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[Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history



Rod or Larry--- I have missed relevant material, clearly. But might I
intervene in this exchange briefly to ask for
a page reference for Vygotsky's discussion of the Primal We? Fits in with
ongoing work that faces a looming
deadline, and that information would be enormously helpful.

Sure a lot to discuss in those notes. Thanks.
I will try to engage properly AFTER finish the deadline task.

I am still back imagining I will have time to pose a question about the
imagination thread!

mike


On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 11:16 AM, Rod Parker-Rees <
R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:

> Larry,
>
> As a fascinated 'baby watcher' I am grateful to you for bringing Jessica
> Benjamin's work to my attention. While I find her article, I wonder if you
> could comment on how her identification of primal thirdness relates to the
> concept of the 'Ur Wir' or 'Primal We' which Vygotsky refers to as the
> initial condition of the infant and mother/caregiver. I am more and more
> convinced that a baby's first experiences are of the quality of the
> interaction between its body and the body of its caregiver - an embodied
> attunement which is much more readily perceived than either the separate
> subjectivities of the baby or the mother.
>
> I think this 'palpable' sense of being 'liked' by someone who adjusts
> their movements to your own is an example of the rhythmicity you have
> referred to but we are brought up in a culture which foregrounds objects
> rather than actions so the interaction, instead of being primal - the first
> form of experience, is described as 'third', a consequence of the actions
> of the first and second rather than the water which allows them to swim.
>
> Another consequence of our culture (experienced with particular intensity
> in early education) is our fixation on spoken language as THE form of
> communication. In the UK our 'Early Years Foundation Stage' guidance for
> early years professionals working with children from birth to five has a
> 'Prime Area of Learning' called 'Communication and Language' which has
> nothing to say about any form of communication other than language! The
> tacit processes involved in 'getting to know' someone are almost entirely
> overlooked but I think these aspects of communication play a very important
> role in the ethical function of communication (awareness of how our actions
> can be expected to affect others and willingness to repair
> miscommunications).
>
> One benefit of 'baby watching' and of thinking about what learning is like
> for babies is that it forces us to consider forms of learning (and
> especially forms of social learning) which are NOT grounded in the
> concept-y ways of thinking which we tend to take for granted. Judy Dunn's
> lovely study of two-year olds at home (back in the 80s) showed very clearly
> how the social capability of these young children was heavily dependent on
> familiar (family) contexts. They were able to join in with family social
> activities WELL before they were able to 'understand' or 'explain' what was
> going on because the familiar practice of domestic routines provided a ZPD
> which allowed them to anticipate what 'their' people could be expected to
> do and how they could be expected to react. By joining in (without
> understanding but with loving support) they had opportunities to arrive at
> their own understanding. The CONTEXT of familiar patterns of activity could
> be seen as a kind of thirdness but a primary kind!
>
> All the best,
>
> Rod
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Larry Purss
> Sent: 17 January 2015 17:42
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
>
> Miguel,
> Thank you for this question and re-turning us to "ethical" concerns.  You
> have reflected on the larger spatial scales.  My reflections explore the
> other micro scale and notions of thirdness within pedagogy. This listserve
> has recently discussed notions of "rhythmicity" in our enactments with
> others.  I want to bring in the psychodynamic notion of rhythmicity within
> thirdness by sharing Jessica Benjamin's way of moving beyond the
> complimentary notion of "secondness" as the dynamic of "doer and done to"
>
> Jessica is reflecting on a level of thirdness that is prior to using
> language which she says is missing the aspect explored by "baby watchers".
> She says the focus on language misses the first or founding moment, when
> she writes:
>
>   "This [the first aspect of recognition] is the part that baby watchers
> have made an indelible part of our thinking. In my view of thirdness,
> recognition is not first constituted by verbal speech; rather it begins
> with the early nonverbal experience of sharing a pattern, a dance, with
> another person" [Beyond Doer and Done to: An Intersubjective View of
> Thirdness]
>
> This aspect of primal thirdness for Jessica is a nascent energetic third -
> as distinct from the symbolic third in the mother's mind - present in the
> earliest exchange of "gestures" between mother and child.  Gestures are the
> early primary exchange which inform "baby watchers" notion of moral or
> ethical thirdness which implies the principle of "affective experience" or
> "felt experience" that IS PALPABLE.  This term "palpable" expresses a
> particular level of felt gestures which are  nonverbal but are mediated and
> are beyond complimentary doer and done to and preconceived propagating.
> Jessica argues that for the imaginal symbolic verbal third to actually
> "work" [the ZPD] as a true third -rather than complimentary doer and done
> to demands - requires the capacity for accomadation to a mutually created
> set of expectations [projects]. For Jessica the primal or founding form
> this accomodation takes or assumes is the creation of alignment with [and
> repair of ruptures to] the palpable patterns, the participation in
> connections based on affect resonance.
>
> This palpable felt experience Sanders called "rhythmicity" which Sanders
> considers one of two fundamental principles of all human interaction.  The
> other principle being "specificity".
>
> Jessica argues that palpable rhythmic experience helps constitute the
> capacity for symbolic imaginal thirdness.  Rhythmicity may be seen [and
> heard and felt] as a model principle UNDERLYING the creation of shared
> patterns that move beyond complimentary dyads of doer and done to type
> struggles for recognition.
>
> Miguel, to explore our ethical understandings of pedagogy that are moving
> beyond epistemology, do the "baby watchers" and their notions of primal
> nonverbal thirdness have something to offer in our explorations of Kris'
> notion of third space as a hybrid intersubjective space that is not doer
> and done to complimentarity.
> Growth and development seem to oscillate between already known
> pre-conceptions of what should be taught [the doer and the done to] and the
> more ethical or moral thirdness that emerges symbolically and imaginally
> from within a palpable felt experience of nonverbal thirdness that
> transcends doer and done to.
> This is an intersubjective understanding and is only an "aspect" of the
> cultural historical understanding, but it does focus our attention on the
> ethical or moral dimension of enactments [performative activities]  This
> model is an extension of Winnicott's notion of "potential or transitional
> space" and Daniel Stern's baby watching.
>
> Larry
>
> On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 8:30 AM, Zavala, Miguel <
> mizavala@exchange.fullerton.edu> wrote:
>
> > The distinction between propaganda and education is an analytic one
> > that is useful for me as a teacher. But I also think that it's a
> > distinction resolved not so much at the level of philosophy (theories,
> > such as those being proposed here) but ethically.
> >
> > Anyone who has taught and been reflexive of her/his pedagogy will
> > sense this distinction between the two, 'propaganda' and 'education'.
> > There is perhaps a particular instrumentalism (as an 'ethic', such as
> > that promulgated in 'revolutionary' struggles and in neoliberalism)
> > that sees people as objects not as Freire would term 'historical
> > subjects' in propaganda.
> >
> > I fully recognize the solipsism in all distinctions, such that some
> > may argue that even in Freirean, participatory pedagogy the issue
> > remains unresolved.  That there is a dimension of propaganda in
> > education (and education in propaganda).  But what some have pointed
> > out (as I read their
> > posts) is that we also should look at these processes in larger
> > spatial-scales.  What are the collectives that give birth or make
> > possible education and propaganda projects?  Do these strive for
> rehumanization?
> > How does the struggle for rehumanization remain a struggle at
> > theoretical and practical and historical and spatial levels?
> >
> > How do folks draw this distinction in their own pedagogical praxis?
> > How is the ethical conceptualized, lived, and embodied in your
> > pedagogy?  I suggest looking at it less from a theory of communication
> > and more from an ethical one (ethics as primary, epistemology as
> > secondary) that we might begin to re-conceptualize the very
> > distinction between 'propaganda' and 'education'.
> >
> > Miguel Zavala
> >
> >
> > On 1/17/15 5:37 AM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> >
> > >And I found the Engels he was quoting, in the Russian translation:
> > >
> > >    /Вечные законы природы /также превращаются все более и более в
> > >    исторические законы.
> > >
> > >The English translation says:
> > >
> > >    The eternal laws of nature also become transformed more and more
> > >    into historical ones.
> > >
> > >but then it goes on to say:
> > >
> > >    That water is fluid from 0°-100° C. is an eternal law of nature, but
> > >    for it to be valid, there must be (1) water, (2) the given
> > >    temperature, (3) normal pressure.
> > >
> > >So this does NOT mean what it appeared to mean. Engels simply means
> > >"nothing remains constant" It is not saying anything about "laws of
> > >history"!!
> > >
> > >Andy
> > >---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >---
> > >*Andy Blunden*
> > >http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> > >
> > >
> > >mike cole wrote:
> > >> Thanks David -- That is certainly where I must have encountered the
> > >>phrase  often enough for it to stick in my mind. And thanks to
> > >>Jessica and Andy we  see versions of the idea in many places.
> > >>
> > >> Double the pleasure.
> > >> mike
> > >>
> > >> On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 11:36 PM, David Kellogg
> > >> <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>> Mike--
> > >>>
> > >>> See Vol. Four of the Collected Works in English: the quote you
> > >>>refer to is  the epigraph to HDHMF. It's from Dialectics of Nature,
> > >>>and Vygotsky keeps  coming back to it again and again, throughout
> > >>>the whole text of HDHMF,  which is one reason why I am assuming
> > >>>(against what Anton Yasnitsky has
> > >>> written) that HDHMF is a whole book, one of the very few that
> > >>>Vygotsky  completedly completed (and also his longest work).
> > >>>
> > >>
> > >
> >
> >
> >
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-- 
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.