[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Vygotsky,Marx, & summer reading

Was not the early Vygotsky already arguing that, in ontogenesis (not phylogenesis) 'properly human forms of using tools'  emerge only 'as speech and the use of symbolic signs are included' (From 'Tool and Sign ...')? Are not these then not just 'two distinct forms of activity', abut also two developmentally different strata (for a lack of a better word)? 

In the late Vygotsky, we find the argument of a 'transition from the dynamics of thought to the dynamics of action, and back', where the sign no longer is the key, but 'the meaning of the situation' is. Considering this,a good deal of exegesis seems to be needed before one can attribute 'tool mediated action' as a unit implicit in Vygotsky's legacy, does not it? 

David, would your assessment of word meaning be the same if word meaning would stand for the 'interpersonal meanings' that you suggest it does not contain? For, if we were to follow Vygotsky's own remarks that psychological functions are relations between people first, could it make sense to pursue 'word meaning' as actual speech, which always is a concrete and real relation between people?

Also, I wonder how Perezhivanie would fare your (or Vygotsky's own) test.

Lots of wondering here!

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Sent: 20 August 2017 07:23
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Vygotsky,Marx, & summer reading

"Artefact Mediated Action" was a product of the exegesis of
Vygotsky especially in the West; people came to the
conclusion that it was implicit in Vygotsky's work. But it
was also recognised and incorporated by A N Leontyev in his
work - indeed, Leontyev's Activity Theory makes no sense
without the artefact-mediated action as a unit of analysis.
But I don't think Vygotsky never said as much, did he? He
was more concerned to counter the tendency to subsume speech
as a subtype of artefact-mediated action, and keeping
tool-mediated actions and sign-mediated actions
qualitatively distinct forms of activity. But his analysis
of Sakharov's experiments takes as given that a concept is a
system of artefact-mediated actions.

Do you see a problem here, Helena?


Andy Blunden

On 20/08/2017 2:27 PM, Helena Worthen wrote:
> So "mediated action" works as a unit of analysis?
> Thanks -- H
> Helena Worthen
> helenaworthen@gmail.com
> Vietnam blog: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
> On Aug 20, 2017, at 4:01 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>> I would like to propose the following tests for a unit of analysis. They
>> are all based on things Vygotsky wrote in the pedology.The examples, from
>> biology, political economy, and music, are my own.
>> a) It must be maximally simple. That is, it must be small enough to be
>> manageable in experiments, clinical settings, and observable using
>> "objectivizing" methods of research such as the functional method of dual
>> stimulation or the Zoped. For example, cells can be managed in a petri
>> dish, drawn from patients during examinations, and their genesis may be
>> provoked and observed with a microscope: the commodity can be abstracted
>> from an exchange for analysis, observed as it arises in production and
>> exchange, and elicited through barter and markets. The four note "theme" of
>> that opens Beethoven's fifth symphony is simple enough to play on a timpani
>> as well as a piano.
>> b) It must be minimally complex. That is, it must contain functioning
>> analogues of all the properties which are the object of investigation. For
>> example, cells have functioning analogues for metabolism, reproduction, and
>> equilibrium with the environment.Commodities contain, in a coded,
>> potential, or "embryonic" form, all the social relations of labor and
>> capital we find in a mature capitalist economy. Beethoven's "theme" is
>> complex enough to describe the structure of the symphony as a whole, and to
>> form its coda.
>> c) These analogues cannot be simple, miniaturized "recapitulations" of the
>> properties which are the object of investigation. The mechanisms of cell
>> metabolism, reproduction, homeostasis are not the same as the metabolism of
>> the human organism. A commodity cannot produce or exchange or invest
>> itself; it does not contain productive labour or finance capital in
>> anything but a coded form; these must be unfolded through the historical
>> process and that historical process is not infallibly predictable.
>> Beethoven's "theme" did not create its variations and permutations:
>> Beethoven did.
>> Applying these tests to the units that Andy proposes (with one exception,
>> number three below, they are also based on Vygotsky!) we find:
>> 1. Word meaning is maximally simple but not minimally complex. It doesn't
>> contain analogues of interpersonal meanings, e.g. questions, commands,
>> statements, requests. It doesn’t contain analogues of textual meanings,
>> e.g. hypotaxis and parataxis, Theme and Rheme, Given and New information.
>> 2. The social situation of development is minimally complex but not
>> maximally simple: it does construe the ensemble of relations between the
>> child and the environment at a given age stage, including the whole of
>> actual and potential language, but these cannot be managed in an
>> experimental or clinical setting, or elicited in complete form using the
>> functional method of dual stimulation or the Zoped.
>> 3. Mediated actions are maximally simple and minimally complex, but not, as
>> far as I can see, structurally, functionally or genetically different from
>> the phenomena of activity they purport to explain.
>> David Kellogg
>> Macquarie University
>> Recent Article: Vygotsky, Halliday, and Hasan: Towards Conceptual
>> Complementarity
>> Free E-print Downloadable at:
>> http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/W7EDsmNSEwnpIKFRG8Up/full
>> On Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>> Word meanings for the study of (verbal) intellect
>>> Artefact-mediated actions for the more general study of the development of
>>> activity
>>> Perezhivaniya for the study of personality development
>>> (Defect-Compensation) for the study of disability or whatever
>>> Social Situations of Development for the study of child development
>>> See page 9 on https://www.academia.edu/11387923/
>>> Andy
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Andy Blunden
>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>> On 19/08/2017 10:47 PM, Martin John Packer wrote:
>>>> What are the five, Andy?
>>>> Martin
>>>> On Aug 18, 2017, at 9:07 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>>> Amazon have it for $38.21: https://www.amazon.com/Vygotsk
>>>>> y-Marx-Toward-Marxist-Psychology/dp/1138244813 which is not too bad.
>>>>> My chapter is available at https://www.academia.edu/11387923/ but so
>>>>> far as I can see other authors have not posted theirs on academia.edu -
>>>>> maybe elsewhere?
>>>>> Thank you, Alfredo, for highlighting how I have pointed to 5 different
>>>>> domains in which Vygotsky demonstrated the "method of analysis by units."
>>>>> To me, it seems useless to identify a writer's methodological innovations
>>>>> unless you can transport that methodology to a different context, and
>>>>> pointing to five applications by Vygotsky himself seemed a good way of
>>>>> showing how portable the method is. More recently, I used this method in an
>>>>> approach to political science, taking a group of people in the room trying
>>>>> to decide on what they are going to do together as a unit of analysis.
>>>>> Personally, I think this method has proved very fruitful and original. How
>>>>> lucky we are to be inheritors of Vygotsky's brilliant insights, still
>>>>> generally so unknown to the general scientific audience. What a gift LSV
>>>>> has given us!
>>>>> But legacies are always problematic. Alfredo, I think you would be a
>>>>> very good candidate to review this book. Beth?
>>>>> Andy
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>> On 18/08/2017 10:16 PM, mike cole wrote:
>>>>>> Peter, Alfredo Et al -
>>>>>> It seems that the readers of MCA would appreciate a good overview
>>>>>> review of
>>>>>> the LSV and Marx book, but so far as I know, no one has proposed the
>>>>>> idea
>>>>>> to Beth, the book review editor. (You seem to have a jump on the task,
>>>>>> Alfredo!).
>>>>>> Also, given the cost of the book, it would be nice if authors could
>>>>>> follow
>>>>>> Andy's lead and make a draft available. Andy's article on units of
>>>>>> analysis
>>>>>> is on Academia, a click away. That way the many readers of XMCA around
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> world would not be excluded from the discussion.
>>>>>> Mike
>>>>>> Happy travels summer readers.  :-)