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[Xmca-l] Re: LSV on language as a model of development


My favorite is on pp. 347-349 of the Vygotsky Reader, "The Problem of the
Environment". It's too long to quote here, so I summarize.

Vygotsky is making the point that unlike phylogenetic
development, ontogenetic development is teleological. He  asks his students
if they can imagine a situation in phylogenetic development where the
end-point of development is co-present with its beginning and is actually
capable of guiding its steps.

(Since even the unimaginable has to be somehow come to mind, Vygotsky
probably has in mind, probably, the USSR, where the most advanced form of
social organization is co-present with hunter-gatherer societies in the
North, pastoral societies in Central Asia, and subsistence agriculture in
the Caucasus. When I try to do this, I somehow see flying saucers landing
at Stonehenge!)

He concludes that no such situation is imaginable. But then--he points out
that the mere fact that something is unimaginable does nothing to prevent
it from actually happening, because precisely this situation obtains with
speech--that is, the "ideal, complete" form is present alongside the most
basic forms and help to guide their first stumbling steps.

As T.S. Eliot says:

In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended
Are removed, destroyed, restored or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass (East Coker)

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

On 3 July 2014 03:41, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am seeking to find a quotation from Vygotsky where he asserts that the
> development of language offers a general model for human development more
> generally. My fantasy, or can someone help me find it?
> mike