In one of his earliest works “Vygotsky and the social formation of mind”,
Wertsch states that one of the most important assumptions in Leontiev’s “The
problem of activity in psychology” was his recognition of the new unit
required to developing vygostkyan ideas.
The work Culture communication and cognition edited by Wertsch have articles
from several authors like Zinchenko and Wertsch & Stone, devoted to discuss
word meaning as the specific unit on which Vygotsky’d have based his
analysis. This choice also is question there by many scholars.
One of the main criticisms focus on the inability of word meaning to play a
constructive role in Vygotskyan’s account of the relationship between the
natural an higher lines of development in ontogenesis. Word meaning seem to
focus preferably on the cultural line of development and to ignore the
natural line. Can it be word meaning so the first unit for the analysis of
mind? Well, to solve this, we came to the need of a new unit of analysis.
Wertsch seem to agree with that again.
De: Mike Cole [mailto:email@example.com]
Enviado el: Viernes, 13 de Febrero de 2004 05:05 p.m.
Asunto: Re: Leont'ev-Vygotsky controversy
Peter-- Jim edited a book on the soviet concept of activity and in his
1987 (?) book has some discussion of the use of this approach. To get
at this issue would require (of me at least!) some time. I would want
to read Zinchenko again, and parts of Jim's early book on Vygotsky. I
would probably want to look at Engestrom's critique of mediated action
in context as a unit of analysis. I simply can't do all that right now,
but if I were teaching (and being on medical leave!) I would probably
get together a bunch of such texts and try to sort things out.
Right now I have the equally -- at leas -- task of trying to untangle
a mixed up literature about cultural, cross-cultural, and indigenous
psychologies where at least half of what I am reading is based, it seems,
at best, on secondary sources and the result is multiplying confusions.
Lets try to avoid that problem as much as possible here. Its not easy,
but it is important.
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