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

So far as I can see the Latin "momentum" diverged along two paths somewhere around the 15th century. From the idea of a moment (of time) we had an "important moment," that is, an event with powerful repercussions and this lead to "momentum" meaning the inertia of a moving body, i.e., its power to affect things, and a measure of the power of bodies which (like angular momentum) integrated the mass and spatial dimensions, as well as mass and velocity, so the measure of angular momentum was generalised across different types of function, and then to high powers.
So the two streams of meaning have a common origin.

*Andy Blunden*
On 12/01/2016 12:27 AM, Huw Lloyd wrote:
Well, my understanding is that there isn't a hidden dimension to its usage in text. That was the reason for questioning it. But if you uncover something in the origins of the expression (your earlier email) then it would be interesting to know more.


On 11 January 2016 at 13:21, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    I don't know where this is going, Huw.
    There are several quite distinct meanings of "moment."
    Some to do with short periods of time, some to do with
    large force. But there are literally dozens of
    different shades of meaning.

    *Andy Blunden*
    On 11/01/2016 11:35 PM, Huw Lloyd wrote:
    moment (n.)
    Look up moment at Dictionary.com
        mid-14c., "very brief portion of time, instant,"
        in moment of time, from Old French moment (12c.)
        "moment, minute; importance, weight, value" or
        directly from Latin momentum "movement, motion;
        moving power; alteration, change;" also "short
        time, instant" (also source of Spanish, Italian
        momento), contraction of *movimentum, from
        movere "to move" (see move
        <http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=move&allowed_in_frame=0> (v.)).
        Some (but not OED) explain the sense evolution of
        the Latin word by notion of a particle so small
        it would just "move" the pointer of a scale,
        which led to the transferred sense of "minute
        time division." Sense of "importance, 'weight' "
        is attested in English from 1520s.

        Phrase never a dull moment first recorded 1889 in
        Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat." Phrase
        moment of truth first recorded 1932 in
        Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon," from
        Spanish el momento de la verdad, the final
        sword-thrust in a bull-fight.
    momentum (n.)
    Look up momentum at Dictionary.com
        1690s, scientific use in mechanics, "quantity of
        motion of a moving body," from Latin
        momentum "movement, moving power" (see moment
        Figurative use dates from 1782.

    This would imply something like "the manifest force
    or expression at this point in time" or "the duration
    of time for which this manifest force is constant".

    On 11 January 2016 at 12:17, Andy Blunden
    <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

        No all the science-related meanings are derived
        from either Integral of f(x) * (x to power n).
        Torque is related to angular momentum which is an
        integral of mass* distance from axis.
        The interpreation this leads to is that each
        "moment" expresses a property of the whole
        function. A function can be represented either by
        a series of values for each x, or by the series
        of moments. The zero-th moment is the total mass,
        the first moment is the "torque". Higher moments
        arise when you are dealing with flexible systems,
        or dynamic systems with inertia.

        YOu also get the term arising with power series,
        I think, which is a kind of inverse of the above.

        yada yada yada,

        *Andy Blunden*
        On 11/01/2016 11:08 PM, Huw Lloyd wrote:
        Is torque being used here in the sense that the
        moon influences the tides? E.g. conceiving
        stages as pendulum like things that, when,
        considered together may appear as 'torque'
        applied to a base form.  If so, then perhaps the
        meaning may be the same overall, i.e. a moment
        from one aspect appearing as torque in another.


        On 11 January 2016 at 01:59, Andy Blunden
        <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>

            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
                    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

                <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*
<http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/> <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>

                            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