations which are seen as equally valid
formations that continue to enter interplay with our scientific biases.

To *extend* and *go beyond* the ethnocentrism of Bibler's model which is
biased toward *Eurocentric presuppositions* seems to be a natural extension
of the model.

I read Alex Kozulin writings on Bibler's approach as an example of
Vygotsky's writings on *inner speech* being put into dialogue with
Bahktin's writings on *readings and genres* as formations of consciousness.
The reciprocal movements of orientation moving towards *internal* speech*
AND the interplay with the movements of orientation moving towards cultural
historical schemas. How these movements of orientation are linked *hinges*
or *pivots* on this reciprocal interplay.

This seems to offer a model of schooling AS reciprocal conversations
developing *thinking*, *speech*, and *readings* as mutually reciprocal
intersubjective experiences.

The underlying movement of answerability as responding to emerging
questions that is moving *beyond* received knowledge formations/logics by
the process of *living through* and exploring the concealed logics within
each schema.
The centrality of *gaps* and *openings* emerging within all received
*knowings* which then *call us* into dialogue and re-search and experiments
[as dialogical ways of orienting] which develop through dialogue and the
reciprocal engagement of self-reflection AND intersubjective reflection.

The question Alex Kozulin leaves open is the notion of *higher forms*
*sublating* earlier formations OR if these earlier formations are
continually in dialogue with later formations.

The concept *sociocultural schemas* is the notion Alex Kozulin explored in
his book inviting us to re-engage this concept within a revitalized
*humanism*. Bibler's approach to schooling is one particular answer to
Kozulin's general question of how do we engage with *sociocultural schemas*
as dialogically developing formations.
I read Kozulin's question as a movement of going beyond received traditions
while honouring these traditions. Moving through *Eurocentrism* to go
*beyond* and embrace other sociocultural schemas in dialogue with
*Eurocentric* models is an approach of deepening our conversations
AS questions and answers. Conversations as gestures within genres. This
approach has the potential to develop polylogical ways of orienting as we
move forward within a new expanding humanism of communicative action.

Alex may have more to contribute on this theme of sharing mutual dialogue
towards finding *common ground* within a new commons

On Sun, May 18, 2014 at 6:34 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

Thank you for sending your overview of the papers based Bibler's ideas
their pedagogical implications, Peter. And thanks for the succinct
from Alex Kozulin, Larry.

To me it seems that the only way to overcome the ethnocentricism in the
model is to make the conversation a global polylogue, Peter. Creating the
conditions for such a polylogue within the structures of state or
scientific structure of power seems a real challenge, even for the
What source(s) does one take as the purpose of education, as a social
category and its related social institutions of implementation?
posing the questions seems one source. Creating alternatives seems
One hopes that where there is a way there will also be a will!

We'll see.

Meantime, I had a question about the quotation from Alex's work, so I
include him the discussion, the contents of which he knows far better
I. The statement that caught my eye was this:

At this moment it seems relevant to recall Vygotsky's distinction between
consciousness and intellect. Intellect, and its OBJECTIVIZED FORM,
scientific reasoning, are MONOLOGOUS and object-oriented, while
consciousness, which is ORGANIZED by the system of *senses* is

​Here is my question: Where is this well known distinction between
consciousness and intellect best represented in Vygotsky's writings?

((It seems important to suggest that a consciously organized system of
(as in sense/meaning) would be polylogical, that is, ideally, global.
Binary systems, in particular, seem to be unstable in ways that are not
condusive to human develpment.))



On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 4:10 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
Here's my contribution.
Smagorinsky, P. (2011). A distant perspective on the School of the
Dialogue of Cultures pedagogical movement in Ukraine and Russia.
Russian and East European Psychology, 49(2), 29-35. Available at

Peter Smagorinsky
Distinguished Research Professor of English Education
Department of Language and Literacy Education
The University of Georgia
315 Aderhold Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Advisor, Journal of Language and Literacy Education

Follow JoLLE on twitter @Jolle_uga

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry Purss
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:14 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Bibler's concept of "formations of Reasoning"

Thanks, Peter

What year was volume 49 (2) ??

Has the XMCA community discussed Bibler's way of orienting to education
and its purpose as *humanistic*.  Seeing *reason* as developing
formations historically and these various formations continuing to be
*dialogue* within contemporary ways of understanding.  The current
scientific mode/genre of reasoning as a particular formation expressing
particular assumptions which can be put in dialogue with earlier
that CONTINUE to inform contemporary reasoning processes.

I will elaborate by referring to chapter 7 [The Life of Ideas] in Alex
Kozulin's book *Vygotsky's Psychology*. Onn page 254 is an outline of
Kozulin views Vygotsky's legacy developing in the 1970's & 1980's.
 Kozulin wrote:
"To give some idea of how Vygotsky's theoretical legacy was developed
the 1970's and 1980's  I will concentrate on three directions. The
direction  included a constructive critique of Vygotsky's notion of
*scientific* concepts and the development of  a new program for the
of theoretical concept formation in schoolchildren. The second
research was associated with the fundamental epistemological critique
psychology based on the natural-scientific model and the proposals for
NEW HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY and psychotherapy.  The third direction
the philosophical importance of Vygotsky's work together with the work
Bahktin.. The problem of the dialogical nature of human consciousness
to the forefront and proposals were made for a new logic based on a
dialogue between different *cultures of thinking*"
Kozulin in chapter 7 then expands his understanding of each of these
The second direction [a new humanistic psychology] references Vasilyk's
book *The Psychology of Experiencing* as an example of this new
Vasilyk contrasts *defense mechanisms* with the notion of *overcoming*
*living through* crisis. The individual *lives through* a crisis ONLY
plugging into the *sociocultural schemas* that are supra-individual. At
same time *plugging into* the sociocultural schemas does NOT lift the
requirement of *authoring* [overcoming] but rather emphasizes
Overcoming/authoring is impossible without sociocultural schemas but
be accomplished only in a highly individual way. In Vasilyk's book the
of *psychological tools* was EXTENDED to include the sociocultural
of religious character AND the critical issue of the issue of MEDIATION
THROUGH THE  SIGNIFICANT OTHER is explored. Kozulin suggests Vasilyk is
example of this second new direction Vygotsky's legacy extended within
humanistic psychology.

The third direction opened up by Vygotsky's legacy in the 1970's and
1980's is the theme of *dialogical* human nature.
Vladimir Bibler is exploring one particular type or genre within
dialogical notions of human nature. [the dialogue between different
Bibler suggests the represented object is different in different
of thought*.   Kozulin writes:
"The dialogue of these systems would REVEAL the object as *encircled*
different forms of cognitive representation, no one of which is either
final or *encompassing*. Such a dialogue, however, is impossible as
the scientific inquiry is taken as the prototype of THE logic of human
thought. Scientific epistemology, as it was formulated in the
through the nineteenth centuries PRESUPPOSES a continuous progression
thought and the SUBLATION of the achievements of the past into new,
forms of theorizing. Such a prototype would not allow for a truly
dialogical relationship between DIFFERENT SYSTEMS, because one of them
should necessarily appear as a special case of the MORE DEVELOPED one."
[page 270]

Kozulin goes on in referring to Vladimir Bibler's project to say:

" While Vygotsk's study of inner speech suggested to Bibler the
psychological model of the process of thought formation, Bahktin'a
of the novel armed him with the philosophy of culture BASED on the idea
dialogue.... What is meant by Bahktin is NOT an explicit, overt
which two voices are engaged, but an INNER dialogic quality of a text,
EVERY ELEMENT of which is incorporating the overtones of other texts.
sometimes hidden dialogic NATURE OF A TEXT is a REFLECTION of the
essentially dialogical nature of human consciousness. At this moment it
seems relevant to recall Vygotsky's distinction between consciousness
intellect. Intellect, and its OBJECTIVIZED FORM, scientific reasoning,
MONOLOGOUS and object-oriented, while consciousness, which is ORGANIZED
the system of *senses* is NECESSARILY dialogical.  That is why
according to Vygotsky, is a microcosm of the human consciousness rather
than that of the intellect." [page 271]

Peter, I have ventriloquated Kozulin's voice [and also other voices
Kozulin's *readings*.
The concept *sociocultural schemas* was used by Kozulin to explore
DISTINCT formations of reason within particular epochs. His central
is that these formations are NOT sublated but continue to *plug in* to
contempory formations of reason* [as dialogically emergent] Vladimir
has attempted within the *School of Cultural Dialogues* to help
learn to think and converse in each of these DISTINCT forms of reason.
assumes that by learning to *plug in* each type [genre] a student can
learn to see the dialogical nature of our current way of scientific
reasoning as one particular type and not a universal capacity.

Then a student can learn to be more playful and flexible with the
types of reasoning that continue to develop in our ongoing interplay.

I'm curious if the 3 directions Kozulin was *reading* into Vygotsky's
legacy in the 1970's and 1980's are continuing to inform Vygotsky's
or is Kozulin's *reading* a minor stream of Vygotsky in-search and

Peter, thanks for the lead to the JREEP article's on Bibler.

So many varied *readings* Of Vygotsky to try to understand and

Kozulin's book on Vygotsky has

On Wed, May 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
Eugene Matusov edited an issue of JREEP dedicated to the School of
Dialogue of Cultures. Journal of Russian and East European
49(2), http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/results1.asp?ACR=rpo

Peter Smagorinsky
Distinguished Research Professor of English Education Department of
Language and Literacy Education The University of Georgia
315 Aderhold Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Advisor, Journal of Language and Literacy Education

Follow JoLLE on twitter @Jolle_uga

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:56 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Bibler's concept of "formations of Reasoning"

Valdimir Bibler was recently mentioned on this site. He has
participated in creating the "School of the Dialogue of Cultures"
which uses as its central construct "formations or systems of
Kozulin refers to this construct as "sociocultural schemas"
Binswanger refers to "world designs"
Gadamer refers to "horizons of understanding"

This construct does not see knowledge as *sublated* but each new
*formation* enters into dialogue with previous formations of
consciousness AND knowledge is the process OF REVEALING the
nature of this EMERGING encounter between formations of *reasoning*
Bibler has developed a school system where students engage in USING
these various formations of histrorically developed *reasons* as
I'm fascinated with the family resemblance with Gadmer and
Binswanger's ideas as sharing common intersections.