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[Xmca-l] Re: how to broaden/enliven the xmca discussion



​Another thought that struck me as i thought about David's extension of
discussion of issues raised at ISCAR was the "activity" / "praxis" issue.​

The thought was this: One significant impediment to mutual understanding of
each other sufficient to distinguish disagreements from misunderstandings,
is that we come from such varied backgrounds, both academically and in
terms of our life experiences and research foci. This struck me
particularly in the discussion that followed David's mention of activity
not equaling praxis.

What struck me is the comments that started to elaborate on the issue by
going to Husserl and meanings of the terms in greek, and generally, what I
would call "high academic classical theory." But I am not equipped by
education to follow the discussion very far in that direction. I was
educated in the tradition of American learning theory and my philosophy
teachers in college and grad school were logical
positivists/behaviorist/experimentalists -- champions of the first
psychology. So what I know about classical European social theory is
auto-didactic and picked up from the writings of colleagues.

What my education and early research experiences in Africa and Mexico did
equip me for was the need to ground analyses of cross-cultural differences
in (cognitive) development in the everyday activities of people, where by
"everyday activity" I meant activities like rice farming in Liberia, or
court cases, or house building or....... My background did not predispose
me to be happy with Vygotsky, Luria's cross-cultural work, and certainly
not into discussions of activity arising from Marxist theory by Leontiev.
(What was this connection between culturally mediated activity (as I
conceived of it) and labor?)  Naive? Sure.

But in that naivte, and finding a lot to like in reading the materials that
ended up in Mind in Society, I glommed onto the following statement by
Leontiev when I encountered it in about 1980:

Human psychology is concerned with the activity of concrete individuals
that takes place either in conditions of open association, in the midst of
people, or eye to eye with the surrounding object world – before the
potter’s wheel or behind the writing desk. Under whatever kind of
conditions and forms human activity takes place, whatever kind of structure
it assumes, it must not be considered as isolated from social relations,
from the life of society.

Leontiev goes on to write some other stuff about production that did not
thrill me, but at least I had found a common point between the ideas of the
Vygotskian school our efforts to understand the role of culture in
development. They reinforced comments in Luria's autobio which were left
there on a quite general plane and not follow up upon -- Luria was
otherwise occupied at the time.

Bottom line. I REALLY appreciate learning about the deep
historical/academic roots of the ideas we discuss, but often cannot follow
the them knowledgeably, so when those who work in this way argue that so
and so said such and such, I am let to take their word for it. And when
they disagree, I try to withhold judgment and fall back on my own history
of inquiry waiting for clarification.

To me, the idea that the acid test of theory is in practice, is both paleo
Vygotskian and  essential to my work. It leaves me in the odd position of
concluding that LSV did not, and his followers have not, found a general
science of development that resolves that old crisis in psychology.

Sorry for the long winded note. Lets call it cathartic, a way of living
through my experience of reading XMCA mail yesterday and re-living
 (pere-zhivanie) (overagain-living) it.

mike



On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> Larry, Mike, Huw, Andy--
>
> (and above all the real "objects" of broadening and enlivening the
> discussion, you by-standers and handwringers, perhaps intimidated by
> the pointing and handwaving, and unwilling to contribute lest the
> discussion become less sharpened and pointed....)
>
> There were several issues that seemed to pop up session after session
> at ISCAR, quite independently of who raised them. Yes, "the real
> Vygotsky" was certainly one of them, and Holbrook was not the only
> person to talk this way; I did too, and I do think that a world where
> the original Vygotsky is not recoverable is just as bad as a world
> where Vygotsky is completely forgotten. But in the context of ISCAR,
> the "real Vygotsky" was often a response to many speakers who would
> like to emphasize the NON-Marxist side of Vygotsky.
>
> There were two ways of doing this. One was to simply say that of
> course Vygotsky was a Marxist, but then everybody was Marxist back
> then, and it was not much more important than being a liberal Democrat
> today. Interestingly, in the Making of Mind, Luria said that this is a
> description which could well apply to many psychologists of his time,
> including himself, but not to Vygotsky. A more sophisticated way of
> emphasizing the NON-Marxist side of Vygotsky requires a "real
> Vygotsky" of a different kind. Writers like our good friend Nikolai
> Veresov have tried to do this by emphasizing the PRE-Marxist Vygotsky,
> especially Vygotsky the phenomenologist, student of Gustav Shpet who
> was a student of Husserl himself.
>
> I was formerly little puzzled by this move. Seth argued that it was
> valid, because of Vygotsky's ties to Lewin and Lewin's ideas about the
> force of objects and the fields of attractors created thereby. Lewin
> was certainly an attractor for Vygotsky, but Vygotsky actually uses
> Lewin to criticize phenomenological analysis in Chapter Three of HDHMF
> (see Vol. 4, p. 69). Elsewhere, Vygotsky is very critical of the
> founders of phenomenology, iincluding Husserl (p. 7).
>
> But now I think that Larry (and Martin, who has raised the same
> connection) is on to something. For it is also in HDHMF that Vygotsky
> bruits the idea that attention is a kind of gateway function, that the
> indicative is the primordial function of speech and thinking, and that
> there is nevertheless a qualitative difference between noticing
> something and internalizing it as a meaning--all of these are
> Husserlian ideas. Even the knotted handkerchief, which I myself have
> attributed to Vygotsky and to a peculiarly Russian practice, comes
> from the work of Husserl (Logical Investigations, Vol. I, pp.
> 269-333). I think that as a real historical materialist Vygotsky
> rejected Husserl's absolute opposition between symbol and index, but
> he didn't forget it when he set about trying to build a bridge between
> the two.
>
> Mike wonders about a text where Vygotsky rejects "activity" as a unit
> of analysis for everything but behavior. No such text exists, of
> course; if you read what I wrote carefully (I know, it's a trial
> sometimes, but at least I am a larger target then the minimalist Huw)
> you will see that I refer to a my OWN rejection, not Vygotsky's. What
> Vygotsky says in "Problem of the Environment" is that he wants to
> introduce "a number of different" units of analysis which are used in
> pedological analyses, of which "perezhivanie" is one, and
> "sense/signification" a very different one. (Andy is wrong to impute
> importance to the count noun form here; Vygotsky often uses it as a
> verb, I "live experience" something). I have always assumed that this
> means:
>
> a) Perezhivanie is quite specific to the problem Vygotsky raises in
> this lecture, which is how three different children can respond so
> differently to the one and the same form of child abuse.
>
> b) "Sense/signification" is also a unit of analysis, what Vygotsky
> refers to in Thinking and Speech as "the meaningful word". (This was
> also the object of textological attention in Holbrook's presentation).
>
> Mike also wonders about where Leontiev raises the possibility of
> applying Marxist theory directly to psychology. In many places, but
> perhaps most prominently in Problems of the Development of Mind (see
> pp. 236-237, 255). Holbrook had other quotations of this type, and I
> think there is a link between them and what Luria's remark that back
> then everybody in psychology was a "Marxist", but nobody except
> Vygotsky was much of a Marxist. Holbrook is right here.
>
> Mike asks if there is practical activity without thinking. I think
> that Vygotsky would say that there is thinking and there is verbal
> thinking (or, as Holbrook now insists, "thinking with words"). What
> monkeys do with sticks is called practical intelligence in Chapter
> Four of Thinking and Speech. It is practical activity, and it's
> thinking. But it's not a unit of thinking and speech, and therefore I
> think there is some light between what Vygotsky is willing to call
> "activity" and "praxis"; it's not the case that "praxis" is just a
> Greek word for "activity". I recognize, though, that for Andy what
> monkeys do with sticks does not count as activity (and I also
> recognize that I was muddling "activity" and "action"--sorry about
> that).
>
> Like Mike, I am paleo with regard to sense and meaning, and like Mike
> I recognize that it is hard to tell how deep the waters are here since
> they have been muddied. I think they were first muddied by Vygotsky
> himself, because he refers the distinction to Paulhan, where no such
> distinction is found (Paulhan just talks about connotation and
> denotation). But I think it's easy to unmuddy the waters and I think
> they are very deep indeed: Vygotsky uses Paulhan as a foil, taking the
> actual distinction from Volosinov, who was working at the Herzen
> Institute at exactly the same moment that Vygotsky was writing of this
> distinction. Zavershneva has said that Vygotsky cites Volosinov in his
> unpublished manuscripts, but that the citation is always removed by
> the editor in publication.  So "smysl" is "tema"; it is something like
> "realized, actual meaning" while "znachenie" is something like
> "potential, possible meaning". Tema is what happens when we activate a
> particular layer in the great palimpsest of possible meanings left in
> each word by our contemporaries and ancestors.
>
> I'm currently writing the endnotes for our new volume of Vygotsky's
> lectures on pedology, so I am very aware of the issue that Huw appears
> to be raising (although Huw is so very gnomic in his lofty remarks on
> my supposed illogicality and my more systemic problems that it is hard
> to be sure). In Lecture Six, Vygotsky says in one paragraph that
> dividing off psychological from physiological development is
> methodologically impermissable, but in the very next paragraph, and
> indeed in the layout of the book, he says "dismemberment is
> nevertheless necessary". On the one hand, he says that there is no
> action, no motility, not even thinking without both the mind and the
> brain, and on the other he says that even within the body there are
> distinct lines of development and that physiology is "a summarizable
> concept". He is acutely aware of the contradiction, but by the end of
> the lecture he resolves it. We just have to keep in mind that things
> that we take apart for the purpose of analysis are inextricably joined
> in clinical practice. I suppose you can say it is a logical
> contradiction if you want, particularly if by that you mean it is a
> contradiction that only exists in the ideal world, that is, in logic
> and does not really pose a problem in life.
>
> The problem is with the word "text" is the same, Huw. For Hallidayans
> like me, a text is precisely a semantic object; it's not made of paper
> and ink. Viewed interpersonally, a text is a coherent and cohesive
> exchange. Viewed intra-mentally, it's a representation of thinking. It
> is objective, but it's objective the way that mathematics and language
> itself is objective, not the way that three actual apples or a
> physical book is objective. Dixit.
>
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>
> (PS: I'm afraid I didn't get the systemic reproach at all. It's hard
> for a fish to see the density of water, much less to see the density
> of the fish!)
>
> dk
>
>
>
> On 7 October 2014 23:11, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > The understanding of action and activity AS BOTH thinking and behaviour
> > contrasting with an appeal to differentiate the aspects thinking and
> > behaviour.
> > The notion *species* was introduced by David K as returning to Vygotsky's
> > words as he used them [paleo return] or we will loose this species as it
> > becomes extinct.
> >
> > Therefore Leontiev's theory could also be considered a separate *species*
> > with its own characteristics, features, and object of activity.
> > SO in my return to the species of Activity theory I turned to one of
> > Leontiev's students [Victor Kaptelinin] in his 2005 MCA article "The
> Object
> > of Activity: Making sense of the Sense Maker"
> >
> > Kaptelinin opens his article with this fragment from the *species* of
> > Leontiev's own specified object of activity [activity theory]
> >
> > "A basic or, as is sometimes said, a CONSTITUTING characteristic of
> > activity is its objectivity or, rather object relatedness. Properly the
> > CONCEPT of its object, gegenstand, is already IMPLICITLY contained in the
> > very concept of activity. The expression objectless activity is DEVOID of
> > any meaning. Objectivity may SEEM objectless, but SCIENTIFIC
> investigations
> > OF activity NECESSARILY REQUIRES discovering its object.
> > THUS the object of activity IS TWOFOLD:
> > First, in its INDEPENDENT EXISTENCE as SUBORDINATING TO ITSELF and
> > transforming the activity of the subject [The question arises if this
> > subordinating is the object's *motive* - LP]
> > AND
> > Second, as an IMAGE OF the object, as a product OF its property of
> > psychological reflection THAT IS realized AS AN ACTIVITY OF THE SUBJECT,
> > and cannot exist OTHERWISE."
> >
> > This paragraph which Kaptelian offers as a *specimen* of a particular and
> > unique *species* of expression seems to present a clear *case* to hold up
> > to Vygotsky's *species* .
> > I would add that Merleau-Ponty offers an alternative *species* that is
> also
> > looking at objects of activity from another *angle* of vision.
> >
> > Are Vygotsky, Leontiev, and Merleau-Ponty all gesturing at the same
> > phenomena and walking around this *object* [imagined? or real?] from
> > various vantage points.
> >
> > I will pause by returning to the second quality of the TWOFOLD quality of
> > the *object of activity*
> >
> > "SECOND as an IMAGE OF the object, AS a product OF its PSYCHOLOGICAL
> > REFLECTION that is REALIZED [brought into form -LP] AS an activity OF the
> > SUBJECT and cannot exist OTHERWISE.
> >
> > Is this a new *species*??
> >
> > Larry
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 4:55 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> >
> >> Mike, what I got out of Seth's intervention was just a plea for people
> to
> >> stop claiming to have the "real Vygotsky" and I thoroughly agreed with
> him.
> >> And so far as I know Marx uses the German word for Activity, viz.,
> >> Taetigkeit, in "Theses on Feuerbach" - that word which pre-dates
> >> "behaviour" and "consciousness" by centuries, but which is sometimes
> >> referred to nowadays as a unity of these two abstractions, and it was
> only
> >> later interpreters that introduced the term "praxis", which being Greek
> >> sounds a lot cleverer. Action and Activity, in my view and
> etymologically,
> >> are both thinking and behaving.
> >> Andy
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> *Andy Blunden*
> >> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>
> >>
> >> mike cole wrote:
> >>
> >>> Thanks, David. I think i understand better what you mean by "LSV
> rejects
> >>> "activity" as a unit of analysis for anything but behavior,and most
> >>> certainly as a unit of psychological analysis. Somehow I was expecting
> >>> text
> >>> from LSV where he says "activity is not a unit of analysis" because of
> all
> >>> the places in his text where he uses the term activity as a sort of
> "lay
> >>> term".
> >>>
> >>> ...
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>  Holbrook Mahn.
> >>>> Holbrook began by saying that:
> >>>>
> >>>> a) We do not "borrow" concepts made for one discipline and "apply"
> >>>> them to another. Not even dialectical materialism can be "applied" to
> >>>> psychology (or even sociology or economics--Marx didn't do applied
> >>>> philosophy!). Holbrook then produced a number of quotations from The
> >>>> Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology to show that Vygotsky
> >>>> knew this, and countered with other quotations from Problems of the
> >>>> Development of the Mind to show that Leontiev did not know this.
> >>>>
> >>>> I know places where LSV is clear on this score, in Historical meaning,
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> for example, but not the evidence of Leontiev's errors.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> b) The term "praxis" has been thus borrowed. It doesn't refer to
> >>>> practical activity: it refers to a unity of thinking and practice.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> Borrowed from Marx by ..??? by Leontiev? There is any form of practical
> >>> activity without human thinking?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> c) The term "social situation of development" has been thus borrowed;
> >>>> it does not refer to a "context" but to the child's relationship to
> >>>> the environment.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> By whom? I am always in a puzzle about the use of this term. Isn't
> >>> perezhivanie the term that LSV uses to talk about relation of child to
> >>> environment? At least, there seems to be a lot of chatter about issue.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> d) The term "unit of analysis" does not refer to a God particle that
> >>>> is indifferent to the problem of analysis. ygotsky did not imagine a
> >>>> "unit of analysis" that fit any and all problems in psychology. Each
> >>>> unit of analysis is specific to a particular problem of unity (e.g.
> >>>> the problem of the unity of the child and his or her environment in
> >>>> Problem of the Environment and the problem of the unity of verbal
> >>>> thinking in Thinking and Speech).
> >>>>
> >>>> Amen to that.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> e) The term "verbal thinking" is a mistranslation: Vygotsky is talking
> >>>> about thinking by language, or thinking through word meanings, and not
> >>>> some kind of verbalizable inner speech (which does exist, but which is
> >>>> a distinct layer from thinking).
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> There is a lot of confusion around this issue and would probably need
> >>> somewhat separate discussion. I interpret in the former way. The role
> of
> >>> meaning in inner speech, and the usefulness or not of the sense/meaning
> >>> distinction has me confused. Dima Leontiev has put the distinction
> behind
> >>> him and now refers to "cultural meaning" (paleo meaning
> >>>
> >>> ) and
> >>> "personal meaning (paleo sense)." I am paleo in this regard.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> Most of this has been said before, not least by Vygotsky himself. I
> >>>> know that Holbrook has been saying it at least since 2007 when I first
> >>>> heard him at the American Association for Applied Linguistics in Costa
> >>>> Mesa, and he develops it at some length in:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.academia.edu/1803017/Vygotskys_Analysis_of_
> >>>> Childrens_Meaning-Making_Processes
> >>>>
> >>>> Mahn, H. (2012). Vygotsky's Analysis of Children's Meaning-Making
> >>>> Processes, International Journal of Educational Psychology1(2):100-126
> >>>>
> >>>> It's been said by others too: Mike Cole actually makes many of the
> >>>> same points in discussing how the Kharkov school deviated from the
> >>>> work of Vygotsk,
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> I did not know enough to make many of these points in 1978! They
> >>> certainly
> >>> distanced themselves from LSV and PI Zinchenko went after the
> >>> natural-cultural memory distinction,
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> and J.V. Wertsch is quite explicit in his revisionism
> >>>> when he presents "mediated activity" as a unit of analysis in
> >>>> opposition to "word meaning".
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> mediated ACTION and often as not, mediated action in context.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> But of course since a unit of analysis
> >>>> must preserve in some shape or form the essential properties of the
> >>>> whole, the use of "mediated activity"
> >>>> (action)
> >>>> cannot be a unit of analysis for
> >>>> the mind if we wish to retain the idea that the mind has a semantic
> >>>> structure (that is, if the "whole" is structured something like a text
> >>>> or a discourse rather than like driving a car, shooting a gun, or
> >>>> hunting animals).
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> When we get to semantic structure of consciousness, we know there was a
> >>> break between LSV and his buddies. It seems that it is in arriving at
> this
> >>> formulation that the charges of idealism and sign-o-centrism kick in.
> >>>
> >>> My difficulty is in making arguments about consciousness- -in-general,
> >>> perhaps a relic of my behaviorist past. Luria appears to have come
> around
> >>> on this issue. I have had a difficult time understanding the changes in
> >>> Leontiev's thought over the period of the 30's and 40's.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> Now, in the discussion of Holbrook's presentation, this wild-haired
> >>>> guy who looked a little like Itzhak Perlman rose to argue that
> >>>> Leontiev's interpretation was really one fair interpretation, and that
> >>>> it really was addressed towards a specific problem, which is how to
> >>>> prevent dualism from arising (that is, how to explain how word meaning
> >>>> could arise historically).Through joint mediated activity?
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> He also said that Holbrook was juxtaposing
> >>>> quotations out of context: the quotes that showed Vygotsky arguing
> >>>> against a "Marxist psychology" were directed against a very specific
> >>>> group of vulgar Marxists (e.g. Zalkind) and that is why Vygotsky uses
> >>>> scare quotes around "Marxist".
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> Not so?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> I then muddied the waters, first by addressing the wild-haired guy
> >>>> instead of Holbrook (a major breach of protocol) and then by arguing
> >>>> that speech really is sui generis, because it is a form of "activity"
> >>>> (if we must call it that) whose conditions of comprehension are no
> >>>> longer recoverable from the activity itself (and so the unit of
> >>>> analysis for verbal thinking cannot be sought in activity). There
> >>>> wasn't enough time to really develop what I wanted to say, so I went
> >>>> over to continue the discussion, and it turned out that the wild
> >>>> haired guy was none other than Seth Chaiklin, who is, we all know, one
> >>>> of the foremost paleo-Vygotskyans when it comes to the much
> >>>> misinterpreted concept of the ZPD.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> Speech is a form of activity or a means of activity? Or of action?
> >>>
> >>> I guess I do not understand. If its worthwhile, perhaps spell the idea
> >>> out
> >>> here?
> >>>
> >>> So far as I can tell, there are ONLY misinterpretations of the Zoped.
> Seth
> >>> was right on about it being used in Anglo-American discourse as
> something
> >>> akin to zone of proximal learning,fitting into the associationist view
> of
> >>> development as more learning. But the one right interpretation has
> escaped
> >>> my notice.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks again for taking the trouble to write that out. Perhaps it will
> be
> >>> generative for people.
> >>> mike
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> David Kellogg
> >>>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >>>>
> >>>> PS: Holbrook DID get one thing wrong. Stalin did not argue that
> >>>> language was purely ideal and superstructural; that was Marr's
> >>>> position. Stalin, or whoever ghost wrote his articles, argued that
> >>>> language was base, and therefore somehow material, whatever that
> >>>> means. But Stalin was not really interested in ideas; he was just out
> >>>> for Marr's blood.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> On 6 October 2014 22:21, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> Hi David--
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The specific example of your comments on originals and adaptations
> hits
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>> on
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> a point it would be helpful to hear more about:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> You wrote:
> >>>>>  Back in Sydney, Seth Chaiklin and I found ourselves in a somewhat
> >>>>> similar argument, with Seth in Perelman's chair, and me clinging
> >>>>> rather obstinately to a paleo-Vygotskyan interpretation which
> actually
> >>>>> rejects "activity" as a unit of analysis for anything but behavior,
> >>>>> and most certainly as a unit of psychological analysis. Seth's
> >>>>> argument was pragmatist: for certain practical applications, we need
> >>>>> new interpretations, including revisionist ones. Mine was an argument
> >>>>> in favor of species diversity: when the revisionist account supplants
> >>>>> the original to such a degree that Vygotsky's original argument is no
> >>>>> longer accessible to people, we need to go back to original texts
> (and
> >>>>> this is why it is so important to make the original texts at least
> >>>>> recoverable--once they are gone, it is really a whole species of
> >>>>> thinking that has become extinct).
> >>>>>
> >>>>> 1.   Could you guide us to a text you recommend where this
> >>>>> interpretation
> >>>>> is laid out?
> >>>>> 2. What sort of revision was Seth suggesting and why?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I have been reading Russian discussions around this issue.
> Clarification
> >>>>> would be helpful.
> >>>>> mike
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Sun, Oct 5, 2014 at 12:37 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com
> >
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> This morning I had the great pleasure of waking up in my own bed and
> >>>>>> listening to Yo-yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman playing this:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRkWCOTImOQ
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> It's the D Major Cello sonata number two by Mendelssohn, played, as
> >>>>>> Yo-yo Ma tells us, on the Davydov (no, that THAT Davydov)
> Stradivarius
> >>>>>> that was probably used to perform the sonata for the very first time
> >>>>>> in front of Mendelssohn himself. Now, throughout this concert, Ma
> has
> >>>>>> been something of a stickler for "the original", and Perelman has
> been
> >>>>>> pulling politely but pointedly towards a more personal
> interpretation.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> So at around 6:45 on the clip, Perelman tells Ma that if Mendelssohn
> >>>>>> himself had heard the sonata played on that very cello, then he,
> >>>>>> Perelman, was sitting in the very seat that Mendelssohn had
> occupied,
> >>>>>> and that therefore his freer interpretation was really closer to
> >>>>>> Mendelssohn than any attempt to recreate the sonata with period
> >>>>>> instruments. Mercifully, at this point, Ax interupts them and starts
> >>>>>> to play.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Back in Sydney, Seth Chaiklin and I found ourselves in a somewhat
> >>>>>> similar argument, with Seth in Perelman's chair, and me clinging
> >>>>>> rather obstinately to a paleo-Vygotskyan interpretation which
> actually
> >>>>>> rejects "activity" as a unit of analysis for anything but behavior,
> >>>>>> and most certainly as a unit of psychological analysis. Seth's
> >>>>>> argument was pragmatist: for certain practical applications, we need
> >>>>>> new interpretations, including revisionist ones. Mine was an
> argument
> >>>>>> in favor of species diversity: when the revisionist account
> supplants
> >>>>>> the original to such a degree that Vygotsky's original argument is
> no
> >>>>>> longer accessible to people, we need to go back to original texts
> (and
> >>>>>> this is why it is so important to make the original texts at least
> >>>>>> recoverable--once they are gone, it is really a whole species of
> >>>>>> thinking that has become extinct).
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> David Kellogg
> >>>>>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> PS: Andy, what shocked me about Bonnie Nardi's plenum in Sydney was
> >>>>>> not her use of "society" or "object": actually, I think I would have
> >>>>>> liked it better if she had used those terms a little more
> imprecisely,
> >>>>>> in their folk meanings. In fact, a little more IMPRECISION might
> have
> >>>>>> made it even clearer to us the sheer horror of what she was
> >>>>>> contemplating.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> For those on the list who missed it, the plenary focused on a world
> >>>>>> without jobs--that is, a world where five-day forty-hour jobs are
> >>>>>> replaced by "micro-work". Nardi admitted that this was a rather
> >>>>>> dystopian state of affairs--but she also showed us what she called
> the
> >>>>>> "bright side": more leisure, less greenhouse gases, and also human
> >>>>>> identities less narrowly tied to work. As one person in the
> conference
> >>>>>> pointed out, and Nardi confirmed, it would also mean more time for
> the
> >>>>>> spiritual side of life.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> What was not pointed out was the effect of all this on the "object"
> of
> >>>>>> "society", using both terms in their folk senses. The working class
> is
> >>>>>> being ground down into the economic position of short term sex
> workers
> >>>>>> and atomized into the social position of housewives. Inequality is
> now
> >>>>>> at levels not seen since 1820. Even a cursory study of history tells
> >>>>>> us that the result of this is not going to be individual
> spirituality
> >>>>>> but rather more violence. The only "bright side" I can see is if
> that
> >>>>>> force is organized, social, and directed against social equality
> >>>>>> rather than against fellow members of the working class.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> dk
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On 5 October 2014 13:38, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> I found Kaptelinin's article in MCA invaluable, Mike. Bonnie Nardi
> I
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> had
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> the
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> great pleasure of meeting for the first time at ISCAR, and if she
> has
> >>>>>>> written something on "object" that is very good news.
> >>>>>>> I don't think the problem is intractable, though I don't think one
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> good
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> book
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> or one good article is enough. But for example, for a long while I
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> have
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> been
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> jumping up and down about how people use the word "perezhivanie"
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> without
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> an
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> article (the, a, an some, etc) implying it is some kind of
> "substance"
> >>>>>>> whereas in Russian it is a count noun. While there remains
> outstanding
> >>>>>>> differences about what perezhivanie means, I notice that almost all
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> bar
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> one
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> now use it with an article. So, however that happened that is a
> step
> >>>>>>> forward, and people are aware of the differences in interpretation
> and
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> they
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> are being discussed. I think if we talk about "object" for a while,
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> maybe
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> this can be straightened out. I know the task of conceptual
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> consistency
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> in
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> our research community seems to be a hopeless task, but I am
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> optimistic.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> Andy
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> ------------
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> *Andy Blunden*
> >>>>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> mike cole wrote:
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Those certainly seem like lively topics, Andy.
> >>>>>>>> I had in mind specifically topics that are on peoples' minds that
> go
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> U
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> discussed. I hope that the time spent at ISCAR produces a shower of
> >>>>>>>> interesting ideas. Isn't that the object of such gatherings?
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> (Whatever
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> object means!).  :-). The Nardi and Kaptelinin chapter on basics of
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> AT
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> is
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> one good source, but it seems the problem is intractable!
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Mike
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
> >>>>>>>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>     I don't know, but it's hardly surprising if things were a
> little
> >>>>>>>>     slow this last week as a lot of xmca-ers are also iscar-ers
> and
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> we
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>     were all chatting like crazy in Sydney at the ISCAR Congress.
> >>>>>>>>     Everyone (and I mean everyone, including every passenger on a
> >>>>>>>>     Sydney suburban train as well) has their iPhones and tablets
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> etc.,
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>     so they could read/write on xmca, but I guess they were
> >>>>>>>>     oversupplied with correspondents and protagonists.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>     My impressions of CHAT research:
> >>>>>>>>     On the positive side: very diverse, and at its best, sharp and
> >>>>>>>>     critical in relation to the dominant political forces, and
> still
> >>>>>>>>     way out in front in understanding the several developmental
> >>>>>>>>     processes which all contribute to our actions (phylogenesis,
> >>>>>>>>     historical genesis, mesogenesis, ontogenesis, microgenesis),
> and
> >>>>>>>>     not focussing on just one. And I have to say it is a great
> >>>>>>>>     community of research, relatively lacking in the
> competitiveness
> >>>>>>>>     and jealousy which infects most research communities.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>     On the negative side:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>        * Most CHAT people still have a concept of "society" as
> some
> >>>>>>>>          homogeneous, abstract entity which introduces problems
> into
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> the
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>          social situation on which they try to focus, i.e., people
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> lack
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> a
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>          viable social theory or the ability to use theory they
> have
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> to
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>          analyse the wider social situation in a differentiated way.
> >>>>>>>>        * The idea of "unit of analysis" is almost lost to us.
> Only a
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> small
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>          minority know what it means and use the idea in their
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> research.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>        * The concept of "object" is at the centre of a lot of
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> confusion;
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>          few researchers using the concept are clear on what the
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> concept
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>          is. This is related to an unwillingness to confront and
> >>>>>>>>     attempt to
> >>>>>>>>          resolve the methodological differences (I refer to
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> systematic
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>          difference, rather than accidental misunderstandings) within
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> the
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>          CHAT community; perhaps it's fear of losing the relatively
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> civil
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>          relations between researchers - people prefer to let
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> differences
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>          just fester without openly discussing them. The old Soviet
> >>>>>>>>          approach is gone, but perhaps we have gone too far the
> other
> >>>>>>>>     way. :)
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>     Andy
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> ------------
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>     *Andy Blunden*
> >>>>>>>>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>>>>>>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>     mike cole wrote:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>         Hi-- I assume you grabbed it from my erroneous response to
> >>>>>>>>         someone who
> >>>>>>>>         wrote backto xmca instead of me.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>         Had dinner with tim ingold yesterday evening. Such an
> >>>>>>>>         interesting and
> >>>>>>>>         unassuming guy.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>         Any ideas about how to broaden/enliven the xmca
> discussion??
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>         mike
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> --
> >>>>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science
> with
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> an
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>> --
> >>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with
> an
> >>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
>



-- 
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.