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[Xmca-l] LSV & ANL on the problem of the environment



I've formulated some thoughts on first readings but need to do some cross
checking.  I've some other commitments too, so probably won't be posting
these impressions till Tuesday.

I suggest folk who would very much like to read these interesting (and
challenging) papers (but for whatever reason can't do so straightaway) push
out some dates in the near so that we hold off for you.

In the mean-time, we can simply post up our impressions etc, and then do a
second stage exchange once everyone has had an opportunity to participate
in their initial sense-making / rumination / critiques.

You can access the papers from Andy's earlier email here:
http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/Current.Mail/msg00114.html

Best,
Huw

On 12 October 2014 20:40, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Glad the summary cuts and pastes were helpful, Rod. My idea was that they
> might serve as a kind of "cliff notes" intro, which in your case was a
> reminder. I have done the same for the Shotter article on "withness" that
> you sent around, but have not had time to recover that part of the
> discussion and introduce it in a productive way.
>
> I can't at present go on to the ANL article, but will briefly comment on
> the Nicaraguan sign language example. I agree with your analysis. But I
> wanted to address my concern with the way the notion of the "ideal form" as
> the "end in the beginning" is that it seems to preclude any form of change
> that is not in the thrall of that ideal form to count as anything but
> deviation from the ideal, no room for transformation. I say "seems" because
> I know and value LSV's work on imagination and creativity at lot. Still, as
> formulated here, in the land where Comrade Stalin shaped what counted as
> the ideal form, it arose for me as an issue when I was re-reading it.
>
> I also want to inquire into the relationship between word meaning as a unit
> of analysis for the relation between thought and language, and perezhivanie
> as a unit of analysis for the thought and emotion. The pairing links
> language, thought, and emotion as constituents of experience
> (perezhivanie).
>
> I look forward to re-reading the ANL critique of LSV... later.
> mike
>
> On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Rod Parker-Rees <
> R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> > Many thanks for your digest of the LSV article, Mike. It is a while since
> > I last read it so this was a valuable refresher and meant I felt I could
> go
> > straight to the ANL article which I have not seen before.
> >
> > Reading the ANL article I was acutely aware of the gulf between my
> > environment and that in which ANL was writing. Perhaps the fact that I
> feel
> > this rather less when reading LSV is evidence of a closer fit between my
> > bourgeois environmenn and his. As I understand it, and I am far from
> > confident in this, ANL's main issue is with LSV's suggestion that
> > 'experiencing' or perezhivanie should be used as a unit of activity,
> > representing the indissoluble relationship between the environment and
> the
> > individual. ANL appears to object to this because he sees experiencing as
> > an abstraction from activity which should be recognised as the true core
> of
> > what makes us human. The argument that an environment is only an
> > environment FOR an active subject reminded me of Uetzkull's 'umwelt' the
> > unique world of experience constructed by an organism in the course of
> its
> > activity (including its sensing activity) but I am not sure that ANL
> > justifies his insistence on not acknowleding experiencING as a form of
> > activity ('experience is a secondary and derivative fact' - p.22).
> >
> > ANL appears to be driven by a preference for 'putting the question in its
> > completely clear and bare form' (p.17) but this involves a series of
> > assertions and rhetorical strong-arm tactics which I find difficult to
> > accept. For example, he chooses to 'set aside the complicated idea of the
> > different course of development of the "spontaneous" and "scientific"
> > concepts' (p.18) - an idea which I have always found particularly helpful
> > and he insists that 'meaning always takes the form of the meaning of a
> > word' (p.18) - denying the possibility that a smile, a raised eyebrow,
> > rolled eyes or a raised fist could carry meaning.
> >
> > I am not sure that the creation of a sign language among Nicaraguan deaf
> > children can be taken as a counter example to LSV's argument that
> children
> > are able to benefit from an environment which includes the 'ideal form'
> of
> > abilities they are just beginning to develop. The children who were
> brought
> > together from isolated families and then co-constructed a sophisticated
> > sign language may not have been surrounded by an 'ideal form' of language
> > which they could fully experience (I believe most were children of
> hearing
> > parents and so experienced only a rudimentary, home-made form of
> home-sign)
> > but they WERE surrounded by people who showed them that people
> communicate
> > with each other so they were exposed to the 'ideal form' of
> > communication-mediated cooperative activity even if they were not able to
> > pick out the finer details of how it was achieved. As in other situations
> > where children grow up among people who use a simplified ('pidgin') form
> of
> > communication, their sensitivity to patterns, rules and regularities
> > allowed them to refine it into a coherent, flexible language (a
> 'creole').
> > I am uncomfortable with the use of 'final form' as an alternative to
> 'ideal
> > form' because every generation does similar things with the language it
> > inherits - adjusting and refining it to achieve a better fit with
> changing
> > social practices. Indeed this (as well as the socio-political distance
> > between us) may explain some of the difficulties I have with ANL's way of
> > asserting his arguments.
> >
> > LSV acknowledged the important role of 'spontaneous concepts' - the often
> > unacknowledged intuitions which arise out of our unique patterns of
> > experience and which give 'body and vitality' to the more abstract,
> 'clear
> > and bare' concepts which allow us to communicate with others - while ANL
> > would appear to prefer a tidier view of things.
> >
> > I look forward to hearing what others make of the comparison between the
> > two papers.
> >
> >  All the best,
> >
> > Rod
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
> > on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
> > Sent: 12 October 2014 17:55
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: XMCA discourse
> >
> > Diane- (I neglected to turn off my computer!). There are now more that
> 800
> > people signed up for XMCA. If every started typing at once, we might
> crash
> > the ucsd server it sits on. And if it is just brownian motion in
> alphabetic
> > characters, what's the point? It WOULD be good to hear from more people.
> At
> > earlier times, i have tried to work out an arrangements where a dozen
> > partricipants each volunteered to organize a discussion on a topic of
> > potential interest for a month as a means of increasing breadth of
> > participation and points of view. It has never worked.
> >
> > Perhaps it could be tried again..... if someone other than me would like
> to
> > organize it!
> >
> > Like henry, I use wikipedia a lot as a starting point. For the disucssion
> > of the LSV article on the environment I would recommend that people
> > google *senghas
> > nicaraguan sign language. *My conjecture is the the evidence of what
> > happens if a lot of deaf kids are brought together without access to an
> > appropriate "ideal form" (see the LSV paper for significance of that
> term)
> > contradicts LSV's argument and has implications for general aspects of
> > theory. But first there has to be that co-reading so we are not simply
> >  tangling each other up in a new way.
> > mike
> >
> > On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM, Diane Potts <djpotts7@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > >From one of the many lurkers...
> > >
> > > As a new academic and one who shares David Kellogg's interests in SFL,
> > > language education and socio-historical theory, I benefit tremendously
> > from
> > > this listserv.  I recommend it regularly to PhD students and hold it up
> > as
> > > a model of an online community that has managed to continue to engage
> in
> > > lively discussions about current research with the participation of
> > senior
> > > scholars. Centering those discussions on readings, at least to me,
> seems
> > to
> > > be an effective means of carrying out the community's boundary work -
> not
> > > always pleasant work, I'll admit, but one that gives coherence to who
> we
> > > are.
> > >
> > > Diane Potts
> > > Lancaster University
> > >
> > > > From: leifstrandberg.ab@telia.com
> > > > Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2014 18:23:52 +0200
> > > > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: XMCA discourse
> > > >
> > > > continue :-)
> > > >
> > > > Leif
> > > > Sweden
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> > ________________________________
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>
> --
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>