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

The theoretical point seems interesting and worth clarifying. The differing
interpretations have quite different implications.

On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 4:10 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Actually, Hegel does not use "moment" as meaning a stage, phase or step,
> David. He tends to use phase, category, stage or division for those
> concepts.
> Individual, Particular and Universal are typical examples of "moments" but
> these are not steps, phases or stages of the concepts, even though they are
> also exhibited in this way. Every concrete concept has all three moments.
> In a trade union, the members, the branches/divisions and the general
> secretary are individual, universal and particular moments. We cannot
> conceive of a union developing from an individual to a branch to a general
> secretary, can we?
> I will look into the origins of this expression. I have always just
> presumed it came from mathematics, as in the first, second, third, ...
> moments of a function, and I know Hegel did study this branch of
> mathematics, because he gives a lot of space to it in the Science of Logic
> in his critique of calculus. But I am probably quite wrong. I'll check.
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> On 11/01/2016 4:32 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>> Huw:
>> Yes, Vygotsky uses "instants" and even more often "moments", and the word
>> "moment" sometimes means a stage, or a phase, or a step (as in the three
>> "moments" of the formation of the concept in Hegel, as in "in itself",
>> "for
>> others", "for myself".
>> One of the most difficult problems we had to solve in translating the
>> Lectures on Pedology was that Vygotsky very clearly distinguishes three
>> moments of speech development: indicative, nominative, and signifying.
>> "Indicative" is often non-verbal, e.g. a pointing gesture. "Nominating" is
>> ipso facto verbal, because it is the naming function: "every thing has a
>> name". But "signifying" is much harder to pin down, and in one place
>> Vygotsky actually says that it is synonymous with the adult understanding
>> that anything can be named. So what is the difference between knowing that
>> everything has a name and the knowledge that any thing can be named?
>> I think that the distinction is just as subtle and just as significant
>> as the distinction between pointing to something with a gesture, pointing
>> to something with a word like "this" or "that", and pointing to something
>> with a word like "apple" or "pear". If I say that "everything has a name",
>> the name could be extremely general ("everything" or "thing") or it could
>> be highly specific ("Huw" or "this computer"). But I don't yet have the
>> idea that names are invented, and that therefore it is possible to name
>> objects which do not exist, and therefore to bring into existence modes of
>> pure abstract thinking through language. That's signifying, and it is
>> indeed a new moment, or a new instant, in the lifelong process of speech
>> development.
>> David Kellogg
>> Macquarie University
>> On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 4:04 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> 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.
>>> Best,
>>> Huw
>>> 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


It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch