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[Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse



David,

I suspect you'll find the works of Gal'perin interesting with respect to
theoretical and empirical models concerning what constitutes conceptual
progress which is applicable to theory more generally, I believe.

A caveat to this would be the remarks by Lektorsky in regarding viewpoints
of outdatedness.  But this "outdatedness" and papers published
expemplifying this argumentation and its theoretical and empirical
developments (See Zaporozhets with respect to Leontyev) gives examples of
what you're also questioning about.

The empirical and theoretical distinctions you make regarding theoretical
development manifest in Gal'perin's work with respect to trial and error
learning and the analysis of situations to discern a suitably correct
orientation.

Best,
Huw

Gal'perin, P. Ia (1992) Stage-by-Stage Formation as a Method of
Psychological Investigation.  Journal of Russian and East European
Psychology, 30(4), pp. 60-80

Lektorsky, V. A. (1999) Activity Theory in a New Era.  In: Y. Engeström, R.
Miettinen & R. L.. Punamäki (Eds.). (1999). *Perspectives on activity
theory*. Cambridge University Press.

Zaporozhets, A. V. (2002) Problems in the Psychology of Activity.  Journal
of Russian and East European Psychology, 40(4), pp. 47-52

On 16 September 2014 15:37, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu> wrote:

> Andy,
>
> I think you've framed the question well, and I agree it would be good to
> bring it to the list, so I'm posting our brief off-line exchange.
>
> David
>
> ______________________
> Andy said:
>
> I think the substantive and interesting question you raise here is:
>
>     Has CHAT theorizing has advanced over the years as a result of
>     insights of the form of empirical observations, or, as a result of
>     critique of concepts?
>
> I don't know if I have enough of an overview of the history of CHAT to
> answer this. It would be good to keep it on the list because Mike Cole
> probably could answer authoritatively. My guess is that there have been
> occasional problems which have arisen and become subjects of wide
> discussion, particularly in the domain of education, and these have
> stimulated theoretical advance. But I really don't know.
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> David H Kirshner wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David H Kirshner
> Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 9:00 AM
> To: 'ablunden@mira.net'
> Subject: RE: [Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse
>
> Hi Andy,
>
> Thanks for sending these papers. I look forward to reading them.
> My point isn't that empirical evidence CAN'T inform theory, but that's not
> the usual vehicle whereby theory is advanced.
> You're much more aware of this literature than me. Do you disagree with
> the generalization that empirical work in CHAT/sociocultural is of an
> applied nature, notwithstanding occasional cases in which data are used to
> establish a theoretical position? Note that your observation about the
> relative lack of sophistication of cognitive theorization of concepts is
> kind of a celebration of that fact that CHAT/sociocultural theorizing is
> informed primarily by a theoretical/philosophical discourse, rather than
> one that is rooted in empirical evidence. So the question isn't a normative
> one--how should CHAT/sociocultural theory advance--but a description
> one--how does it advance.
>
> I should add that the problem with cognitive theorizing, as I see it,
> isn't only that it progresses slowly, but that it is fundamentally limited
> by its starting assumptions. The fundamental constructs of cognitive
> psychology come from the analogy of the serial digital computer to the
> human information processing system. I don't think that ever gets
> challenged within that paradigm.
>
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andy Blunden [mailto:ablunden@mira.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 6:03 AM
> To: David H Kirshner
> Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse
>
> David,
> I think I misled you by making it seem as if the book had a dichotomy of
> theory here and data there. Not so. If you look at Brecht's and Anna's
> chapters you will see that the chapters had empirical content but were also
> theory-laden and the data was brought to bear on the theory:
>
> On Cognitive Psychology, I am only familiar with the Psychology of
> Concepts, so my comments are relevant only to that branch. I agree that
> they have shown a lot of ingenuity in their experimental work and this has
> led to a relatively rapid progress in its theory. But their theory begins
> at such a woeful level! If experimental work aims to "test"
> theory, it is not hard to "test" theory which hardly rises above common
> sense.
>
> https://www.academia.edu/6025821/The_Psychology_of_Concepts
>
> And David, you have to give CHAT credit for the fact that it sets its
> standards very high for theory.
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> David H Kirshner wrote:
> >
> > Andy,
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks for the link to the TOC of your edited volume, which perhaps
> > unintentionally illustrates my point that empirical studies using
> > CHAT/sociocultural theory generally aren't intended as contributions
> > to theory, per se; as you noted, the affordances for theorizing were
> > brought out by you, rather than by the authors as part of their motive
> > for producing the empirical work.
> >
> >
> >
> > I've hung out with cognitive psychologists quite a bit, and there's a
> > very clear demarcation between applied studies which utilize cognitive
> > theory for applicative purposes and pure studies whose sole raison
> > d'être is to inform theory. Furthermore, it is a fairly rare
> > occurrence for anyone to attempt to address theory in any other way
> > than through the lens of empirical studies.
> >
> >
> >
> > My own experience of this community includes appreciation of the tight
> > logic of their theorizing, and also of the inventiveness of
> > researchers in generating truly provocative data that they are then
> > forced to contend. But it also includes a sense of frustration with
> > the absence of any critique of or input to theory from outside of the
> > little studies that, one after another, niggle away at the theoretical
> > infrastructure. Excluded, here, are not only philosophical inputs to
> > theory, but even broader methodological constraints regarding the
> > character of good theories. (My own grounding in mathematical
> > theorizing includes a deliciously salient sense of the “elegance” that
> > makes a theory truly admirable and worthy.)
> >
> >
> >
> > Somehow, it seems noteworthy that CHAT/sociocultural
> > psychology—whatever its virtues—isn’t organized like other branches of
> > psychology (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, developmental) with respect
> > to the role of empirical data in theory construction. Andy, in your
> > response to Jenna, you described science as an objective practice that
> > “is not dependant on what you and I, writing here on xmca in 2014,
> > says it is.” The question all this raises is whether
> > CHAT/sociocultural psychology actually qualifies as a scientific
> > practice.
> >
> >
> >
> > David
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> > Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 7:59 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse
> >
> >
> >
> > David, in the recently published book, "Collaborative Projects. An
> > Interdisciplinary Study," authors were invited to submit studies with
> > empirical content (in the sense in which you are using the word) which
> > illustrated the use of the concept of "project" within CHAT.
> >
> >
> >
> > https://www.academia.edu/6756231/Collaborative_Projects._An_Interdisci
> > plinary_Study
> >
> >
> >
> > As you can see from the Table of Contents, more than a dozen different
> > practical studies were contributed, and I am satisfied that the
> > collection functioned to illuminate the philosophical issues about the
> > nature of "an activity," and its ue as a unit of analysis, even though
> > they are only explicitly addressed in the long Introduction.
> >
> >
> >
> > Andy
> >
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > --
> >
> > *Andy Blunden*
> >
> > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> > <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > David H Kirshner wrote:
> >
> > > Mike,
> >
> > >
> >
> > > Clearly, as in Katherine Neal's response, and in MCA,
> > CHAT/sociocultural theory informs empirical research.
> >
> > > What's less clear is that empirical research informs
> > CHAT/sociocultural theorizing.
> >
> > > Not quite sure what to make of that.
> >
> > >
> >
> > > David
> >
> > >
> >
> > >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >
> > > [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
> >
> > > Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 11:15 AM
> >
> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse
> >
> > >
> >
> > > Your followup comment is closely related to the second part of your
> > initiating message, David. So i will respond in line.
> >
> > >
> >
> > > Firstly, I think it would be helpful to distinguish between MCA and
> > xmca.
> >
> > > The idea behind xmca was to provide a discussion forum for articles
> > that appear in MCA so that instead of authors having to wait 2+ years
> > for feedback on their ideas (which rarely comes, even then!), we could
> > discuss the published work and learn from it in a timely manner. By an
> > large, that effort has, in my opinion, failed. Thanks to the recent
> > decision to have the editors pick out articles for discussion which
> > include the author(s) in the discussion, this situation has been
> > somewhat mitigated. But only somewhat. xma discussions have all the
> > characteristics of Vygotskian chaining, as a rule.
> >
> > >
> >
> > > Secondly, when I take down a bundle of recent MCA issues and look at
> > the titles, they at least sound like they are about empirical matters
> > ranging across a wide variety of content areas. Are you saying that
> > these articles are not really empirical? Or that they are not really
> > helping us to develop better methods to deal with perceived problems
> > of social value? Again, this raises the question of "MCA or xmca".
> >
> > >
> >
> > > Lastly, perhaps it would be helpful if those of us who believe that
> > empirical work guided by CHAT ideas of some value has been produced
> > in, say, the past two decades, would post brief summiaries of that
> > work with references.
> >
> > > Maybe its just all verbal sound and fury, signifying the usual!
> >
> > > mike
> >
> > >
> >
> > > On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 8:50 AM, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>> wrote:
> >
> > >
> >
> > >
> >
> > >> Does CHAT theory really advance with respect to empirical studies?
> >
> > >> If so, then why isn't the XMCA discussion a discussion about
> >
> > >> so-and-so's empirical results and how we should interpret them?
> >
> > >> Various branches of psychology (e.g., cognitive and developmental)
> > >> do
> >
> > >> address concepts, and do conduct empirical research related to
> > concepts.
> >
> > >> It's true, they rarely enter into full-blooded discussion of what
> > >> is
> >
> > >> a concept. But perhaps that's because they're scientists rather
> > >> than
> >
> > >> philosophers. They're operating within a framework that is bounded
> >
> > >> primarily by empirical and methodological expectations and
> >
> > >> obligations; theory evolves within those boundaries.
> >
> > >> It's not clear to me that the Vygotskyan research community ever
> >
> > >> operated in that fashion, and I'm wondering what would happen if it
> > did.
> >
> > >> David
> >
> > >>
> >
> > >>
> >
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> >
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> >
> > >> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> >
> > >> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 10:23 AM
> >
> > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >
> > >> Subject: [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/
> > >> <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >
> > >>
> >
> > >>
> >
> > >> 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/>
> >
> > >>>     <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%20%3cmailto: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/>
> >
> > >>>             <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/>
> >
> > >>>             <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%20%3cmailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
> >
> > >>>             <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
> > <mailto:ablunden@mira.net%20%3cmailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>
> >
> > >>>             >> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
> > <mailto:ablunden@mira.net%20%3cmailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
> > <mailto:ablunden@mira.net%20%3cmailto: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/>
> >
> > >>>             >>     <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%20%3cmailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
> > <mailto:ablunden@mira.net%20%3cmailto: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%20%3cmailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
> > <mailto:ablunden@mira.net%20%3cmailto: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/>
> >
> > >>>             >>             <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%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>>
> >
> > >>>             <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>>>
> >
> > >>>             >>         <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>>
> >
> > >>>             <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
> >
> > >>>         <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
> > <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu%20%3cmailto: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
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >>
> >
> > >>>             >
> >
> > >>>             >
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>>
> >
> > >>
> >
> > >>
> >
> > >
> >
> > >
> >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>