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[Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
I love that movie!
I don't know whether all writing systems began any particular way.
Wow, does oral history count as history?
Great questions and boy do I ever NOT have a simple answer. I would love to hear a bunch of folklorists or people who collect oral histories sit around and chew on this one.
On Jan 14, 2015, at 4:17 PM, HENRY SHONERD wrote:
> Yes, thank you, Helen
> I have a couple of questions:
> 1)The movie Cave of Forgotten Dreams focuses on cave drawings of Southern France that date back 32,000 years. Writing may date back only about 5 thousand years, but I understand that writing systems begin with pictographs, like in the caves of southern France. Is that relevant to this thread?
> 2) Does oral history count as history?
> I have a question
>> On Jan 14, 2015, at 2:30 PM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:
>> Thanks, Helena! It is lovely. A while ago I had skimmed it but misplaced
>> ways to get to it for deep reading and use of it.
>> Besides just liking this sort of thing, I've had some luck getting teacher
>> ed students to see contemporary cultural and language diversity a little
>> differently when they get a chance to see history they might have missed out
>> on in their prior education.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Helena Worthen
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 2:06 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Cc: 'Mikhail Munipov'
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
>> And there's this:
>> This is a gorgeous exhibit, if it comes near you. For the text about writing
>> 2000-1500 BCE, scroll about half way down. The exhibit has stones, set side
>> by side, with different ancient scripts.
>> Helena Worthen
>> On Jan 13, 2015, at 7:16 PM, Peg Griffin wrote:
>>> Here's a little side track: There's a web trace of a 2010 well-curated
>> museum exhibit on writing from the U of Chicago Oriental Institute.
>>> And here are a few little outtakes:
>>> "four instances and places in human history when writing was
>> invented from scratch - in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica -
>> without previous exposure to or knowledge of writing. It appears likely that
>> all other writing systems evolved from the four systems we have in our
>>> "the earliest cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia (today's
>> Iraq), dating to about 3200 BC,"
>>> " early Egyptian writing that includes tags and labels from
>> the tombs of the first kings (about 3320 BC) as well as hieroglyphic writing
>> and other scripts from the Nile Valley."
>>> " Chinese writing, which emerged about 1200 BC, will be
>> shown on oracle bones"
>>> " Mayan hieroglyphs from the 7th century AD will show how
>> early Mesoamericans wrote."
>>> " Long believed to have been invented in Phoenicia in about
>> 1000 BC, the earliest alphabetic texts are now those found in the Sinai.
>> This earliest alphabet was derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs as early as
>> 1800 BC, well over five hundred years earlier than had been known."
>>> There are some lovely little animations about the development of cuneiform
>> and one animation about a hieroglyph changing and eventually appropriated
>> for a Greek letter.
>>> I love this little site and fear the day I try to open it and find U
>>> of Chicago has abandoned it. Peg
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>> [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
>>> Of Andy Blunden
>>> Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 9:24 PM
>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Cc: Mikhail Munipov
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
>>> Actually, I think that "the more that human beings become removed from
>> animals in the narrower sense of the word, the more they make their own
>> history consciously" is near as dammit what you are looking for.
>>> Engels of course lacked good information. Even in his day Vygotsky had
>> poor information. In "Ape, Primitive Man and Child", "primitive" is taken to
>> mean "non-literate", as it was for Luria in his Central Asian expedition,
>> and a great deal of emphasis is put on the origins and development of
>> *writing*. But writing only appears in Egypt c. 2,000 BCE I think, in any
>> case, in evolutionary time scales 5 minutes ago. The development of writing
>> is nothing to do with evolution of the species.
>>> Vygotsky defines primitive man as follows:
>>> "This term is commonly used, admittedly as a conventional label, to
>>> designate certain peoples of the uncivilized world, situated at the
>>> lower levels of cultural development. It is not entirely right to
>>> call these peoples primitive, as a greater or lesser degree of
>>> civilization can unquestionably be observed in all of them. All of
>>> them have already emerged from the prehistoric phase of human
>>> existence. Some of them have very ancient traditions. Some of them
>>> have been influenced by remote and powerful cultures, while the
>>> cultural development of others has become degraded.
>>> "/Primitive man, in the true sense of the term, does not exist
>>> anywhere at the present time, /and the human type, as represented
>>> among these primeval peoples, can only be called "relatively
>>> primitive." Primitiveness in this sense is a lower level, and the
>>> starting point for the historical development of human behaviour.
>>> Material for the psychology of primitive man is provided by data
>>> concerning prehistoric man, the peoples situated at the lower levels
>>> of cultural development and the comparative psychology of peoples of
>>> different cultures."(Preface, 1930, Italics in the original)
>>> And from the start, this chapter is framed as "cultural development" as
>> distinct from "evolutionary development." Chapter 1 on primates focuses on
>> the limited use of tools possible for apes, with the implication that the
>> cultural development around the emergence of labour, i.e., the production of
>> tools, was part of evolutionary development, prior and leading up to the
>> formation of homo sapiens sapiens. There is no chapter covering the period
>> between 2 million years ago and say `00,000 years ago, where cultural and
>> biological formation are interacting.
>>> According to Engels and others including Dewey, speech emerges
>> simultaneously with tools. Dewey makes the point that a tool is not a tool
>> until its use is institutionalised, linking social, symbolic and tool-using
>> activity together.
>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>> mike cole wrote:
>>>> So perhaps its just my bad memory, Andy. the issues remain central.
>>>> THANKS for the appropriate links!
>>>> On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 4:51 PM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
>>>> <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
>>>> There can only be two sources of this idea: Engels' "Part Played
>>>> by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man" (1876)
>>>> and the Introduction to "Dialectics of Nature" (1883)
>>>> In the latter work, after explaining how freeing the hands by
>>>> adopting an erect gait, led to the use of tools, meaning labour,
>>>> and this led to the expansion of the brain, language and sundry
>>>> other changes, and thus eventualy the emergence of human beings as
>>>> a species. Then he says:
>>>> "With men we enter /history/."
>>>> In the earlier document, he says: "Labour begins with the making
>>>> of tools" which Engels claims happened before the formation of
>>>> modern homo sapiens, contributing to that formation rather than
>>>> being a product of the formation of modern humans, and he narrates
>>>> a story which continues from this point up to socialist revolution
>>>> as if it were one continuous story, blurring over the distinction
>>>> between evolution of the species and historical development of
>>>> The nerest we come to your quote is: "the more that human beings
>>>> become removed from animals in the narrower sense of the word, the
>>>> more they make their own history consciously." The "narrower
>>>> sense" I presume means biological differentiation. So this could
>>>> count for what you are looking for, Mike.
>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>> mike cole wrote:
>>>> Dear Colleagues--
>>>> I seem to recall reading an idea, that I recall being
>>>> attributed to Engels,
>>>> that (rooughly) "more and more the laws of evolution are being
>>>> replaced by
>>>> the laws of history."
>>>> Can anyone enlighten me either as to the source of this
>>>> "quotation" or as
>>>> to the source of my own confusion in this regard?
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.