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

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in sense 9. "moment" means "An essential element or significant aspect of a complex conceptual entity" first used in a translation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in 1838. But the OED also refers to "moment" in meaning 8c as "torque," so I guess that exposes a bit of Cole word play going on there, yes?
*Andy Blunden*
On 11/01/2016 12:36 PM, mike cole wrote:
I found Martin's blog entry helpful, Andy. Still working on the phenomenology of the usage. I think the form of part-whole relation is what is at issue and "moments" in this sense are qualitatively distinct, marked, events. Events whose conventional meaning is torqued by the exception.

still learning!

On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 5:29 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    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
       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


    *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>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:

            Actually, Hegel does not use "moment" as meaning a
            stage, phase or step, David. He tends to use
            category, stage or division for those concepts.

            Individual, Particular and Universal are typical
            examples of "moments" but these are not steps,
            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
                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
                with a gesture, pointing
                to something with a word like "this" or
                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
                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
                it is possible to name
                objects which do not exist, and therefore
        to bring
                into existence modes of
                pure abstract thinking through language.
                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
                        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
                        not in the sense of a two
                        dimensional graphic one can have a
                        of. What Vygotsky is referring to
                        is Volkelt's attempt to explain
        all child
                        behavior as the result of an
                        affectively tinged FUSION of
                        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
                        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
                        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
                            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


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