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[Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects



David,

This answer to my struggle shifts or slants everything.
 
If we cannot "reduce" or "abstract" actions from "having an experience" then to be explicit and clear we must also include some other factor that is "beyond" reducing having "an" experience to just actions. This other factor is "construal" or "imaginal" phenomena. Having an experience is an INTEGRAL EXPERIENCE including both the imaginal and actions.

David the other relation is the unity of "construing" and "disclosing"/"undergoing" an experience (as a unity or integral phenomena.)

The relation(s) of the imaginal to action and the slant from which we approach THIS unity (that cannot be reduced or abstracted) from having an experience.
How we understand THIS integral phenomena that is extending "beyond" actions but must necessarily INCLUDE actions









-----Original Message-----
From: "David Kellogg" <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2015-‎07-‎25 10:58 PM
To: "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net>; "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects

I think that the word Vygotsky uses here is not so much "image" as
"imagination" or perhaps "construal". Or rather, it is "image" but it isn't
image in the sense of a photographic image but more in the sense of a
Russian icon. That's why you can have an image of a game, and it's also why
it is really only half true to say that the concept is built through
actions. Painting isn't reducible to actions, and in a very important sense
the ideal image of the painting exists long before any action at all is
taken.

David Kellogg

On Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 12:30 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Wow! Nice quote Larry! I must add that to my collection of Hegel citations
> (though actually I think it is an Engels quote)! I am not the only one who
> insists that a concept is a unity of individual, universal and particular!
>
> The thing is, Larry, if we think of the concept of "game", how does the
> child come to use "game" in a way that adults will understand and in turn
> be able to react when adults use it? This is of course a protracted process
> but it is through actions. In Thinking and Speech, Vygotsky explains
> concept formation only in terms of actions, not any kind of hypothetical
> mental images or dictionaries or mental filing systems or whatever. It is
> all actions which are in one way or another organised around some artefact,
> and in particular a word. At the most elementary level when an adult points
> and says "That is a game!" that point-and-name is an action. But it is in
> the whole bundle of actions around the word "game" that a child or an adult
> learns to use the word correctly, to utter the word meaningfully and
> coordinate their own actions with respect to the word. The words on their
> own are nothing. They acquire meaning only through their use in
> collaborative activity in which the learner participates in some way. The
> problem is, of course, that not everyone in the world uses the word in a
> uniform, consistent way.
>
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> On 25/07/2015 1:13 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
>
>> This "confusing struggle of different meanings" is of course nothing
>> other than activity. That is how signs and situations acquire psychological
>> meanings.
>>
>> In my continuing struggle that is definitely confusing I will share
>> Vygotsky's own words on what a concept is:
>>
>> "A real concept is an IMAGE of an objective thing in all its complexity.
>> Only when we recognize the thing in all its connections and relations, only
>> when this diversity is synthesized in a word in an INTEGRAL IMAGE through a
>> multitude of determinations, do we develop a concept.  According to the
>> teaching of dialectical logic, a concept INCLUDES not only the general but
>> also the individual and particular.
>>      In contrast to contemplation, to direct knowledge of an object, a
>> concept is filled with definitions of the object; it is the RESULT of
>> rational processing of our existence AND it is mediated knowledge of the
>> object.  To think of some object with the help of a concept MEANS TO
>> INCLUDE the GIVEN object in a complex SYSTEM of mediating connection and
>> relations DISCLOSED in determinations of the concept"
>> [Vygotsky, The Collected Works, Volume 5, Child Psychology, page 53]
>>
>> I felt my struggle I am going through may be relevant to others. In
>> particular "when we recognize the thing in all its connections and
>> relations .... THROUGH a multitude of DETERMINATIONS".
>> THIS [thing] is synthesized "in a word" IN AN INTEGRAL IMAGE".
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 5:00 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>
>>     Thanks Manfred. I think we are on the same page.
>>     This "confusing struggle of different meanings" is of
>>     course nothing other than activity. That is how signs
>>     and situations acquire psychological meanings, and
>>     children learn not only by observing but by
>>     participating in those activities.
>>     Andy
>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>     On 25/07/2015 5:50 AM, Holodynski, Manfred wrote:
>>
>>         Hi Andy,
>>         thanks for your clarification. I now think I have
>>         understood your message. You are "travelling" in
>>         the social world and discussing Leontyev's
>>         understanding of the concept of objective meaning.
>>         I can now understand your critique that he might
>>         believe that something like an objective meaning
>>         may exist or can be extracted from an analysis of
>>         social interactions. Ok, if one is going to
>>         analyze what the essence of an "objective meaning"
>>         e.g. of the word "dog" is (and all the more of
>>         abstract terms such as feminism, social justice),
>>         then one will find oneself in a confusing struggle
>>         of different meanings that are also changing with
>>         time. So, the objective meaning of a word or
>>         concept is fuzzy and of many voices. Nevertheless,
>>         people are sometimes (:-) ) able to communicate
>>         their personal sense by using words and concepts.
>>         This is not a hopeless endeavor although it
>>         sometimes and for some people fails miserably.
>>         Your construction of a theory of collaborative
>>         projects is indeed a noteworthy proposal to deal
>>         with the societal emergence and change of the
>>         objective meanings of concepts that maintain the
>>         link between the social and psychological plane.
>>         Best Manfred
>>
>>
>>         Prof. Dr. Manfred Holodynski
>>         Institut für Psychologie in Bildung und Erziehung
>>         Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
>>         Fliednerstr. 21
>>         D-48149 Münster
>>         +49-(0)-251-83-34311 <tel:%2B49-%280%29-251-83-34311>
>>         +49-(0)-251-83-34310
>>         <tel:%2B49-%280%29-251-83-34310> (Sekretariat)
>>         +49-(0)-251-83-34314
>>         <tel:%2B49-%280%29-251-83-34314> (Fax)
>>
>> http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/Psychologie.inst5/AEHolodynski/index.html
>>         manfred.holodynski@uni-muenster.de
>>         <mailto:manfred.holodynski@uni-muenster.de>
>>
>>
>>         -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
>>         Von:
>>         xmca-l-bounces+manfred.holodynski=
>> uni-muenster.de@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>         <mailto:uni-muenster.de@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>         [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+manfred.holodynski
>>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces%2Bmanfred.holodynski>=
>> uni-muenster.de@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>         <mailto:uni-muenster.de@mailman.ucsd.edu>] Im
>>         Auftrag von Andy Blunden
>>         Gesendet: Donnerstag, 23. Juli 2015 16:26
>>         An: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>         Betreff: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary
>>         Objects
>>
>>         Er: "macro-unit of activity", not "macro-unity".
>>         :( Andy
>>         ------------------------------------------------------------
>>         *Andy Blunden*
>>         http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>         <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>
>>         On 24/07/2015 12:10 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>
>>             Hi Manfred, I am delighted to hear your voice
>>             again on this list.
>>             I understand what you are saying. I will try
>>             to better explain how I
>>             stand with A N Leontyev.
>>
>>             I am a social theorist, that is I am
>>             interested in changing societal
>>             arrangements (to put it very politely), and I
>>             am one of few social
>>             theorists, properly so-called, who base
>>             themselves on Vygotsky's
>>             theories, and use Activity Theory as well. My
>>             position is a
>>             contradictory one because Vygotsky and
>>             Leontyev were psychologists
>>             (like
>>             you) and not social theorists. Social
>>             Theorists and Psychologists
>>             generally live in different buildings on the
>>             university campus, in
>>             different departments, publish in different
>>             journals, refer to
>>             different founding theorists, and altogether
>>             inhabit different
>>             universes. Social theorists have ideas about
>>             psychology, but generally
>>             not scientific ones, and vice versa.
>>             In my opinion, Vygotsky's ideas provide an
>>             excellent foundation for
>>             social theory because he introduced into human
>>             development and every
>>             interaction between two individuals a
>>             culturally produced sign. But he
>>             only went so far. He showed how people acted
>>             and developed within
>>             their social situation, but he did not tackle
>>             the problem of how that
>>             situation arose. Leontyev, by his discovery of
>>             the Activity as a
>>             macro-unity of activity, made an epoch-making
>>             development which opened
>>             CHAT to become a fully developed
>>             social-and-psychological theory. But
>>             what he said himself on questions of social
>>             theory was of very poor
>>             quality, as I said, "Neanderthal." Not the
>>             sort of ideas that would
>>             win any following among social theorists
>>             today. But he was after all a
>>             Psychologist and not a Social Theorist, so he
>>             is forgiven.
>>
>>             Now, to your point. If I am not mistaken
>>             "objective meaning" is not a
>>             psychological category at all for Leontyev.
>>             Yes? And personal sense
>>             is, as you eloquently explain, a fundamental
>>             Psychological category.
>>             So if what I said were to be interpreted to
>>             say that personal sense is
>>             a subset of objective meaning, that would be
>>             quite wrong. While I
>>             accept (as I must) a categorical difference
>>             between material
>>             objects/processes and their reflection in my
>>             mind, I do not at all
>>             understand societal processes as
>>             nonpsychological processes. I try to
>>             conceive of them together in one unit, and I
>>             think I am on my own
>>             there (some Freudian/Phenomenologists aside).
>>             There remains of course the distinction
>>             between the individual
>>             (Einzeln) and the universal (Allgemein),
>>             mediated by the particular
>>             (Besonder). A human individual is something
>>             radically different from a
>>             number of individuals. For the human
>>             individual and how they erleben a
>>             social situation, I rely on my friends and
>>             collaborator-psychologists.
>>             I am interested in how the Activities go. In
>>             small part to avoid
>>             having arguments with followers of Leontyev I
>>             call activities
>>             "projects."
>>             So I reserve the right to say things about
>>             projects without a follower
>>             of Leontyev correcting me. "Project" is not a
>>             mysterious or esoteric
>>             concept; every English-speaker knows what a
>>             project is, and if there
>>             is any confusion with projects as defined by
>>             Existentialists, I call
>>             them "collaborative projects." (i.e., people
>>             usually join them, not
>>             create them).  These include capitalist firms,
>>             political parties,
>>             sporting clubs or indeed whole sports, a
>>             family, a professional career
>>             - all those things which gives our lives
>>             mening while we build the
>>             world we and our children must live in, what
>>             Fedor Vasilyuk called an
>>             отношение . A project is not a collection of
>>             people, it is an
>>             aggregate of actions (like an Activity) and
>>             the "logic" of projects is
>>             something different from Psychology, but it is
>>             inclusive of Psychology
>>             as well. A project is a kind of psychological
>>             phenomenon, but it is
>>             also much more than psychology, because, as
>>             you remind us, people
>>             regulate their own behaviour using signs
>>             created in the world beyond
>>             their ken. Projects are the material substance
>>             of Concepts, and I rely
>>             on Vygotsky for a Psychology of concepts. OK?
>>
>>             Everything you said (except how you
>>             characterised my
>>             ideas) I agree with. Complex business isn't it?!
>>
>>             Andy
>>
>>
>>             ------------------------------------------------------------
>>             *Andy Blunden*
>>             http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>             <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>
>>             On 23/07/2015 10:37 PM, Holodynski, Manfred wrote:
>>
>>                 Hi Andy,
>>                 with great interest, I follow the
>>                 discussion and your interpretation
>>                 of A N Leontyev's contradiction between
>>                 subjective sense and
>>                 objective meaning. As far as I interpret
>>                 ANL he presented a very
>>                 elegant solution of the relation between
>>                 sense and meaning: For ANL,
>>                 subjective sense is not a part or subset
>>                 of objective meaning (as you
>>                 seem to insinuate him), but a
>>                 psychological quality that emerges when
>>                 a person uses societal signs and their
>>                 objective meanings in order to
>>                 regulate his or her socially embedded
>>                 activity.
>>                 What happens is a transformation of
>>                 societal meanings into the
>>                 personal sense of those involved. The
>>                 personal sense that an
>>                 individual assigns to interactions, facts,
>>                 and experiences through
>>                 the use of signs can be conceptualized not
>>                 as a subset of societal
>>                 meanings but as a particular sphere of
>>                 mind that is constituted by
>>                 two psychological factors in particular
>>                 (a) the relation to the
>>                 motives of the person, and (b) the
>>                 relation to the situated and
>>                 sensorially mediated experiences of the
>>                 individual within the process
>>                 of internalization.
>>                 a) People do not appropriate the use of
>>                 signs and their meanings
>>                 during social interactions in an impartial
>>                 way.
>>                 They interpret and use them in the light
>>                 of their actually elicited
>>                 motives along with the motives they assign
>>                 to the interaction
>>                 partner. The societal meaning of the used
>>                 signs does not have to
>>                 match the individually assigned personal
>>                 sense. For example, an
>>                 outsider may well interpret a public fit
>>                 of rage by a low-ranking
>>                 bank employee toward his superior as an
>>                 inexcusable violation of
>>                 social etiquette. However, for the menial
>>                 employee, it may well be a
>>                 reassertion of self-esteem in response to
>>                 a humiliating directive.
>>                 b) The personal sense of sign-use is also
>>                 determined by the
>>                 situatedness and sensory mediation of the
>>                 previous encounters in
>>                 which the use of signs is (or was)
>>                 embedded. Societal meanings are
>>                 coded primarily not by propositional
>>                 phrases (e.g., “a dog is a
>>                 mammal” or “wide-open eyes signal fear”)
>>                 but through their ties to
>>                 sensorially mediated and situated
>>                 perceptions—as complex as these
>>                 interrelations may be (Leont’ev, 1978).
>>                 For example, two persons can
>>                 use propositional phrases to agree on the
>>                 same definition of the term
>>                 “dog” or “fear.”
>>                 These terms, however, will be situated
>>                 very differently and enriched
>>                 with other sensory perceptions when one
>>                 person grew up with a very
>>                 likeable family dog and the other person
>>                 experienced a highly
>>                 dramatic episode with an overpoweringly
>>                 large and aggressive dog.
>>                 Thus, conventionalized signs and the
>>                 meanings assigned to them are
>>                 subject to an interpersonal process of
>>                 interpretation and
>>                 coordination that more or less
>>                 successfully supports the embodiment
>>                 and expression of personal sense. People
>>                 do not have a private
>>                 “speech” at their disposal that they can
>>                 construct and use on their
>>                 own (Wittgenstein). Therefore, they depend
>>                 on the appropriation and
>>                 use of conventionalized signs when they
>>                 want to communicate
>>                 successfully and satisfy their motives in
>>                 social interactions.
>>                 By an act of reflection, the person can
>>                 try to realize and to become
>>                 aware of his personal relation and sense
>>                 of the situation and the
>>                 used signs, but also this reflection has
>>                 to fall back on societal
>>                 signs in order to express this personal
>>                 relations. So, this is the
>>                 overall tension between objective meaning
>>                 of an event or an object
>>                 and its personal sense for a specific person.
>>                 Best
>>                 Manfred
>>
>>                 Prof. Dr. Manfred Holodynski
>>                 Institut für Psychologie in Bildung und
>>                 Erziehung Westfälische
>>                 Wilhelms-Universität Münster Fliednerstr. 21
>>                 D-48149 Münster
>>                 +49-(0)-251-83-34311
>>                 <tel:%2B49-%280%29-251-83-34311>
>>                 +49-(0)-251-83-34310
>>                 <tel:%2B49-%280%29-251-83-34310> (Sekretariat)
>>                 +49-(0)-251-83-34314
>>                 <tel:%2B49-%280%29-251-83-34314> (Fax)
>>
>> http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/Psychologie.inst5/AEHolodynski/index.ht
>>                 ml
>>
>>                 manfred.holodynski@uni-muenster.de
>>                 <mailto:manfred.holodynski@uni-muenst


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