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[Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
- To: Martin John Packer <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
- From: Haydi Zulfei <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:11:00 +0100
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- Reply-to: Haydi Zulfei <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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1. It's Vygotsky who has analyzed the "genesis" and "development" of thinking and speech . You say speech is an activity ; Vygotsky says up to a point we don't have such a thing as 'speech' . You say thinking is activity ; Vygotsky says up to a point we don't have such a thing as 'human thinking' . Then your presupposition is the existence of a full thinking man which could be no means be true .
2. This is what you say : "Cognition has been studied as though it is disconnected from the motives, interests, and inclinations of the person who thinks."
a. When Vygotsky begins with 'practical intellect' or even before that with some thing like a cloudy morphless mass , are we right to talk about 'cognition' as such ?
b. But motives , interests and inclinations , with some negligence , could be said to exist in newborns , babies , children , etc. For Vygotsky , these are primary needs , say , instincts . And you know Meshcheryakov succeeded in bringing all the preliminaries into existence through especial training and working with and taking care of some creatures he or others preferred to name 'animals' rather than thinking conscious creatures . He created a 'mind' through his activities with those creatures .
c. Again you end your sentence with 'the person who thinks' . It is as though you cannot detach yourself from the accompaniment of a thinking man . Won't you think you might believe in such things being all innate ? If so , Vygotsky won't support .
3. "... and there are constant references throughout T&L to the ways that verbal thinking is linked to what people desire and what they do. In this sense, yes, activity (in the general sense) was important to LSV."
What we know of Vygotsky is that he , while explicating his idea of 'internalization' , begins with expanded utterances , continues with the egocentric speech , still continues with the inner speech and ends in 'pure thinking' . As I said before , when he reaches the end of the book , he poses the question of 'motive' quoting Gothe as glorifying deed but concluding himself as believing in an 'ultimate' word . And you , dear , in your philosophical thoughts (as against colloquial ones) , are absolutely and definitely in this phase of what Vygotsky believes in . That is when and where a thought has been completed in a 'word' , say , as symbol for a full discourse . We should be careful with this idea that Vygotsky on the first round , that is from birth to grown-up does not use 'pure thinking' but on the reverse track , that is , the internalization from an expanded utterance to the last phase , he uses 'pure thinking' and this means a lot .
4. And I'd like to repeat you : What and which consciousness , then , is an aspect of the so-called general activity ? Once Andy put the question : What is consciousness? Then what is consciousness ? Where does it come from ? Is it something fixed or liable to change and accumulation ? If it changes , what are the variables ? Could one be born a personality ? Could one have a consciousness without having a personality ? Does Vygotsky say a baby is conscious to what he does ? In Vygotsky's 'genesis' initially there's no speech , no thinking ; at one point they meet . Then in the absence of these two important factors , of what consciousness could we speak ?
5. I personally see no great gulf between Vygotsky and all his disciples up to Davydov , etc. Let's respect CHAT in its entirety and full sense . Creating chasms to such an extent is , I'd like to think , a sin !
From: Martin John Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Haydi Zulfei <email@example.com>; "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, 18 October 2014, 18:16:32
Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
In the first chapter of Thought & Language, LSV points out that traditional psych had separated the intellectual, volitional, and affective aspects of human life, so that "thinking itself became the thinker of thoughts." In my view this has remained true for much of the
history of psychology since LSV was writing. Cognition has been studied as though it is disconnected from the motives, interests, and inclinations of the person who thinks. LSV set out to avoid this false separation, and there are constant references throughout T&L to the ways that verbal thinking is linked to what people desire and what they do. In this sense, yes, activity (in the general sense) was important to LSV. To repeat myself, my interpretation is that for him consciousness was *an aspect* of activity. It is in activity that we perceive, we feel emotion, we remember, and we think. I suggested earlier that thinking is an *articulation* of action; we also think when we *pause* from action; but we even then I would say that we think in order to act.
In this regard it seems to me LSV also tied his work to the labor theory of Marx. He certainly highlighted the central importance of Marx's work as a model of
methodology. But at the same time he was very critical of the ways so-called Marxist psychologists in Russia at that time had made use of Marx's theory. I imagine he might have said the same of ANL.
On Oct 18, 2014, at 7:06 AM, Haydi Zulfei <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi John
> If there's any talk of activity , it's a joint goal-oriented activity ; then what you think of 'speech' being an activity might be where 'speech itself' is in the focus with motives , goals , conditions .
> You want to sacrifice some innocents into a war ; you need a strong adept lecturer to excite them , stimulate them ,
propagate them through speech though other things are also available . In this circumstance , speech could be called "an activity proper" .
> But there's a time you want to reach and conquest a mountain top as the motive for an activity . There might be lots of speech and speech acts in this enterprise but the motive and goal are different from what we had in the first instance . Here speech asts just as a vector , means of communication , ignoring its organizational and cognitive capabilities .
> And two more points :
> 1. I think at least in one place in 'thinking and speech' , Vygotsky analyzes speech as something which comes into being through the process of labour and with the assistance of tools and paralinguistics primarily bound to it .
> 2. In the last lines of 'thinking and speech' , Vygotsky holds that he's traversed a reverse path ; he should have begun with
"motive" other than words and concepts . And we may find many things in Luria's "Language and Cognition" in this regard . I think what might be fault with ANL besides his acts of espionage and conspiracies is that he did not waver in his belief to attach his theory to that of the labour theory of Marx . In fact all of them , at least , wished and hoped to make a society other than what the America now is . I remember Anna Stetsenko having said this many times while she was still here . And I very much like to know what dear Luria taught his friends and disciples about the whole deeds of his close friend , A.N.Leontiev . A.A.Leontiev's , Dimitri Leontiev's and especially Evald Ilyenko's and the Kharkov members in this respect .
> Best Regards
> Haydi Zulfei
> From: Martin John Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
> Sent: Saturday, 18 October 2014, 0:41:49
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
> I see a difference, Huw. I just don't see the difference that the difference makes. And ANL cannot be correct: for one thing, in various texts LSV writes about the character of consciousness in preverbal children, and of how consciousness is transformed by the acquisition of language. This would hardly be possible if language were a
necessary condition for consciousness.
> On Oct 17, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Huw Lloyd <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Specifically, ANL is pointing to drivers and necessary conditions. He is
>> saying that LSV considers language-ing the driver for consciousness,
>> whereas ANL points to activity. This to my reading and thinking is
>> justifiably presented as a decisive difference. It is the same as stating
>> that the deed precedes the word, and that the genetic precursor is
> different to products derived from it.