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[Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct perception



comes from Hegel,
but, imho, resonates with Merleau-Ponty.
I'm just sayin'.
-greg


On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 6:22 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> What I was saying about sensation comes form Hegel, Greg, continuing
> Paul's comment about Kant.
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Greg Thompson wrote:
>
>> Andy,
>> Were you able to read Larry's rather long email on Merleau-Ponty? esp.
>> his criticism of the "sensation fallacy"?
>> I ask b.c. it seems to resonate well with your ideas about sensation
>> having no meaning if it isn't mediated. Do you see connections?
>> I'm partly wondering b.c. I have heard others mention connections between
>> M-P and Vygotsky before but have never been able to see those connections
>> before...
>> -greg
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 7:34 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>
>>     Carol Macdonald wrote:
>>
>>         Hi Andy,
>>
>>         This seems to be an all inclusive scheme which ties us down,
>>         but at the same time purports to account for "everything".
>>  But are there really only universal artefacts? There must be
>>         at least the possibility of
>>          - misunderstanding (all though of course you (Andy) can do this;
>>          - as yet potential understanding
>>          - a total lack of understanding.
>>
>>     That's the whole point, Carol! a given material artefact has a
>>     certain *material* form which is universal, but it is subject to
>>     interpretation, that is, meaning is ascribed to it by a person,
>>     and different people at different times will ascribe different
>>     meanings to it. But the meaning of the word "material" is what is
>>     outside of consciousness and independent of activity. The
>>     independent existence of the material world is what makes science
>>     possible.
>>
>>         And there is still the need to account for unmediated
>>         sensation - so if we are hungry, we need to eat; but the
>>         eating is mediated.  We need to take in fluid, but everything
>>         apart from water also seems to be mediated. (And of course we
>>         serve water in culturally mediated ways.)
>>         I am sure I have too simplistic a view which misunderstands
>>         your schema Andy, but I am trying to keep open Shotter's concerns.
>>
>>     By "unmediated sensation" I presume you mean that aspect of a
>>     sensation which is unmediated. All sensations are both immediate
>>     and mediated. This is what I take to be the core meaning of
>>     "dual-stimulation." Were you to be subject to an unmediated
>>     sensation (maybe soon after you were born) then it would have no
>>     meaning for you and would therefore be no sensation at all. But if
>>     it has a meaning, that is because of the mediation of the
>>     sensation by aspects of your consciousness.
>>
>>     Here of course the mediation being talked of is not
>>     artefact-mediation. :)
>>
>>     Andy
>>
>>
>>         Carol
>>
>>
>>         On 15 September 2014 14:02, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:
>>
>>             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
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>         --         Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
>>         Developmental psycholinguist
>>         Academic, Researcher,  and Editor Honorary Research Fellow:
>>         Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>> Assistant Professor
>> Department of Anthropology
>> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>> Brigham Young University
>> Provo, UT 84602
>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>>
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson