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

Exactly, Martin. The article does give a very simple explanation, doesn't it! :)
*Andy Blunden*
On 11/01/2016 12:20 PM, Martin John Packer wrote:
The term "moment" has been used extensively in phenomenology.  Here is an accessible account of the basics:



On Jan 10, 2016, at 7:23 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> 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> 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

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",
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 <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>

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
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,
"instants of a process".  These have two rather different meanings from
perspective of thinking about processes.


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

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