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

Thank you for introducing this passage, David. What is Vygotsky's interest here, do you think? If I were to say "Vygotsky is interested in investigating the relation between doing and undergoing" I don't think we'd be any the clearer, even though it it formally true and accords with the title of the article. I suggest that Vygotsky's interest is continuing his work on child development (where he used the concept of Social Situation of Development) to find a foundation for a theory of *personal development* which would be adequate beyond childhood. This would mean that if we ask "What is an experience or a perezhivanie a unit of?" we would answer "personality" or what is the same thing "personal development" - since to understand the product of a process of development (a personality) is to understand the process itself.

*Andy Blunden*

David Kellogg wrote:
I don't see anything wrong with the idea that "felt experience" or
"thought-over experience" or "contemplated experience" (i.e. perezhivanie,
which develops in time) is always and everywhere a unit of doing and
undergoing, just as Alfredo says. In fact, it seems to me to be exactly
what Vygotsky says. Here is the nineteenth paragraph of Vygotsky's lecture
"The Problem of the Environment".

Я хотел сегодня на конкретном примере учения о среде показать вам несколько
таких единиц, которыми оперирует психологическое исследование. Примером
таких единиц может служить переживание. Переживание есть единица, в которой
в неразложимом виде представлена с одной стороны среда, то, что переживается,
- переживание всегда относится к чему-то, находящемуся вне человека, - с
другой стороны представлено то, как я переживаю это, т.е. все особенности
личности и все особенности среды представлены в переживании, то, что
отобрано из среды, все те моменты, которые имеют отношение к данной
личности и отобраны из личности, все те черты ее характера,
конституциональные черты, которые имеют отношение к данному событию. Таким
образом, в переживании мы всегда имеем дело с неразложимым единством
особенностей личности и особенностей ситуации, которая представлена в
переживании. Поэтому выгодным оказывается в методическом отношении вести
анализ, когда мы изучаем роль среды в развитии ребенка, вести анализ с
точки зрения переживаний ребенка, потому что в переживании ребенка, как я
уже говорил, учитываются все личные особенности ребенка, которые
участвовали в определении его отношения к данной ситуации. Например, все ли
мои личные конституциональные особенности всякого рода участвуют целиком и
на равных началах? Конечно, нет. В одной ситуации одни мои
конституциональные особенности играют первую роль, в другой –другие играют
первую роль, а в первом случае они могут и не проявляться вовсе. Нам важно
знать не вообще сами по себе конституциональные особенности ребенка, а нам
важно знать, какие из этих конституциональных особенностей сыграли решающую
роль при определении отношения ребенка к данной ситуации, в другой ситуации
уже другие конституциональные особенности сыграли роль.

What this says (I think) is this:

"I wish today as a concrete example of the teaching on the environment to
show you a few of these units (единиц) with which psychological research
operates. An example of such a unit which might serve is lived experience (
переживание ). Lived experience is a unit whose form presents in an
non-decomposable way, on the one side, the environment that is
live-experienced—lived experience always refers to something that is
external to the person—and on the other side represents the way that I
live-experience it, i.e. all the features of the personality and all the
features of the environment presented in the lived experience, what was
selected from the environment, all the moments which are related to a given
personality and selected in the personality, all of the features of its
(i.e. the personality’s—DK) character, all its constituent features related
to this event. Thus, in lived experience we are always dealing with the
irreducible unity of features of personality and features of the situation,
which is presented in lived experience. For this reason it is
methodologically advantageous to carry out our analysis, when we study the
role of the environment in the development of the child, from the point of
view of the lived experience of the child, because the lived experience of
the child, as I have already said, takes in all of the personality
characteristics of the child which participate in the definition of his
relationship to a given situation. Do, for example, all of the constituent
features of my personality of every type participate fully and on an equal
footing? Of course not. In one situation, one of my constituent features
plays the first role, and in another, another plays the first role where in
the first case it may not appear at all. To us it is not important to know
the constituent features of the child in themselves, but to us it is
important to know which of these constituent features plays the decisive
role in determining the child’s relationship to a given situation where in
other situations other constituent features have played a role."

Of course, it's very hard (and not always necessary) to summarize all that
in a single pithy expression. But it seems to me that when Andy uses the
expression "radius of subjectivity" and Alfredo uses the expression "a unit
of doing and undergoing" they are saying essentially the same thing.

David Kellogg

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

On 4 July 2014 11:22, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

That is how I interpreted Alfredo, Andy.

an *in*-experienced oldtimer

On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 6:45 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

I am familiar with Dewey's work on this, Alfredo, and I too have found it
very useful. That was not my problem. But thinking about it, I suspect it
was just an English expression problem.
You said "experience is a unit of doing and undergoing". But I think you
meant to say "experience is a unity of doing and undergoing," which is
certainly true. Just as activity is a unity of consciousness and
behaviour, or identity is a unity of recognition and self-consciousness,
But a *unit* is something different from *unity*. "Experience" in this
sense is not a unit at all; "an experience" can be a unit, but not a unit
of doing and undergoing.

Is that right, Alfredo?

Dewey, most extensively in chapter 3 of "Art as experience", makes a
distinction between the general stream of experience, and an
which, according to him, is the experience that "is a whole and carries
with it its own individualizing quality and self-sufficiency". After
fact, an experience "has a unity that gives it its name, that meal,
storm, that rupture of friendship", Dewey writes. He further says that,
within that unity, there is both an aspect of doing, of initiation, and
another of undergoing, "of suffering in its large sense". He further
articulates the relation between the doing and the undergoing in terms
"anticipation" and "consummation" "Anticipation" he writes "is the
connecting link between the next doing and its outcome for sense. What
done and what is undergone are thus reciprocally, cumulatively, and
continuously instrumental to each other"

Although in most passages these notes have a rather individualistic
he goes on to clarify that there is a prominent public character in
experience: "without external embodiment, an experience remains
incomplete" he says. In the same chapter, he also argues that "it is
possible to divide in a vital experience the practical, emotional, and
intellectual from one another." Both these conditions may make it
to draw connections between Dewey's notion of experience and Vygotsky's

In any case, I find interesting the dialectic Dewey proposes between
and undergoing as aspects of a minimal unit of sense-full experience
because it allows for thinking of being immersed in a developmental
situation in which the final form already exists before the intellect
grasps it, so that we do not need to put individual knowledge
constructions as who puts the cart before the horse.

But this is my reading, which may have obviated other aspects that
preclude this reading?
Hope this was of help.

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
behalf of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Sent: 03 July 2014 17:17
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: LSV on language as a model of development

Alfredo, what did you mean by:
... as he argued, experience is a unit of doing and undergoing,