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[Xmca-l] [Xcma-l] In Defense of Vygotsky [A person's relation to the environment is intellectual]
Hi Andy (and others),
This post is in relation to the first one labeled [Perezhivanie cannot determine the personality] and informed by Andy's paper "The Problem of the Environment: In Defence of Vygotsky."
I'll continue with the second charge of Leontiev regarding the environment, as indicated in your Defense of Vygotsky paper (hosted on your page on academia.edu, for anyone late to the discussion).
#2) The charge of Leontiev (Ad. 5): "Vygotsky takes relation of the person to their environment to be an intellectual relation."
It is difficult to understand how sense and meaning as represented in perezhivanie could be taken as intellectual, especially when considering infants, to which the same theory applies (concerning environment and its impact upon the child).
I agree with you (and Vygotsky) 100% "The relation in question is always an age-specific relation, and not an intellectual relation." However the theory is not Piagetian (sp?), made of stairsteps, but a _unifying_ theory.
Infants clearly do not possess intellects, or do they? As feeling masses, bundles of joy, and other emotions, infants take in all their perceptions based upon their capacity of understanding (and is at the same time dependent upon their forming brains and bodies) and all this input stimulates and internalizes and eventually creates what will become a child and eventually an adult. Everything is in motion. Thought as reflected by infants is very affect laden. Even single words are bursting with emotion and sense as reflected back by the environment in which the child interacts. These don't seem "intellectual."
But then Andy, you had said previously that intellect is not devoid of affect in this definition.
So I suppose the question that falls out for me is: where is the snag of misunderstanding?
We might say it is "political expediency" generated (historical) or it is cognitively generated (theoretical). Now in Leontiev's case we can say it can be a little of both. However in Bozhovich's case, it must be theoretical, so I am comparing that, or better, I am suggesting a comparison of that.
Again I suppose to be more obvious, *I'm curious to understand where the disconnect happens and why.*
Is it the way "intellectual" is translated/interpreted? Must we be careful about defining this word and how Vygotsky. or rather, Leontiev used it?
Or does it have to do with projecting words that pertain to _states of completed development_ and misusing them to describe _developmental events_? If that is the case, the trap here is that we cannot use the naming of what is already developed to name and define what is still developing.
An acorn is not a tree; there are no branches in an acorn, so in terms of an acorn it makes no sense to talk about branches inside the acorn.
Yet at the same time, it seems LSV is saying the final form determines development. So I wonder if there is a language-to-concept correspondence snafu here too, not just using a "wrong" word.
I hope I made that understandable, I can't say if it is sensible, however! :)