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[Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct perception
- To: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct perception
- From: Huw Lloyd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 03:05:32 +0100
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I agree about precision, but not with a call for "clarity". Reduction to
clarity is a projection or reification of the need for simplicity.
Simplicity usually entails typologies or other simplistic devices which
prevent the conception and perception of genetic relations. Actually in
cases such as these we are interested in (clarifying) the entanglements
between artefacts and mind. I think It would be equally appropriate and
meaning-prompting to state that one needs to obfuscate (see darkly) too.
I think it is this "need for simplification" which leads me to disagree
with the 2nd paragraph. For example, why separate the act from its
production and history?
Of course, if one had the discipline to de-couple clarity from modes of
simplicity, then we wouldn't have the problem.
On 14 September 2014 07:02, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> 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.
> PS. And David Ki is completely right in his comment, too.
> *Andy Blunden*
> 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
>> 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'.
>> On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM, David H Kirshner <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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
>>> 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.