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[Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct perception



the attachment re mediation

On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 11:02 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> My impression, Greg and David Ki, is that in the CHAT tradition
> specifically, as opposed to the English language in general, mediation
> refers to *artefact-mediation*. Of course, every action is both mediated
> and immediate, and in many discursive contexts, "mediation" is a concept
> which may be evoked quite legitimately, but with no special significant for
> the use of CHAT. In social theory, for example, mediation of activities by
> other activities or institutions is as ubiquitous as mediation of actions
> by artefacts is in the domain of psychology. But if the topic is
> psychology, I think artefact-mediation is so central, that I prefer to
> spell it out and use the term "artefact-mediated" rather than the vague
> term "mediated".
>
> I have come across usages like "mediated by such-and-such a concept." Like
> Alice in Wonderland one can use words to mean what you like, but I find a
> formulation like this in the context of CHAT problematic, because it is
> using the idea of "mediation" in the most general sense in a way which
> obscures the fact that a concept is not immediately present in any act of
> communication or any other act, and therefore *cannot mediate actions*.
> Artefacts, such as spoken words, which may be signs for a concept, can of
> course mediate an act of communication. But the point is that a word is not
> universally and unproblematically a sign for any one concept. It means
> different things to different people. Concepts are not artefacts. Artefacts
> are universal in their materiality, but particular in their meaning. So
> when we have a concept in mind when we use a word in communication, the
> communication is mediated by the word not the concept, and it is a mistake
> not to be aware of that.
>
> So I would prefer it if "mediation" were always used in qualified way so
> that its specific meaning is made clear.
>
> Andy
> PS. And David Ki is completely right in his comment, too.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Greg Thompson wrote:
>
>> Does "mediation" only apply to language and culture?
>>
>> Or does it include nerve fibers? (in which case we would need to include
>> reflexes)
>>
>> And does it include our socio-contextual surround as in Bateson's man with
>> the stick? (in which case, we would need to include newborns).
>>
>> Just wonderin'.
>>
>> -greg
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> Thanks for replies.
>>> I'm recalling several years ago Jim Greeno decided to stop talking about
>>> situated cognition because the pragmatics of adjectival use implies there
>>> has to be a contrasting non-situated cognition. He now speaks of
>>> situativity theory. It seems, with the exception of physical reflexes
>>> (and
>>> perhaps pre-conscious infant activity), all human action is mediated (and
>>> perhaps a lot of non-human action, as well). So, it's worth noting that
>>> "mediated action" doesn't specify a kind of action, but rather a
>>> theoretical assumption about all human action; though there seems to be
>>> some variation in interpretation of what that assumption entails.
>>> David
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>


-- 

Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and re-
construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more or
less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
Gray, 2001]

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