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[Xmca-l] Re: Communication, Co-generalization, and Crises



These are interesting ideas, David. I will respond and ask questions in
italics between paragraphs because the overall note seems to contain
some sub-themes worth comment on their own.

​​

On Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 5:55 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

>  Huw:
>
>
> I think in general we tend to overstate the differences between Vygotsky's
> thinking in different periods, because we notice that he changes his
> wordings and we assume that means he has changed his mind. We forget that
> Vygotsky steals most of his words from other people ("egocentric speech",
> "pseudoconcept", "mediation", "neoformation", etc.) and then works them
> into his own system of concepts, and it's the system of concepts that is
> really new, not the words.
>
> ​*I agree,but its hard to keep the chronology straight and a lot of his
ideas come from Western Europe/US sources*​. *The translations of terms
across systems cannot help but be a distorted lens which use of common
terms hides from us. Unwitting players in the pseudoconcept game.*
​

> So for example Yasnitsky and Van der Veer claim that Vygotsky gave up
> instrumentalism, abandoned the distinction between higher and lower
> psychological functions, and tried to become a Gestaltist, and failed. None
> of this is true, as far as I can tell. The final lectures--right up to the
> one I sent around--have a central role for word meanings, maintain that the
> higher psychological functions are specifically human and the main
> expanadum, and include some pretty harsh criticisms of the Gestaltists, who
> were by then showing distinctly Nazi tendencies.
>
> ​*The stages of instrumentalism, functional systems, to "perezhivanie"
> (transactionalism?) have always seemed to me a clear case where earlier
> stages are sublated. He was critical of Gestaltists for their reductions to
> biology and the fascism associated with it, but the problem of the whole in
> relations to parts and the centrality of structuration seems to remain. How
> else could one step in instruction create two steps in development?*
> ​
>

 ​
>
> But it is certainly true that the words change, and some of the words that
> have caused the most trouble--interestingly enough--disappear. For example,
> Vygotsky stops using the word "reaction", he no longer talks about
> "vrashevaniye" or "introvolution", and he only uses the word "internalize"
> once, when he is talking about a whole system of concepts (not when he is
> talking about reactions). So the question arises--what takes its place?
>
>
> Here's what we put in the "Thinking at School Age" chapter that I sent
> around. Criticisms from Russophones?
>
> ​*The issues raised here seem really central to understand, but I am not
> sure I fully understood them all.*​
>
> Vygotsky contrasts обобщения (“generalization”) and общения
> (“communication”, “contact”, “interaction”). But if we translate these
> terms as “generalization” and “communication” respectively, we obscure the
> fact that they have the same root: “commonality” or “sharing”.
>
> *​OK, got it, the unity of generalization and communication, in russian,
> have the same root as "common-ness (обще​-ness)​."​ But I have trouble
> getting from there to "meta-communication." Maybe my denseness.*



> ​
> ​In Russian, об is a preposition, meaning “about” or “of”, so we might

render this contrast as “about-communication” or “meta-communication” vs.
> “communication”. But this would allow the sociological, interpersonal side
> of Vygotsky’s meaning to eclipse the psychological, intra-personal side.
>
> ​*Why and when do we have to allow such eclipsing given the theoretical
> formulation above? Missed that.*
>


> ​
>
> Another way to put it would be to say that “generalization” is really
> “inter-generalization”, because it is between the child and the
> environment, and “interaction” is really “intra-generalization”—within the
> child.


*​I find that very difficult to follow but the next sentence reads
correctly to me... although I am not sure what 'the child derives" means.*
​


> The child derives intra-mental generalizations through a process of
> inter-personal communications, by interaction using shared word values
> within a speech community. This “community generalization” or “common
> generalization” or “co-generalization” for short is what is enabled by word
> meanings shared within the speech community. These meanings the child at
> first only partially shares.
>

*Does the community generalization- to common generalization, to
co-generation end correspond to the extreme, externalize form of sense? So
these are different ways of expressing the conventionality/historical
nature of word meaning?​*

​*Seems to me that not only the child at first, but the human of any age
for ever after only partially share the conventional/valued word meanings
of the society that mediate everyday experience (to use some borrowed
words!) of one's same of the species' delights.​*


>
>
> This word обобщения usually translated as “generalization”. Because this
> turns out to be a very important point in this particular lecture and in
> the lectures that follow, we will take the liberty of translating as
> “co-generalization”. A “co-generalization” is a generalization about
> generalizations made by the child through construing the shared
> generalizations of word values in a speech community.
>

*​This seems the biggy to pull of. What, in truth, do russianophiles have
to say about it?*

mike​


>
>
> David Kellogg
>
> Macquarie University
>
> On Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Where does 'co-generalization' come from, David? Perhaps a good carry
> over
> > from your consideration of political milieu is the factor of tension in
> > development: tension to foster attention, a socialised 'will' if you
> like.
> >
> > Best,
> > Huw
> >
> > On 7 November 2016 at 21:16, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Well, of course, Peg is really right--or at least half right. That is,
> > the
> > > American elections are not just a plebiscite on sexual assault, and
> using
> > > the term "sexual predator" reduces the whole thing to the kind of
> > > "tu quoques" argumentation which makes up the whole of the Republican
> > case
> > > these days. Actually, for the first time in my memory, the American
> > > elections are about real issues that actually touch the lives of
> ordinary
> > > people, namely sexism, racism, and the impunity conferred by real fame
> > and
> > > largely imaginary wealth.
> > >
> > > But I would like to know that the other half is also right: that is,
> that
> > > xmca's normal concerns with mind, culture, and activity do not require
> > > radio silence in times of crisis. Let me talk about another crisis and
> > see.
> > > Unlike the USA, South Korea has had, since 1949, six different
> > > constitutions. Until very recently (1997) the peaceful transfer of
> power
> > > was the exception and not the rule: governments changed if and only if
> > > people took matters into their own hands, either through mass
> > > demonstrations or violent military coups or both (the one apparent
> > > exception was when the current president's father, Bak Jeonghi, was
> > forced
> > > to call an election by the Nixon administration: on the verge of losing
> > to
> > > Kim Daejeong, he peacefully overthrew himself instead).
> > >
> > > Now, Vygotsky also describes development in terms of six crises (Birth,
> > > One, Three, Seven, Thirteen and Seventeen) and five more or less stable
> > > periods of equilibrium (Infancy, Early Childhood, Preschool, School
> Age,
> > > Adolescence). In fact, the Zoped (assuming that "ped" means pedological
> > and
> > > not pedagogical) really refers to the functions that belong to the NEXT
> > > zone of development and not the actual one: if a child can simply take
> > over
> > > functions from the environment and make them his or her own, then
> almost
> > by
> > > definition they are functions that belong to the zone of actual, and
> not
> > > the zone of proximal, development. That means that for every stable
> > period,
> > > the Zoped is going to be a crisis (and of course that, along with
> > > prolepsis, accounts for the unpredictability of the Zoped which Peg
> > noted).
> > >
> > > Korean crises not when people are overexploited and ruthlessly
> > suppressed;
> > > that is a much better description of the stable periods in Korean
> > history.
> > > Crises happen just when people become superproductive and try to
> > > self-emancipate. I think crises of development in the child also happen
> > the
> > > same way: that is, during normal periods, the environment is
> > communicating
> > > with the child and the child is taking over co-generalizations by
> > > restructuring them to fit the child's extant psychological system. But
> > > Vygotsky says that there are moments when this cannot happen, because
> the
> > > psychological system itself must be restructured: the central
> > neoformation
> > > dissolves the social situation of development.
> > >
> > > During normal times, the environment is the source of development and
> the
> > > child's personality is only the site of development: but during these
> > crazy
> > > crises (the crisis of "autonomous speech", the crisis of the
> negativistic
> > > "proto will", the crisis of the affected, manneristic, clownish
> > > "proto-self"), it is almost as if the child, superproductive and
> active,
> > > wants to "turn the tables", transforming the personality into the
> source
> > of
> > > development and adapting the environment to it instead.
> > >
> > > One of the most puzzling things in Vygotsky's last lectures is the
> > Central
> > > Line of Development. On the one hand, these are always forms
> > > of "communication" and "co-generalization". And on the other, because
> > each
> > > Neoformation is entirely new, what is Central in one period is
> Peripheral
> > > in the next: perception, for example, is the maximally developing
> > function
> > > in Infancy, but memory is the leading function in Preschool. Speech is
> a
> > > Central Line of Development in early childhood but Thinking in School
> > Age.
> > > How can BOTH of these things be true?
> > >
> > > It seems to me that both of them are true.Communication represents
> > contact
> > > with the social environment, and this is always foregrounded during
> > stable
> > > periods and backgrounded during crises. Co-generalization represents
> what
> > > we use to call "internalization", and this is foregrounded during
> crises
> > > and backgrounded during stable periods. In addition, the content of the
> > > communication and co-generalization changes as the child develops, from
> > > doing things in Infancy, to saying things in Early Childhood, to
> feeling
> > in
> > > Preschool, and to thinking in School Age. When co-generalization
> becomes
> > > super-productive, we get conscious awareness, and  with awareness,
> > crisis.
> > > With crises, worlds change.
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > > Macquarie University
> > >
> >
>
Status: O