[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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



Ok, here are some of my impressions.

ANL's criticisms of LSV appear to be mostly correct to the degree that they
are not made explicit, but the absence of LSV's explicitness does not, of
itself, indicate disagreement.  However, I am happy to give ANL the benefit
of the doubt with respect to his more intimate knowledge of these
tendencies presented by LSV.  I simply read both LSV and ANL as
(inevitably) presenting a simplified picture.

For LSV, perhaps my sharpest point of divergence is with respect to his "It
is quite impossible to imagine such a thing" when regarding biological and
socio-political processes being prefigured.  He pays scant regard to the
dynamics of genetic assimilation here.  True, the child is learning to
participate in a means of production which are already manifest (but not to
the child).  But the conditions for the means of production exist in other
forms too.  Hence ANL's pointing to alternative modes of action and
activity which are not copies of the original.

By identifying experience as the "still point" in the exposition, LSV is
effectively designating aspects of the child's conduct (attitudes) as
"environmental".  This does not seem to be his intention and therefore it
is more likely an oversight.  It would be more agreeable to consider LSV's
notion of experience here to encompass the activity orientation of the
child, whereby deviations in experience of situations can point in both
directions -- both to activity and its environmental situation.  Simply,
one may say that the child's experience of their environment is mediated by
their activity, and hence understand why ANL's refers to it as a derivative
or secondary psychological fact.

I am not sure ANL conveys the broader sense of communication particularly
well.  The argument is that every aspect of activity contributes to
communication.  Hence ANL's pointing to the import of non-verbal aspects of
communication as a broader basis for the meanings evoked by words.

Best,
Huw








On 13 October 2014 01:20, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
>> > ________________________________
>> > [http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/images/email_footer.gif]<
>> > http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/worldclass>
>> >
>> > This email and any files with it are confidential and intended solely
>> for
>> > the use of the recipient to whom it is addressed. If you are not the
>> > intended recipient then copying, distribution or other use of the
>> > information contained is strictly prohibited and you should not rely on
>> it.
>> > If you have received this email in error please let the sender know
>> > immediately and delete it from your system(s). Internet emails are not
>> > necessarily secure. While we take every care, Plymouth University
>> accepts
>> > no responsibility for viruses and it is your responsibility to scan
>> emails
>> > and their attachments. Plymouth University does not accept
>> responsibility
>> > for any changes made after it was sent. Nothing in this email or its
>> > attachments constitutes an order for goods or services unless
>> accompanied
>> > by an official order form.
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>
>
>