[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[Xmca-l] Re: labour and signs
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: labour and signs
- From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2014 15:55:40 +1100
- In-reply-to: <CAHCnM0C+bHsN84fA4mStiu-YWBjwp8nqQFThzbj9bi8wz_Xc2Q@mail.gmail.com>
- List-archive: <https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/xmca-l>
- List-help: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=help>
- List-id: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l.mailman.ucsd.edu>
- List-post: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
- List-subscribe: <https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-l>, <mailto:email@example.com?subject=subscribe>
- List-unsubscribe: <https://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-l>, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=unsubscribe>
- References: <548002C6.email@example.com> <1638274843.445412.1417699651665.JavaMail.firstname.lastname@example.org> <548068A0.email@example.com> <66B9A63B-0FDB-44AF-9A3D-07BC658C2277@gmail.com> <CAHCnM0AFowkHgnWQLwzRJ_zvJTAKEaAZUHcek_aAh34X0oNE7A@mail.gmail.com> <5480F4F2.firstname.lastname@example.org> <CAHCnM0CVm3ACHedMVkD06x7s+FG=VB44pQsgHZ0MGx9gd_1Xdg@mail.gmail.com> <5480F978.email@example.com> <CAHCnM0C+bHsN84fA4mStiu-YWBjwp8nqQFThzbj9bi8wz_Xc2Q@mail.gmail.com>
- Reply-to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Sender: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- User-agent: Thunderbird 188.8.131.52 (Windows/20090812)
Well, Mike, while we are always interested in any information that comes
to light about the ancient formation of language, I find that theories
about that are invariably reifications (or exptrapolations if you like)
of theories based (as you remark to Annalisa) on actual observations of
(1) ontogeny, (2) the cultural-historical origin and development of the
particular concepts themselves and the words indicating them.
Re (1) Vygotsky has lots to say about this and of course you
psychologists continue to investigate this in your own lifetime; from
Chapter 5 of T&S, for example:
* "The tasks that are posed for the maturing adolescent by the
social environment - tasks that are associated with his entry into
the cultural, professional, and social life of the adult world -
are an essential functional factor in the formation of concepts.
Repeatedly, this factor points to the mutually conditioned nature,
the organic integration, and the internal unity of content and
form in the development of thinking."
* "It would be a mistake to ignore or fail to recognize the
significance of the life-task as a factor that nourishes and
directs intellectual development in the transitional age. However,
it would also be a mistake to view this aspect of causal-dynamic
development as the basic mechanism of the problem of concept
development or as the key to this problem."
Re (2) Engestrom has done work on this. I stand by the analysis in my
paper on the formation of the concept of Collaborative Learning Space
which differs only in detail in comparison with Engestrom's 7-step
process, but I think the most decisive and spectacular evidence of all
is the research done on the emergence of the word for the various
colours in all the languages of the world and how this correlated with
the ability to manufacture materials in the respective colour. In
general, new concepts and the words for them arise when solutions are
proposed for problems which have arisen in the course of regular, i.e.,
in some way rule-governed or institutionalised, practice (i.e.,
activity). A problem in practice is solved in practice and then named.
Marx points out how the solution is found and practised before theorists
can describe it and give a name to it, but I would hesitate to make this
a general rule, though it may be appropriate in the case of broad social
In relation to the word-tool business, sometimes the word naming a new
concept names a new tool (e.g. Collaborative Learning Space), but not
always. It may name the solution (e.g. "regulation") to a problem
("contradiction" in Engestrom's vocab) which is not necessarily a tool,
sometimes the problem itself (e.g. "sexism") but in essence always
indicates the solution not the problem, sometimes a new concept comes in
the form of two words being a new distinction. The selection of the word
itself is a whole other matter of course.
Personally, my interest is in (2) above.
Does that answer your question, Mike?
mike cole wrote:
Here is the quotation, Andy:
Gutsman has noted, however, that we can agree with
Goethe that the word as such should not be overvaluated and can
concur in his transformation of the Biblical line to, “In the
beginning was the //deed/.” /Nonetheless, if we consider the
history of development, we can still read this line with a different
emphasis: “In the //beginning/ /was the deed.” Gutsman’s
argument is that the word is a higher stage in man’s development
highest manifestation of action. He is right. The word did not
exist in the beginning. In the beginning was the deed. The
the word occurs nearer the end than the beginning of development.
How should i be thinking about this passage if not to ask, "if the
formation of the word occurs nearer the end than the beginning of
development" what transformations of action are implicated in the
appearance and development of the word? I take it that in one sense,
all of developmental studies of language acquisition are attempts to
answer the question. But there it is.
On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com
can you explain, Mike?
mike cole wrote:
Which still leaves us with the question of how language
developed out of other forms of action -- in phylogeny and
ontogeny-- as Haydi emphasized recently.