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

I am not at all clear about the context here, Mike.
Huw mentioned Vygotsky using "instances" which he thought should have been "instants" and then David introduced "moments" and Hegel's use of "moments," which was the subject of my comment.

I did a search of "Thinking and Speech" and found that all bar one instance of the use of the word "moment" were in the sense of "at this moment in the story ..." The one odd reference is this one:

   "We have consistently taken a genetic approach to the
   analysis of our problem. We have, however, attempted to
   represent the *moments* of this genetic process in their
   mature, classic forms. The inevitable result is that we
   have diverged from the complex and twisting path that
   characterizes the actual development of the child’s

It is possible that Vygotsky refers with "moment" here to the distinct modes of conception which were manifested in the child's activity, at different stages, but which are combined in the most developed pseudoconcept. It is a fact that associative complexes, collection complexes, chain complexes, diffuse complexes, and pseudocomplexes could not possibly manifest themselves as successive stages. Perhaps their *first appearance* in ontogenesis could form some kind of regular sequence, possibly, but it is also possible that Vygotsky saw these forms of association as "moments" of concept formation in the other sense of the word "moment" which is not interchangeable with "instant". But I couldn't say for sure.


*Andy Blunden*
On 11/01/2016 11:23 AM, mike cole wrote:
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 <mailto: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 Blunden*
    On 11/01/2016 4:32 AM, David Kellogg wrote:


        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

        David Kellogg
        Macquarie University

        On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 4:04 PM, Huw Lloyd

            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
            <mailto:dkellogg60@gmail.com>> wrote:


                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.


                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


                or primitive method. In this cases, the
                structure of his behavior would


                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


                of experiments that Vygotsky refers to
                repeatedly, both in HDHMF and in


                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


                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,


                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

                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


                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

                    Does anyone have a copy of "Volkelt's
                    diagram" to hand that is referred


                    in The History of the Development of
                    Higher Mental Functions (1997,


                    and onwards in ch. 4)?  I don't think
                    a reference is given.



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