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[Xmca-l] Re: Dynamics of Developmental Change
But if we say that an Ur-Wir doesn't qualify as a ToM, then ToM debate
becomes pointless. Firstly, ToM assumes a Piagetian, affectless mind, and
as Vygotsky says affect is the "sputnik" (i.e. the companion god) of every
psychic function, even the most intellectual. Secondly, it assumes an
entirely individuated mind, and as long as language itself creates the so
very many of the desires that it satisfies, such a mind is not possible,
not even in adults.
That's why I think "intersubjectivity" is far more useful (and more
contextualized) measurement. Some people on the list have queried my
comments on vegetarianism. I wasn't trying to be flippant, but I think we
often talk about the distinction between human intersubjectivity and animal
intersubjectivity and the boundary intersubjectivity that is infant
intersubjectivity in either in ways that are metaphysical ("soul", or maybe
idioculture) or else in ways that suggest that no such "boundary subject"
can exist simply because no such boundary exists.
But the boundaries exist, and they are visceral, even where they are
obviously cultural. In China I would get terrible colds, and my class of
doctors, all western trained, would prescribe traditional Chinese medicines
(on the grounds that there was no cure, but medicine was a psychological
need for a sick organism). One of the things they would prescribe was made
from human placenta: too close to cannibalism for my taste. But one of my
students, an obstetrician in her twenties with soft moosey eyes and a
steely razor tongue, pointed out that most animals eat the placenta right
after birth. "Anyway," she asked, "what do you think you ate before you
On Sat, Sep 12, 2015 at 7:53 AM, Martin John Packer <email@example.com
> "Vygotsky says this is
> because the infant has already understood that her or his main way of
> acting on the world is not directly but with the hands of others. "
> "they both suggest (to me) that the infant actually STARTS from the point
> view that affects exist, although they are not necessarily "minds" in the
> sense of being individualized."
> I think you're absolutely right to say that these examples illustrate the
> central role of emotion in the early interactions (intra-actions) of the
> infant. But I don't think they show that the infant "understands," or "has
> a point of view," but rather that the infant lives in an emotional world -
> no, not even a world, because there are not yet stable objects, or stable
> others, or stable self - lives *in* his or her emotionality *along with*
> others. An object becomes interesting again when, although it is still out
> of reach for the infant, a significant other can reach it, because the
> infant does *not* yet realize that this other person is someone different
> from him. An object close to them *is* an object close to him or her, or
> simply an object 'at hand,' and hence interesting.