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

Hi all,

I am new here, but have been following xmca threads for some weeks now. I just want to highlight yet another connection with regard to Vygotsky's discussion in "the problem of the environment", this time (and not surprisingly after the already mentioned connections with Hegel), with Dewey. Although probably most of you are already aware of such connection, I thought it was worth mentioning it:

During my studies as PhD student I have been articulating connections between Vygotsky's ideas and Dewey's notion of "experience". I have done so (together with WM Roth) as part of my efforts to analytically address the emergent and unexpected character of the learning episodes that I could observe taking place in inquiry-based science classroom activities in K-12: The students were often surprised by the outcomes of their own actions. Yet, it was by virtue of being already immersed in the new (unknown and unexpected) situations that their own actions had brought them into, that new understandings  about such situations begun to emerge. I have seen similar instances in my own daughter's development. In these examples, the conditions for growing intellectually where already present in the material situations that the learners' joint actions had brought them into (I am aware that there are some phenomenological resonances in this too).
Dewey may be accounting for something like these examples with his notion of continuity of experience, when he discusses the relation between anticipation and consummation, and between the doing and the undergoing of situations (both in "Art as Experience" and in the "Logic a theory of Inquiry"). If, as he argued, experience is a unit of doing and undergoing, experience already contains both the initial and final forms. All that resonates well with Vygotsky's words that "something which is only supposed to take shape at the very end of development, somehow influences the very first steps in this development"

I thought that these ideas made sense with regard to your ongoing discussion.


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Ma, James (james.ma@canterbury.ac.uk) <james.ma@canterbury.ac.uk>
Sent: 03 July 2014 10:46
To: Tom Richardson; lchcmike@gmail.com; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: LSV on language as a model of development

Mike, I’d like to resonate with your last point.

For me, the spiral of development is an end in itself, at least viewed in the grand vision of Hegelian metaphysics. Currently I’m writing a manuscript on the word-image complementarity (as a sequel to my recent article in MCA). What’s fascinating to me is that both word and image are elusive as well as subjective, which opens up an immense scope for abductive semiotic thinking.  The approach to word concepts seems to be linear, whereas the approach to visual images takes the form of circumnavigation, spiralling outward from the centre to the periphery and simultaneously inward from the periphery to the centre. What’s more, when word and image work to absorb each other, they’re both outside themselves, so to speak. This creates a profound aporia, a term used in philosophy of language. Say, when a visual image is absorbed by a word concept, we’re confronted with the inadequacy of figurative language to coincide with the world it may wish to delineate.

Such word-image complementarity and dissonance can be all the more captivating should it be examined through the prism of Peirce-Vygotsky synergy (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10749039.2014.913294).

Best wishes, James

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
Sent: 03 July 2014 03:59
To: Tom Richardson
Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: LSV on language as a model of development

Oh! Sometimes I just love this list/community. What a great range of
Kyle nailed just the passage that I was thinking of but could not locate.
linked the question to the idea/real being the environment that allows the
end to be in the beginning, Tom notes the link back to Hegel.

Whoa, what a tasty repast. Thank you all.

Here is something interesting to me-- No one mentioned the linkage of these
ideas to the spiral of development. I am sensitive to this point because
when the new LCHC generation brought the webpage out of the 1990's, none of
those who rescued it from decrepitude knew what the spiral of development
on the home page meant..... except that it was difficult to navigate along
it (having to read upside down and all that). It remains, as a pale
imitation of itself. Although it, too , can be found in Eliot!

Which brings us to affinities between the judeo-christian tradition and

Anyway, thanks on all accounts.

On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM, Tom Richardson <
tom.richardson3@googlemail.com> wrote:

> "situation in phylogenetic development where the
> end-point of development is co-present with its beginning..." reminds me
> of an Hegelian formulation,conceptualisation, (but standing on its own
> feet?)
> Tom
> On 2 July 2014 21:42, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Mike:
>> 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
>> >