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[Xmca-l] Re: The mirror has two candles



I want to respond to this theme by bringing in the notion of *mediated
action* AS the best *unit of analysis*. Wertsch weaved together Vygotsky
and Bakhtin and showed utterances AS *mediated actions*
The place of the *ideal* in relation to *objects* is the theme.

Now I want to weave in Anna Sfard's exploration of mathematical *entities*
AS having a dual *nature*. This extension is from an article she just
posted on the web [On the Dual Nature of Mathematical Conceptions]

Page 4 is her elaborating this dual nature as follows.

[is] Treating mathematical conceptions AS IF they referred to some abstract
OBJECTS the only possibility of relating to mathematical concepts? THIS
KIND of conception [interpretation] Anna labels *structural*. THIS TYPE of
utterance [mediated action] prevails in mathematical discourse situations
as mediational means
However, there ARE different KINDS of mathematical definitions that
*reveal* quite a different approach to these same concepts.
Functions can be defined not only AS *a set of ordered pairs* BUT ALSO AS a
process of *getting from one system to another* [skemp referenced]

Symmetry can BE conceived [interpreted] AS a static property of geometric
forms BUT ALSO AS a *kind* of transformation.  This latter TYPE of
description [genre] SPEAKS AS IF the mathematical notion is about
processes, algorithms, ACTIONS, [rather than speaking of these mathematical
notions AS IF they ARE *objects*
THIS TYPE OF GENRE *reflects* an Operational interpretation [rather than
structural interpretation] of mathematical conceptions.

Seeing a mathematical *entity* AS *an object* *means* being capable of
gesturing [referring] to the mathematical concept  AS IF the mathematical
concept were A REAL THING [a static structure actually existing somewhere
in time and space but timeless] It also *means* being able to *recognize*
the *idea* at a glance AND to manipulate this mathematical conception AS IF
the structure existed AS A WHOLE [without going into details or analysis]
AS AN EXISTING OBJECT.

Using Hadamard's *metaphor* we can SAY that *structural genres* endows a
concept with a KIND of *physiognomy* which ALLOWS a person to think of this
concept AS a unique, THING [entity] however complicated this concept may BE.

JUST AS WE SEE A FACE OF A MAN.

In contrast, interpreting A concept AS A PROCESS implies regarding THIS
PARTICULAR mathematical concept AS A POTENTIAL [existant] rather than an
ACTUAL EXISTING ENTITY. In operational kinds of genres the *entity* COMES
INTO EXISTENCE upon request in a sequence of actions.
THUS
whereas the structural genre IS timeless [static] instantaneous, and
integrative, the operational genre is dynamic, sequential, and detailed. In
other words different mediational means within *mediated action* produce
radically different notions of the place of concepts as interpretants that
exist [in actuality or in potential]

THEREFORE the play involves different TYPES of *seeing* and different TYPES
of *saying*.

BOTH are equally *true*

I have been exploring *objects of activity* *units of analysis* and
*mediated action* through Anna Sfard's exploration of mathematical
conceptions which do not appear through the 5 senses but DO EXIST.

Larry

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi David,
>
> I don't think anyone is going to argue against the paper's defamatory
> quality.  Everything he says against LSV can be taken with a pinch of salt
> if we assume he was trying to protect his colleagues.
>
> What remains is therefore what is countered and proposed with respect to
> the subject of the environment.
>
> Best,
> Huw
>
>
>
>
> On 19 October 2014 23:38, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > First of all, a word of appreciation to Martin for his candle in the
> > mirror and his delightful formulation of "Plump Materialism", and also
> > to Michael for recognizing the beauty of the image and using it to
> > revitalize a thread that was growing somewhat tiresome to me: no fault
> > of the participants; it was my own inability to see past "fatalistic
> > determinism", "captive to bourgeois theories", and ANL's other fatuous
> > formulae. As Mike points out, this is not just name calling: these are
> > blood libels.
> >
> > Secondly, let me put in a word for Andy's counter-blast. For those of
> > you who have not read it; it is available on Andy's academia.edu page,
> > and it's well worth a look:
> >
> >
> >
> http://www.academia.edu/7511935/The_Problem_of_the_Environment._A_Defence_of_Vygotsky
> >
> > Thirdly--can I draw attention to the top of page fourteen of ANL's
> > dishonest and dishonorable hatchet job? Here he rounds on Basov for
> > non-Marxist, idealist notion that humans in some way "double" the
> > natural environment. ANL returns to this theme at the bottom of the
> > page where he says:
> >
> > "To the animal, however, any “artificial” object created by humans is
> > simply
> > a natural object, it is nature because the animal’s relation toward it
> > will always
> > be an instinctive relation. Thus, of course, in reality there is no
> > doubling of the
> > environment. The environment as a whole is transformed into a human
> > environment,
> > that is, for the human being, into a social environment, based on the
> > fact that humans themselves relate to it in human terms, that is, as
> > social humans."
> >
> > Note the use of "Thus"; it marks a shameless non sequitur. First of
> > all, it is a non sequitur to say that because animals and very small
> > children treat i-phones as natural objects, THEREFORE there is no
> > doubling of the environment Secondly, it is a non sequitur to say that
> > the environment "as a whole" becomes a human environment (because
> > animals and infants do NOT see it that way??) without any trace of the
> > natural environment. But the biggest non-sequitur is the least
> > explicit: it is the insinuation that the process of social
> > idealization of nature that we call enculturation is prima facie
> > subversive of Marxism.
> >
> > Consider the following, from a great subversive of Marxism and primal
> > plump materialist:
> >
> > "We pre-suppose labour in a form that stamps it as exclusively human.
> > A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a
> > bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells.
> > But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is
> > this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he
> > erects it in reality. At the end of every labour-process, we get a
> > result that already existed in the imagination of the labourer at its
> > commencement." (Capital, Vol 1, Chapter III, Part 7)
> >
> > What is THIS if not a doubling of reality--a mirror with two candles?
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >
> >
> > have a look:
> >
> >
> >
> > On 20 October 2014 00:15, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Here's an example memory paper abstract by Sereda (2011), titled "A
> > > Theoretical Model of Memory
> > > as a Mechanism for Systematically Organizing Individual Experience"
> > >
> > > "In order to improve the explanatory potential of activity theory, this
> > > article
> > > proposes a theoretical model of human memory as a mechanism for
> > > the systematic organization of individual experience, organization that
> > > is an essential condition for performing future activity. The model
> rests
> > > on the idea that the main factor in human memory is the motivational
> > > and semantic sets of personality and thus orientation toward the future
> > > (prospective orientation)."
> > >
> > > The storehouse metaphor as used in psychology merely reflects a rather
> > poor
> > > approach.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Huw
> > >
> > > On 19 October 2014 15:20, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi Larry,
> > >>
> > >> I renamed this thread because it seems to be taking a tangent from the
> > >> very rich discussion on LSV and ANL, but perhaps it might circle back.
> > >> Anyway, I thought Martin's very interesting illustration deserves a
> > moment
> > >> of fame.  I wonder if memory is the right word in current
> > circumstance.  In
> > >> U.S. psychology memory is very often viewed as a storehouse of
> > information
> > >> where you send your messages back to retrieve information when needed
> to
> > >> apply to the current situation.  Do you think Pierce would see the
> > overall
> > >> process this way (did he actually talk about memory?)  For him it
> seems
> > it
> > >> would be part of a more active process of establishing relationships
> of
> > >> that which came before with that which is currently being explored.
> > >>
> > >> Michael
> > >> ________________________________________
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
> > >> on behalf of lpscholar2@gmail.com [lpscholar2@gmail.com]
> > >> Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 6:40 AM
> > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
> > >>
> > >> Michael Glassman and Martin and How
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> I want to ex-tend the exploration of *models* and *memories* and
> > >> *contextualism* as linked in Michael’s rejoinder to Martin.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Michael wrote “if ALL you can *see* [perceive] is what is IN the
> mirror
> > >> [metaphor of reflection AS mirroring] how do you “know” there IS a
> > mirror
> > >>
> > >> The IF IMPLIED is the ‘ALL’ .
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> However, is that “all there IS” in *seeing*?
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> IS “memory* also existent as an existent IN seeing?
> > >>
> > >> In other words, do *interpretants* ACTUALLY exist IN FACT? [as such]
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Umberto Eco suggests there is both ORPHIC knowing/seeing [when Picasso
> > >> paints THAT PARTICULAR yellow shoe in a painting the SINGULARITY of
> THAT
> > >> experience IS “orphic”
> > >>
> > >> POETS and artists are “biased” to privilege THIS WAY of knowing
> > [Peirce's
> > >> secondness as orphic and possibly orphaned]
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> HOWEVER, Umberto Eco suggests that this orphic “knowing* is also
> > >> *indicative* [indexical] of further *interpreting* AND THIS TYPE of
> > >> *knowing* EX-TENDS Orphic knowing. [Peirce's tiredness]
> > >>
> > >> Now in Peirce's metaphysics THIS interpreting creating interpretants
> > also
> > >> is EXISTING as facts.
> > >>
> > >> Is this transforming orphic [what IS present] TO forming
> *interpretants*
> > >> AS *something* that actually exists {through the interpreting process}
> > >> INCLUDE memory but that IS NOT ALL.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>  IS creative imagining potentially existent?  that goes BEYOND memory?
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> I believe Umberto Eco’s question of a deeper knowing than
> orphic/orphan
> > >> knowing *things-in-themselves* EX-tending BEYOND the orphic
> > [secondness] to
> > >> INCLUDE interpreting and forming actual *interpretants* [tiredness]
> > must be
> > >> considered within the memory process.
> > >>
> > >> This returns to *models* that are necessary but NOT ALL there *is*.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> The *relation* between *orphic* knowing and *interpreting* knowing
> > seems a
> > >> KEY question [and may ex-tend back into metaphysics?
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Larry
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Sent from Windows Mail
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> From: Glassman, Michael
> > >> Sent: ‎Saturday‎, ‎October‎ ‎18‎, ‎2014 ‎5‎:‎18‎ ‎PM
> > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Hi Martin,
> > >>
> > >> That's a very interesting metaphor, but let me see if I can take it a
> > step
> > >> further.  Basically you seem to be saying that Vygotsky is making a
> > >> mechanistic argument - I'm not talking about the more colloquial
> > expression
> > >> of mechanistic but the one that Pepper talks about in World
> Hypothesis.
> > >> You are looking into the mirror and seeing the reflection of a candle
> -
> > but
> > >> you are making the assumption that there must be a mechanism that is
> > >> causing the reflection of the candle.  You cannot know this mechanism
> > >> itself - it is too difficult to reach - but you can build models that
> > bring
> > >> us closer to understanding. This I think is almost exactly how Pepper
> > >> discusses this root metaphor.  Our goal as scientists is to find the
> > >> mediate description of the underlying mechanism.  This
> > >> Pragmatists/Conextualists would say this is dualism - not the dualism
> > you
> > >> get from Formism where you depend on your mind to bring you closer to
> a
> > >> known but unreachable ideal, but in the sense that there is this
> > mechanism
> > >> that exists that is somehow separate from and causing the reflection
> in
> > the
> > >> mirror.  So the Contextualist asks, if all you can see is what is in
> the
> > >> mirror how do you know there is a mirror.  That is the only
> information
> > you
> > >> have and you have to base all interpretation of the world on that
> > >> information - to suggest you are looking at a reflection is an
> > assumption
> > >> based on a belief system that there must be causing what you are
> > seeing.  I
> > >> think you are right, Vygotsky wants to assume the mirror, but in the
> end
> > >> doesn't that suggest a dualism to his thinking.
> > >>
> > >> Michael
> > >> ________________________________________
> > >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
> > >> on behalf of Martin John Packer [mpacker@uniandes.edu.co]
> > >> Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2014 6:38 PM
> > >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
> > >>
> > >> Hi Michael,
> > >>
> > >> LSV points out that no proper science sets out to study appearances.
> > Every
> > >> science studies entities that exist, in order to *explain*
> appearance.
> > One
> > >> of his examples is from the science of optics. When we place a burning
> > >> candle in front of a mirror there *appears* to be a second candle
> > burning
> > >> behind the mirror, or 'in' the mirror. The scientist doesn't study
> that
> > >> second candle. What he or she studies is the first candle, and the
> > mirror,
> > >> in order to discover principles by which to explain why an 'image' of
> a
> > >> second candle appears, apparently located 'in' the mirror.
> > >>
> > >> It's the same with the mind. It *appears* to us (at least to those of
> us
> > >> raised in western, scientific cultures) that our thoughts and feelings
> > >> exist in a special, internal, subjective, hidden place that we call
> "the
> > >> mind."  A scientific psychology, says LSV, needs to try to explain how
> > that
> > >> appearance is possible. It's not too difficult, in fact: our verbal
> > >> thoughts, our private subvocal speech, is possible, first, because we
> > can
> > >> use vocal speech to direct our own actions and second, because a fibre
> > >> bundle called the arcuate fasciculus forms between Broca's area and
> > >> Wernicke's area (to considerably simply the neuroanatomy and
> > >> neurofunctioning).  The appearance of a "mind in the head" is a *folk*
> > >> psychology: it is simply one way, among several, in which people try
> to
> > >> make sense of an experience that they have; it is the way our own
> > >> psychological processes *appear* to us. Scientific psychology cannot
> > study
> > >> the mind, any more than it can study the second candle. It can,
> however,
> > >> set out to *explain* the mind, and that is part of what LSV did.
> > >>
> > >> Martin
> > >>
> > >> On Oct 18, 2014, at 8:11 AM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> >  I sort of feel like (at this point) Vygotsky did open himself up
> for
> > >> being critiqued for going inside the head.  It was a choice, I don't
> > think
> > >> he was willing to give up the idea of individual development (which I
> > think
> > >> you have to do if you are going to escape dualism - because what
> > develops
> > >> if you can't say there is something inside the head that develops
> > (remember
> > >> I am suggesting individual development here).
> > >>
> > >>
> >
> >
>