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



Thank you to everyone for such an engaging conversation! This thread has
developed into a really rich resource and I'm looking forward to returning
to it over the coming year as there is quite a bit to unpack.
Rolf



On Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 1:00 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> It is great of you to lead us in a wrap up of your paper, Alfredo. The
> discussion sits in my active arena of attention because it opened up and
> enriched so many different concerns.
>
> We had a thread not that long ago focused on imagination. It might not be a
> bad idea to return to those threads and pick them up to see what can be
> woven from them now. I, for example, have always considered the 5th D
> Dimension as a boundary object even as I have
> written about it as a tertiary artifact, or, for that matter, a personal
> experience. In fact, i believe it could be said to be a terrific boundary
> object for joint exploration among those who, like
> myself, believe imagination to THE core process in human
> experience/perezhivanie.  But I think we could find the time to look back,
> at this long thread, we would see that the word imagination (and
> experience!) are used in somewhat different ways/have slightly different
> meanings (if we could settle on what we meant by meaning!
>
> How could all of that happen if imagination were not there picking up
> dropped threads, making new ones, and then trying to "make something of it"
> ?
>
> (Of course, now I have to imagine I can remember how to find that prior
> discussion!)
>
> A great learning experience for me.
>
> Thanks for the two of you for taking the time to create the discussion.
> That must be our record long thread.
>
> mike
>
> On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 11:50 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
>
> > Thanks all for having brought this discussion to these heights. I am
> > personally learning a lot, although it's been hard to keep up with it and
> > deal with other everyday tasks.
> >
> > Thanks, Ritva, for emphasizing the links between the discussion and the
> > article when they may had seemed to be no longer there. I just want to
> wrap
> > up in a think-aloud fashion, and from my view, how the issues that have
> > arisen in the discussion relate, but also expand, on the ideas in our
> > article; as a learning exercise.
> >
> > In the last entry, Larry notes that we need to include an "imaginal"
> > aspect, not just actions, as part of the larger units of experience(s)
> that
> > bring both forth. So the challenge is to think, theorize, research both
> > action and imagination as aspects of a common unit, and one that is not
> > only psychological, but also and at the same time societal.
> >
> > Following that line of thinking, I want to bring attention back to
> > "bodies" and "space", which feature prominently in our paper, by means
> of a
> > quotation from Nancy (Corpus, 2008):
> >
> > "With thoughts about the body, the body always forces us to think
> farther,
> > always too far: too far to carry on as thought, but never far enough to
> > become a body" (p. 37).
> >
> > That is, doing, being a body, carries us "too far to carry on (only) as
> > thought, but never far enough to become (only, purely) body." Thus, there
> > is not a real division between body and thinking, but a delay, which is
> but
> > feature of their unity. In this regard, Nancy argues that bodies are
> about
> > spacing (which is another way to say that being is about making place).
> > Again space crops up as (subject) matter here. Dewey (1929, nature and
> > experience) refers to that space between the doing and the undergoing in
> > terms of "an adventure," where "the old self is put off and the new self
> is
> > only forming."
> >
> > So, if my thinking here makes sense, the challenge is to link this
> > characterization of being as going through an adventure (an "advening"
> > (from "advenire") of oneself to oneself, to use Claude Romano's terms)
> with
> > that of activity (or collaborative projects) as collective and historical
> > achievements that provide for the possibility of any experience to go on.
> > David writes: "In a very important sense the ideal image of the painting
> > exists long before any action at all is taken." So, although we may take
> > the first-time-through perspective of the one (body) who goes through an
> > experience, there is something on place (is on "place" the right word?)
> > before she does/undergoes it. As Andy notes, playing is done in and
> through
> > actions, although play, or the game, is not reducible to any single
> action.
> > So play, as a societal feature or category, is larger; it is a method of
> > organization. And, not many e-mails ago, we did notice Dewey's and
> > Bentley's reference of experience as precisely that: a method of
> > organization. But experience and activity are not the same thing; how are
> > they different?
> >
> > So, it seems to me, the difference is not about substance. They both are
> > about actions, concrete and material. The difference (between experience
> > and activity) might be then about time. The notion of heterochrony that
> > Lemke brought in his 2000 paper "scales of time" seems most appealing to
> me
> > here, although I do not know of much work that has continued to develop
> > research in terms of the diachronies and delays that may exist between
> > history and experiences thereof (or rather there is lots of literature I
> > don't yet know/understand properly). In any case, these loose ideas seem
> > relevant for further understanding how creativity and imagination develop
> > as part of (design, teaching/learning, etc) activities.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Alfredo
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> > Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> > Sent: 26 July 2015 16:55
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; Andy Blunden
> > Subject: [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
> >
> >
> > [The entire original message is not included.]
> >
> >
>
>
> --
>
> Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus
> ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & Storch,
> Ecological Niche, 2008)
>