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

I was glad that I re-read "Problem of the environment."
The discussion of the 3 siblings takes up a smaller proportion of the article than I had remembered. Vygotsky doesn't seem to say much about perezhivanie except that obvious fact that it represents a *relation* between the person and the environment, and he says this in a variety of ways. I had not well remembered what he said about the development of the 3 siblings - each suffered some kind of pathology as a result of the perezhivanie occasioned by the mother's drunkenness, but the pathology was *different* in each case. And he *does* say quite explicitly that perezhivanija are units of analysis, and I gather it is a unit for analysis of personality development, and therefore of personality (as ambiguous as that word is). But there is no elaboration of perezhivanie which allows us to understand how much of the cultural load carried by the word in the Russian language is intended to be incorporated in the scientific concept - this is left open. But the article also includes Vygotsky's important reflections about the presence of the "ideal form" in the environment and how this makes ontogenetic development unique among all forms of development. And he also includes a statement of the "law of cultural development" that all the higher psychological functions originally manifest themselves as forms of the child's collective behaviour. I still think it's a great article, though one would have loved Vygotsky to have elaborated more on some points.
*Andy Blunden*

mike cole wrote:
I had never thought of the meaning/value connection, David. Thank Mr Hicheol for me! I need to read more about tema which is not a term I am familiar with being used in this context before.

I gather that the idea of reading the two articles on the problem of the environment proved uninteresting. As a sign of my decriptude I had totally forgotten that Andy had written a whole essay about the contrast because I had it compartmentalized as part of a discussion among Russians that we have been poking our noses in to. I would not recommend starting with Andy's essay because it might discourage reading the two articles themselves. I have read the Vygotsky over a couple of times with special focus on question of units of analysis arising from one of David's earlier notes.

Perhaps its only me, but when our conversations quickly spiral into three more heavy tomes to read just to get near what the note writer is suggesting, and when it involves Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty (whose work, at least, i know a little about!), I get to feeling overwhelmed. I was hoping that maybe a sharp contrast and a discussion that focused right on it, might be useful.
No stopping the racing train, i guess.

On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 2:40 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com <mailto:dkellogg60@gmail.com>> wrote:

    When we were translating "Thinking and Speech", one of our old
    Marxists, Mr. Bae Hicheol, pointed out that "znachenie" can also be
    translated as "value", and that "sense" and "signification" can easily
    be understood along the lines of Marx's analysis of the commodity into
    a use value and an exchange value. I think this is precisely
    Volosinov's model for "tema" and "znachenie": "tema" is the use value
    of a word in a concrete act of thinking and speech, while "znachenie"
    is an abstraction (thus more stable than "tema") created by the
    process of exchange itself. There are limits to the analogy, of
    course, but it is certainly not the case that use value is "private"
    while exchange value is "public".

    David Kellogg
    Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

    On 10 October 2014 23:01, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
    <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
    > On the contrary. It was quite explicit.
    > The first slide showed two columns. On the left were the were
    the Russian
    > and German words for "personal meaning" and the inadequate
    English word,
    > sense, on the right the Russian and German words for objective
    or public
    > meaning and the inadequate English word, meaning.
    > The next slide illustrated this dualism graphically with public
    and private
    > domains represented.
    > The whole point was the Cartesian problem of the relation
    between the two.
    > It seems that the word "dualism" is not a "dirty word" where he
    comes from,
    > and the idea of theorising social change, which was a theme of 2
    of the 4
    > keynote speeches, was also not a priority for him.
    > His Oral presentation (immediately after mine on the Thursday)
    was devoted
    > to representation of the autoregulation processes of social and
    > psychological systems.
    > Andy
    > *Andy Blunden*
    > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
    > Martin John Packer wrote:
    >> Did Dmitry simply not recognize the dualism in the theory he was
    >> presenting, Andy?
    >> Martin
    >> On Oct 10, 2014, at 7:26 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
    <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
    >>> You are quite right Martin, that it was my report of Dmitry's
    speech that
    >>> was being referred to and also correct to chide me for irony.
    Irony is
    >>> really out of place in discussing such complex questions.
    However,  Dmitry
    >>> was not criticising his grandfather's theory; he was
    continuing it. When I
    >>> said that I didn't think that such a stark dualism was a
    fruitful place from
    >>> which to begin a discussion of meaning, he didn't really see
    the point of my
    >>> remark, simply agreeing that there could be local or regional
    meanings which
    >>> departed from the norm. So the irony, I admit, was all mine,
    and I apologise
    >>> for inappropriate use of irony in this instance.
    >>> Andy
    >>> *Andy Blunden*
    >>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
    >>> Martin John Packer wrote:
    >>>> Just to reduce confusion, I want to point out that it was
    Andy who
    >>>> provided this account of  Dmitry Leontiev's presentation at
    ISCAR, not me.
    >>>> And I think Andy was rejecting the argument. In fact, if I
    >>>> correctly (there was a lot of irony in Andy's message!), D.
    Leontiev was
    >>>> both summarizing and criticizing a position that his father
    (A. N. Leontiev)
    >>>> had made. Martin
    >>>> On Oct 10, 2014, at 3:35 AM, Rod Parker-Rees
    >>>> <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk
    <mailto:R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>> wrote:
>>>>> I would challenge Martin's account of Dmitry Leontiev's argument that
    >>>>> meaning is objectively fixed to 'what is' -  'irrespective
    of one's personal
    >>>>> relation to it' - yes, znachenie - common sense or agreed
    meaning is more
    >>>>> 'objective' than smysl but it is still socially constructed
    - meanings are
    >>>>> agreed by dint of their common use (what people do 'as a
    rule') rather than
    >>>>> because they reflect an absolute objectivity.

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