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[Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse



I agree, I have an American Psychological background from Japan, and moved
away from it once I crossed to America after college. I have been away from
it for so long that it is perhaps not my place to think this, but in my
observation American Psychology has predominantly become a field about
procedures and moved away from philosophical concepts that I thought it
originally branched out form.

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 11:22 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> 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
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >>
>>             >
>>             >
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>