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

[Xmca-l] Re: In defense of Vygotsky [[The fallacy of word-meaning]



Well, I think AT has the potential to add new insights to what is available in classical Marxism, Julian. I don't want to abandon Leontyev. But there are problems with his theory which need to be straightened out. The idea of taking activities as units of analysis for an interdisciplinary human science remains a good one.

As to "ideal form".

The point is, the relative contains the absolute and the absolute is also relative.

What the maths teacher teaches the kids in maths class is generally taken to be the "truth." But if the teacher is going to really teach them mathematics, they need to learn that sometimes the accepted truth turns out to be wrong. But that does not lead down the road of relativism, that mathematics is just about learning "the accepted narrative." Mathematics studies objective properties of Nature, and sometimes we have to change our ideas.

At ISCAR there was a great presentation about a group teaching natural science in New York, where they took as their case study Colony Collapse Disorder which is threatening to wipe out America's bee population. The point is, this phenomena currently has no accepted scientific explanation. That's how to teach science!

In general, it is undeniable that children acquire the language found around them. But there turns out to be a lot of ifs and buts involved in this. But it is a basic proposition from which you have to set out - a first approximation to ontogenesis.

Andy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/


Julian Williams wrote:
Andy

Yes, just so,  this is why I go to social theory eg Marx and Bourdieu to find political-economic contradictions within and between activities.

But before we go there have we finally dispensed with the notion in Vygotsky's Perezhivanie paper that the situation or environment is given and the same for all, and the final form of development is given in a final, given 'ideal' form right from the beginning ( being then associated with an already given social plane).

I'm happy enough to accept that this is a false and undialectical reading of Vygotsky (after all who knows how the concept of perezhivanie might have matured in his hands)...
To return to my case - arithmetic. Many will say this exists in ideal form in the culture and all that needs to be done by development is to bring the child into the culture... Then the child is 'schooled'... Passive, lacking in agency, often failed, and at best made obedient to the cultural legacy. AsBourdieu says, through processes in school the class system is reproduced, and this is enculturation into the cultural arbitrary.

Julian




On 23 Oct 2014, at 07:08, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

No, the point is that for ANL "meaning" refers to the one true meaning of something. He does not allow that the meaning of something may be contested, and that a meaning may be contested because of heterogeneity in society, different social classes, genders, ethnic groups, social movements and so on. For ANL there is only the one true meaning of something which "everyone knows" or individual, personal meanings, which are therefore taken to be subjective.

Andy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/


Annalisa Aguilar wrote:
This continues and extends from my original post concerning Andy's breakdown of ANL vs. LSV. There are about 8 points total... [copypasta is a starch of art] --------------------------------------------------- 6. [The fallacy of word-meaning] (see original post below) --------------------------------------------------- You say: "ANL believes that motivation determines perception. The norm of  perception, the "true" meaning of an object, is therefore the meaning  it has for the community as a whole. I am questioning the validity of this concept of "community as a whole" in this context." So is it the case that word-meaning is denied by ANL because meaning and symbols "must be" cohesive across the culture and cannot have personal or spontaneous meaning? I can see the reason politically to emphasize this, if the State is sanctioned as the sole arbiter of meaning. --- clip from previous post below Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:28:48 +0000 Annalisa wrote:
_6th charge_: The fallacy of word-meaning ---------- ANL believes that the mental representation in a child's awareness must _correspond_ directly to the object in reality, and not just perceptually, but also how the object may relate and associate to other objects and their meanings. The example is a table. Because of this definition of, what I will call here for convenience (i.e., my laziness) "object-awareness", ANL takes exception with LSV's rendering of a _single word_ to stand as a generalization to reference the meaning of the word and as an independent unit (word-meaning). Furthermore, ANL disagrees with the existence of these word-meanings, _as units_, but he also disagrees that they are what construct consciousness as a whole. ANL can say this because he considers consciousness and intellect to be synonymous. ----------
Andy's reply to #6 above: ANL believes that motivation determines perception. The norm of perception, the "true" meaning of an object, is therefore the meaning it has for the community as a whole. I am questioning the validity of this concept of "community as a whole" in this context. >--end