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[Xmca-l] Re: In defense of Vygotsky [[The fallacy of word-meaning]
- To: Andy Blunden <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: In defense of Vygotsky [[The fallacy of word-meaning]
- From: Carol Macdonald <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:57:56 +0200
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About those bees...I think there will be a mathematical modelling which is
to be developed of those. That is, if the bees don't collapse as a species
and take us all into oblivion. Er, smile.
On 23 October 2014 08:51, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> 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
> 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
> 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 Blunden*
> Julian Williams wrote:
>> 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.
>> On 23 Oct 2014, at 07:08, "Andy Blunden" <email@example.com> 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 Blunden*
>>> 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.
Carol A Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
Academic, Researcher, and Editor
Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa