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[Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky



Rod Mike, and others interested in Shotter’s  Withness Thinking

Mike asks  how it may 

“links to Gibsonian notions of direct perception, extended to include the moral force that accompanies other's behavior. Do you think that the entire essay is something we should read to get a better graps on "withness thinking"?


Rod mentions Shotter’s close reading of Vygotsky who he puts in play with Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty and recently Barard who explore dialogue in practice.


I would like to focus on the theme of *direct perception* as explored in Merleau Ponty’s view of perception. My thoughts are from Lawrence Haas who wrote a book on Merleau Ponty’s perspective as a response to what Haas terms the *sensation Fallacy*



Haas says the sensation fallacy [that has become a key master concept in psychology and philosophy that allowed Descartes to treat sensations AS the fundamental objective material rooted in *sensory mechanisms* and perceptions are viewed as the unreliable *subjective REPRESENTATIONS of this sensory mechanism.


Locke, extending Descarte’s  sensory fallacy wrote:

“Though the qualities [sense datum] that affect our Senses are in the things themselves, so united and blended … Yet ‘tis plain the *ideas* they produce in the mind, enter by the senses simple and unmixed … The coldness and hardness which a man feels in a piece of ice being AS distinct *ideas* in the Mind, as the smell and whiteness of a lily …. There is nothing can be plainer to a man, than the clear and distinct perception he has of those simple *ideas*  which being EACH IN ITSELF uncompounded, contains in it nothing by one uniform appearance, or CONCEPTION in the mind, and is NOT distinguished into different *ideas*”


Merleau Ponty focused his theory of perception to refute the sensation fallacy that dominates our modern consciousness.  THAT SENSATIONS BRING THE EXTERNAL WORLD *inside** to BECOME *re-presented* AS *ideas*.


Merleau Ponty shows how this sensation fallacy [which has become axiomatic in traditional empiricism]  is actually a secondary intellectual conceptual construction DERIVED from perceptual experience  Locke, Hume, Mill, Russel, Moore, Carnap, all shared this TYPE of re-presentational notion of sensation.

Indeed Haas writes,

“whenever one finds a philosopher defining sensation WITH a list of qualities such as cold, hot, white, sour, hard, bitter, red, THIS *understanding* [sensation fallacy] is at work.


M-P shows this intellectually derived fallacy corresponds to nothing in our actual perceptual experience. M-p shows even our most rudimentary perceptions ARE RELATIONAL and MEANING-LADEN.  The sensation CONSTRUCTED AS ontologically basic IS an ARTIFACT of second-order thinking- an ABSTRACT concept - that has been REIFIED AS ontologically basic.  

This THEN entails that the accompanying theory of perception AS AN *internal* IDEAL REPRESENTATIION of an *external* world built up out of sense-data [sense-qualia] IS EQUALLY ABSTRACT and ultimately flawed. THIS empiricist theory of perception keeps us blind to the very character of perceptual experience.


M-P draws on Gestalt psychology to show ALL perception is COMPLEX AND RELATIONAL.


M-P shows many dimensions that refute the sensation fallacy and representational notions of perception.  A CENTRAL DIMENSION IS THAT ALL perception is charged with significance.  [with a sense - [SENS AS both sense and direction] The contemporary term is *intentional*  

They bear [carry] meaning WITHIN [and because of ] the complex gestalt between figure and context.


SENS refers to perceptions AS CHARGED WITH A SENSE OF OPEN POSSIBILITIES.  I have the sense that I could *see* these possibilities IF I moved my orientation [focus] in THAT DIRECTION.  

M-P emphasizes that besides this *spatial* dimension of [sens/direction] there are DISPOSITIONAL AND TEMPORAL AND AFFECTIVE perceptions that carry *significance*


Our most basic perceptions ARE not atom-like qualia but meaning-laden Gestalten. THESE GESTALTEN OPEN UP THE WORLD towards possible actions activities, and affective RESPONSES  WITH the world. 

The fact is that any given perspective RADIATES the [sens] of other perspectives in EXCESS OR BEYOND the immediate perspective focused on. 

This [sens/ intentionality] recognizes [senses] that with THIS PERCEPTION I am opening onto the world that *transcends* me.  This opening beyond me M-P calls the dimension of EXCESS. Perception goes beyond me and my *ideas* 

On easpect of THIS transcendence is that PERCEPTION IS a field of contact WITH OTHERS and with otherness. Sometimes this *withness* CONSTRAINS my explorations, sometimes this contact with others draws me out of myself.

I open onto other perceivers, perceiving me, touching me, constraining me and *touching* the things I perceive.

Below the *intellectual CONCEPT OF pure sense-qualia IS knowledge of *existences* In perceptual  experience I EMERGE from my individual life through opening to life WITH others and otherness. In perceptual experience I open to a PLURALITY of thinking subjects


This perceptual experience is NOT *merely in my mind or brain [the sensation fallacy] 

We KNOW from experience of existences. We might withdraw into our reified *ideas* or *conceptual* sense-qualia. However perceptual experience is our *deliverance* from this narcissistic withdrawal. Perceptions always express EXCESS and  POINT or GESTURE beyond  themselves and points to MORE.

If I follow up my sens/intentionality WITH re-focusing on the periphery of my perception I turn my head to focus on it THERE. 

however, AGAIN, THERE WILL BE excess SPILLING OPUT beyond THIS NEW PERCEPTUAL EXPERIENCE.

This is *true* in both spatial and temporal dimensions. The sens/intentionality of the *lamp* as excess points gestures to the lamp that was here before I looked and the lamp that will be here later [in the future]

Our basic perception therefore is not a collection of sense-data given as distinct snapshots. In fact, as I focus, time has been passingand it is already later. 

Perception IS LIVED AS ENGAGEMENT with others and otherness. [with what IS BEYOND ME] 

Perception as temporal and spatial engagement WITH THE WORLD is our ongoing OPENING onto the world.


Rod, Mike, 

This was a way to explore the notion of *immediate* and *mediated* engagement WITH OTHERS. 

M-P attempted to articulate a new perceptual ontology BEYOND the fallacy OF SENSATION as REPRESENTATION IN THE MIND OF EXTERNAL REALITY.


It is one aspect of the complexity of *contaxt* and may add to the exploration of *withness* thinking. M-P was one of Shotter’s inspiring sources of his understanding.


Larry 










Sent from Windows Mail





From: Rod Parker-Rees
Sent: ‎Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎13‎, ‎2014 ‎9‎:‎59‎ ‎AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity





I have been reading as much as I can of John Shotter's work (there is plenty available on his website - http://www.johnshotter.com). I recently came across a collection of papers 'Construction on the edge: withness thinking and embodiment' which presents a good overview of the development of his thinking (2010 - Taos Institute). He also has a 'Short book on withness thinking' which is available at http://pubpages.unh.edu/~jds/ShortbookUSA.pdf.   I haven't yet seen his slightly more recent book, 'Getting it: Withness-Thinking and the Dialogical in Practice' but there is quite a bit of overlap between his publications! He is very much influenced by Vygotsky but also Wittgenstein, Bakhtin and Voloshinov, Merleau-Ponty and, more recently, Karen Barad.

What appeals to me about the idea of 'withness thinking' is that it acknowledges the very different nature of the kind of knowing that is involved in knowing a person (very different from knowing ABOUT a person). This sort of knowing is grounded in the specificities of particular interactional (or we should say intra-actional, following Barad), embodied activity rather than in the more 'free-floating' systems of language and concepts. This is why some meanings are very difficult to explain once they have been taken out of the context in which they occurred (e.g. a free-wheeling social conversation) - sometimes feeling rather inexplicable or limp once extracted from the flow of interaction. I am also interested because my work is particularly focused on very young children for whom context may be the only frame available for their meaning making (because they have not yet worked out, or rather worked in, the concept systems which inform and mediate adults' use of language).

Rod

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: 13 September 2014 17:38
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky

Rod-- Your comments not only evoke John Shotter's name again for xmca-ites, but the links to Gibsonian notions of direct perception, extended to include the moral force that accompanies other's behavior. Do you think that the entire essay is something we should read to get a better graps on "withness thinking"?
mike

On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 7:18 AM, Rod Parker-Rees < R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:

> I see Vygotsky's references to the stage as a reminder that mediated
> action takes place in social contexts which actively (and often quite
> deliberately) shape how participants FEEL about how they and others
> act. We don't understand something until we know how 'the audience'
> can be expected to react to it and eventually the audience is internalised as a 'super ego'
> or cultural awareness of 'what will people think?'. I have just been
> reading John Shotter's writing on 'withness thinking' and thought this
> passage from a piece he wrote with John Newson in 1982 touched on this
> idea of acting 'on stage' before a critical audience:
>
> ‘Just as the child comes to appreciate the 'suckability' of a
> proffered teat or the 'graspability' of a cup handle, so she also
> apprehends in an equally direct manner, we suggest, the moral force
> underlying a serious maternal prohibition, and begins to distinguish
> between a deliberately harmful insult to her person and one which is
> merely a humorous form of play. She perceives these social barrier
> reefs and high seas, the harbours, havens, and horizons directly in
> people's stony silences and fixed expressions, in their nods, winks,
> grimaces, gestures, stances, and smiles’. (Shotter, J. and Newson, J.
> (1982) An ecological approach to cognitive development: implicate orders, joint action, and intentionality.
> In G. Butterworth and P. Light (eds.) Social cognition: studies in the
> development of understanding, Sussex: Harvester: 32-52. p.38).
>
> It may be no coincidence that Shotter was himself engaged in producing
> stage plays!
>
> All the best,
>
> Rod
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Henry G. Shonerd III
> Sent: 13 September 2014 14:53
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky
>
> And the mediated activity is "on stage", a real drama? My one pence.
> Henry
>
>
> On Sep 13, 2014, at 5:51 AM, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Esther
> >
> > The zone of proximal development is constructed in mediated activity.
> >
> > That's my tuppence worth.
> >
> > Carol
> >
> > On 13 September 2014 11:12, Esther Goody <eg100@hermes.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> >
> >> Hmmmm,
> >> Re scaffolding = zone of proximal development:
> >> Is it?/Are they?
> >>
> >> I thought zone of proximal development was in one's head ..............
> >> While scaffolding, a la Brunner, by definition involves at least
> >> two people.
> >>
> >> [Of course text-actor could be seen as scaffolding. But this leads
> >> away from activity. I hope Vygotsky would not have got mired in
> >> text-actor stuff ]
> >>
> >> I am currently obsessed by the way dialogue - real exchanges
> >> between real people - seems to account for aspects of cognition.
> >> So it is important to keep role of actors central.
> >>
> >>        Comments?
> >>                Esther Goody
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> >> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Stone, Lynda
> >> Sent: 12 September 2014 23:42
> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Nate's new webpage on Vygotsky
> >>
> >> Hi All!
> >>
> >> I just wanted to share that I use Peg and Mike's paper in all of my
> >> cognitive development classes for both undergraduate and graduate
> >> students.  It has been extremely helpful---my students, I'm
> >> thrilled to say, develop more complex understandings of what the
> >> zoped involves.  And when I combine this article with Activity
> >> Theory---
> >> the leading activity not only makes sense to them but also allows
> >> them to see how the intersubjective processes through which
> >> knowledge is constructed are influenced by multiple aspects of a
> >> context--including motives.  They even change their views about
> >> "context" and come to understand it as a dynamic phenomenon---
> >> okay, I share this to say that this article is particularly helpful
> >> because by reading it my students see how culture and cognition
> >> (another paper of Mike's) are constructed in the zoped.  These
> >> understandings are so different from the scaffolding metaphor and
> >> most all of my students have been taught that scaffolding is
> >> equivalent to the zoped.
> >>
> >> Hope this sharing is useful---
> >>
> >> -lynda
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Sep 10, 2014, at 2:27 PM, mike cole wrote:
> >>
> >> The paper Peg and I wrote which takes up scaffolding along with other
> >> metaphors can be found at   http://lchc.ucsd.edu/Mike    current
> activity
> >> for the future is the title.
> >>
> >> mike
> >>
> >> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM, Henry G. Shonerd III
> >> <hshonerd@gmail.com <mailto:hshonerd@gmail.com>>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> I appreciate ALL of the attachments! I worry that I am not
> >> Vygotskian enough, and would have thought Marzano was out of the
> >> XMCA mainstream. I am reminded of the XMCA conversation on direct
> >> instruction a few weeks back wherein Lisa Delpit's Other Peoples
> >> Children (1995) is cited as supporting DISTAR, prototypical direct
> >> instruction. In the same book, is a chapter on the "Silenced Dialog".
> >> I had a fantasy that Delpit could jump right in to the XMCA chat. I
> >> am embarrassed to say that I tried to get in touch with her (she
> >> was SO nice to me when we met some years ago), but she never
> >> responded, maybe for no other reason than that she is super busy
> >> doing other things. Maybe she got the message, but didn't want to
> >> join one more listserve. But I am wondering what she might have
> >> transpired if she joined in. I am thinking distributed cognition
> >> (Hutchins) and cognitive pluralism (a term I know from Vera's book,
> >> Creative Collaboration). The attachments that Phillip sent seem to
> >> find direct instruction complementary with more dialogic approaches
> >> to instruction,
> as per the turn-over principle of Bruner.
> >> Henry
> >>
> >> On Sep 10, 2014, at 9:58 AM, "White, Phillip"
> >> <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu <mailto:Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> like Henry, i find the metaphor 'scaffolding' a useful term, and at
> >> the same time i'm also strengthening that metaphor with Brian
> >> Cambourne's "conditions for learning" that lead to student
> >> engagement, as well as how it relates to student engagement
> >> (Marzano), Fisher's "gradual release of responsibility" and Lave &
> >> Wenger's "community of practice"  -  in combination these works
> >> (along with critical race theory and queer theory, identity theory,
> >> Foucault's understanding of power - an impoverished listing here)
> >> provide a far richer, more complex understanding of student
> >> learning,
> than "motive" in CHAT.
> >>
> >> for me, theory is a mutable impression - much like a calligraphic
> >> haiku
> >> - in which theoretical understanding changes over time, context,
> >> relationships and experiences (again, an incomplete list).
> >>
> >> i hope that there aren't too many attachments here.
> >>
> >>
> >> phillip
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Phillip White, PhD
> >> Urban Community Teacher Education Program Site Coordinator Montview
> >> Elementary, Aurora, CO
> >> phillip.white@ucdenver.edu<mailto:phillip.white@ucdenver.edu>
> >> or
> >> pawhite@aps.k12.co.us
> >> <GradualReleaseResponsibilityJan08.pdf><lave(1996)_teaching.pdf><Ma
> >> rz anoHighlyEngagedClassroom.pdf><Cambourne
> >> Conditions.doc>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >>
> >> 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]
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Lynda Stone, Ph.D.
> >> Professor
> >> Dept. Child Development
> >> CSU Sacramento
> >> CSUS/UC-Links Program Director
> >> lstone@csus.edu<mailto:lstone@csus.edu>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> -----
> >> No virus found in this message.
> >> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
> >> Version: 2014.0.4765 / Virus Database: 4015/8201 - Release Date:
> >> 09/12/14
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > --
> > Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> > Developmental psycholinguist
> > Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
> > Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>
>
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--

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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This email and any files with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the recipient to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient then copying, distribution or other use of the information contained is strictly prohibited and you should not rely on it. If you have received this email in error please let the sender know immediately and delete it from your system(s). Internet emails are not necessarily secure. While we take every care, Plymouth University accepts no responsibility for viruses and it is your responsibility to scan emails and their attachments. Plymouth University does not accept responsibility for any changes made after it was sent. Nothing in this email or its attachments constitutes an order for goods or services unless accompanied by an official order form.