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
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
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.
Greg Thompson wrote:
Does "mediation" only apply to language and culture?
Or does it include nerve fibers? (in which case we would need
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).
On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM, David H Kirshner
<firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
Thanks for replies.
I'm recalling several years ago Jim Greeno decided to stop
situated cognition because the pragmatics of adjectival
use implies there
has to be a contrasting non-situated cognition. He now
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
theoretical assumption about all human action; though
there seems to be
some variation in interpretation of what that assumption