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[Xmca-l] Re: Volkelt's diagram (LSV's HMF Vol 4)

Thank you, David. That helps to explain a particular aspect that I thought
Vygotsky was overlooking in the narrative, which is that stimuli can not
only signify but also symbolise, i.e. they afford the kind of dynamics you
have elucidated from Volkelt's schema.

I have also noted that the translation of phrases like "instances of a
process" is probably off the mark too.  What is really meant, I believe, is
"instants of a process".  These have two rather different meanings from the
perspective of thinking about processes.


On 10 January 2016 at 06:02, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> Huw:
> Here's what Vygotsky really says:
> Если задача не превышает естественных сил ребенка, он справляется с ней
> непосредственным или примитивным способом. В этих случаях структура его
> поведения совершенно напоминает схему, нарисованную Фолькельтом.  (Russian
> Collected Works, p. 117).
> This means (as nearly as I can make out): "If the task did not go beyond
> the natural capability of the child, he could deal with it in an unmediated
> or primitive method. In this cases, the structure of his behavior would be
> completely similar to the scheme as presented by Volkelt".
> I think there is no diagramme, at least not in the sense of a two
> dimensional graphic one can have a copy of. What Vygotsky is referring to
> is Volkelt's attempt to explain all child behavior as the result of an
> affectively tinged FUSION of perception and behavior, an affectively
> colored, unanalyzable, whole  in which perception and behavior were
> absolutely inseparable. This was what Hans Volkelt concluded from a series
> of experiments that Vygotsky refers to repeatedly, both in HDHMF and in the
> Lectures on Pedology and elswhere.
> What Volkelt did was this: he had four baby bottles: one shaped like a
> triangle, one like a violin, one like a square, etc. They were all
> different colors as well. But three of them didn't have holes in the teat:
> you could see and smell the milk but you couldn't drink it. One did. He
> taught the infants to associate the drinking of milk and the feeling of
> satiation with one particular bottle, so that they would actually ignore
> the bottle unless it had all the characteristics: triangularity, blueness,
> etc. So Volkelt argued that from the child's point of view, he was not
> drinking milk but triangular blue milk. This kind of "affectively colored
> whole" is what Vygotsky refers to as "Volkelt's scheme", or "Volkelt's
> schemata".
> Volkelt's scheme came to a bad end. He eventually decided that we never
> grow out of unanalyzable affectively colored perception-behavior wholes,
> and this would explain the indivisible and inseparable devotion of the
> German volk to their Fuhrer. So in later work Vygotsky is very careful to
> distance himself from Volkelt even in his explanations of infant behavior:
> in the Lectures on Pedology he argues that ALL THREE layers of behavior
> (that is, instinct, habit, and intelligence) are present in infancy.
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 10:50 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Does anyone have a copy of "Volkelt's diagram" to hand that is referred
> to
> > in The History of the Development of Higher Mental Functions (1997, p.85
> > and onwards in ch. 4)?  I don't think a reference is given.
> >
> > Best,
> > Huw
> >