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[Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse



Well, Lisa, I think that is a project which requires a lot of what David would call "philosophical" discussion. :) The Psychology of Concepts, as it is know to American psychology, i.e., the "mainstream" do endless laboratory tests and questionnaires and surveys and so far as I can see have still haven't figured out what a concept is.
Andy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/


Lisa Yamagata-Lynch wrote:
Well I am guilty for being fixated about thinking and talking about methods and how to better understand how we can make a trustworthy leap from understanding the world to understanding concepts. Again just talking aloud.

Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, Associate Professor Educational Psychology and Counseling http://www.lisayamagatalynch.net/ A532 Bailey Education Complex IT Online Program Coordinator University of Tennessee http://itonline.utk.edu/ Knoxville, TN 37996 https://www.facebook.com/utkitonline Phone: 865-974-7712

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 11:11 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    I guess because xmca is a discussion list, Lisa, and we all have
    our specific research interests.
    But when we publish, most of us have something to report.
    I have to plead guilty, I suppose, to spending more of my share of
    time arguing about concepts though. It is my special interest.
    Andy
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>


    Lisa Yamagata-Lynch wrote:

        Why is it that we came to what David stated as:

        Generally, we CHATters do not "collaborate and argue over
        facts." We are engaged in making endless theoretical
        elaborations, distinctions, and qualifications almost
        completely detached from empirical specifics.



        Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, Associate Professor           Educational
        Psychology and Counseling
        http://www.lisayamagatalynch.net/                         A532
        Bailey Education Complex
IT Online Program Coordinator University of Tennessee http://itonline.utk.edu/ Knoxville, TN 37996
        https://www.facebook.com/utkitonline                    Phone:
        865-974-7712 <tel:865-974-7712>

        On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 10:56 AM, David H Kirshner
        <dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu> <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
        <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>> wrote:

            Andy,

            I don't think it's at all clear that CHAT is a scientific
        project,
            though it might initially have been conceived as such.
            Generally, we CHATters do not "collaborate and argue over
        facts."
            We are engaged in making endless theoretical elaborations,
            distinctions, and qualifications almost completely
        detached from
            empirical specifics. And as your note has revealed, even
        at the
            level of theory, we're not all playing the same game.

            I agree with you that simply creating an obligation that
        claims be
            framed empirically does not imply we will "agree on the
            significance of that claim." But perhaps in an empirical
        setting
            theoretical issues surface as methodological issues. In
        this case,
            there is a possibility that disagreements lead to
        separation of
            research enterprises, with (greater) theoretical agreement
        as a
            consequence.

            David


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Andy Blunden [mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
            <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>]
            Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 9:24 AM
            To: David H Kirshner
            Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
            Subject: Re: CHAT Discourse

            David,
            CHAT is a scientific project. Insofar as it is science it must
            strive to produce empirically verifiable claims which are
            meaningful irrespective of the conceptual frame into which
        they
            are accepted. But as a project it is characterised by a
        system of
            concepts. People can agree on this or that hard experimental
            finding, but still not agree on the significance of that
        claim. We
            CHATters talk to one another, collaborate and argue over
        facts;
            all of this is possible only to the extent that we share
        concepts.
            "Facts" are the lingua franca of science. As worthy a goal
        as it
            is to lay out some agreed facts, I think it is
        ill-conceived to
            think that this is a means of consolidating a current of
        research
            like CHAT. You can call it philosophical or psychological,
        I don't
            think that makes any difference.
            Andy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            *Andy Blunden*
            http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>


            David H Kirshner wrote:
            > Following on Andy's discussion of artefact mediation, it
        seems
            inherently a problem of CHAT discourse to distinguishing
        efforts
            to elaborate Vygotsky's psychology more fully, from efforts to
            solve the problems Vygotsky was addressing, de novo. In
        tandem, is
            ambiguity as to whether CHAT is a psychological or
        philosophical
            discourse.
            >
            > I wonder, in the spirit of psychology, if advancement of
        CHAT
            would not be better served by embedding theoretical
        discussion in
            analysis of empirical data. The point, here, would not be
        to make
            CHAT more directly relevant to domains of application
        (though that
            would not be a bad thing). Rather, an empirical obligation
        might
            transmute (some) questions of theory into questions of
            methodology. In that way, CHAT could become differentiated
        into
            distinct psychological schools, each constrained by
        methodological
            strictures that also support a more homogeneous theoretical
            environment. At the same time, a wide-open CHAT community
        could
            look across these various schools to pursue broader
        philosophical
            problematics.
            >
            > David
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
        <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
            <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
        <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
            > [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
        <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
            <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
        <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>] On Behalf Of Andy
        Blunden
            > Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 7:02 AM
            > To: Huw Lloyd
            > Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
            > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct
        perception
            >
            > Ah! I see!
            > As Hegel said: "There is nothing, nothing in heaven, or in
            nature or in mind or anywhere else which does not equally
        contain
            both immediacy and mediation." I have no great problem
        with anyone
            saying that anything is mediated by anything else, where it is
            appropriate. My problem is that the specific insight of
        Vygotsky,
            that artefact-mediation of actions provides an especially
            productive unit of analysis for science is lost if
        mediation in
            the broad sense is mixed up in CHAT literature with
            artefact-mediation to the point that artefact-mediation is
        lost.
            Still, I would prefer that if you were to make the point
        you were
            referring to you used some expression other than "mediation."
            >
            > Artefact mediation of actions is a brilliant insight. I
        can do
            what I like, but to do anything (other than have dreams or
            thoughts) I have to use some material object to transmit my
            actions, so to speak - a tool, a word, a gesture, or
        whatever -
            but all these artefacts which I use, without exception, are
            products of the history and culture into which I was born.
        I can
            choose which artefact to use, but culture and history produce
            them. So every action I take is essentially
        cultural-historical as
            well as personal. Also, because artefacts are material
        objects,
            their physical form is the same for everyone, it is
        universal. So
            communication as much as miscommunication takes place through
            everyone interpreting the same material objects,
        artefacts, that I
            am using in my actions. How can they do that? Because they too
            mediate their actions with the same set of universal
        artefacts! So
            all human action is opened to cultural and historical analysis
            which is as objective as any branch of natural science.
        Wonderful, eh?
            >
            > Andy
            >
----------------------------------------------------------------------
            > --
            > *Andy Blunden*
            > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            >
            >
            > Huw Lloyd wrote:
            >
            >> If you want to study how action changes then you need
        to study the
            >> history and production of the action.  Under such
        circumstances,
            >> assertions that concepts cannot mediate (the production
        of) actions
            >> become more obviously false.  If one has simplified,
        through
            >> "clarity", the action away from its genetic base then
        it may seem
            >> correct to assert that a concept cannot mediate an action.
            >>
            >> The conservation tasks (e.g. conservation of volume)
        are an elegant
            >> way to demonstrate this.
            >>
            >> Best,
            >> Huw
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >> On 15 September 2014 04:26, Andy Blunden
        <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
            <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
            >> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>> wrote:
            >>
            >>     he, he, Huw!
            >>     For me, reduction, simplification and typology are
        the very
            >>     problems that need to be remedied by clarification!
        and I
            really
            >>     don't think obfuscation is ever helpful, generally
        being
            used to
            >>     obscure the genesis of phenomena. Distinction is
        not equal to
            >>     separation.
            >>     I really don't know what you are referring to with
        product and
            >>     history. Perhaps you could explain?
            >>     Andy
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >>     *Andy Blunden*
            >>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            >>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            >>
            >>
            >>     Huw Lloyd wrote:
            >>
            >>         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.
            >>
            >>         Best,
            >>         Huw
            >>
            >>         On 14 September 2014 07:02, Andy Blunden
            <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
            >>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>
            <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
            >>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto: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/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            >>         <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            >>             <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>             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 <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
        <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
            <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
        <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>>
            >>         <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
        <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
            <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
        <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto: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
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >
            >