Re: Arievitch and more

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Wed Jun 30 2004 - 04:51:33 PDT

Mabel, I don't think you strayed from the issues one bit! You got right at
the heart of them. The first question you asked is really intriguing -
where is mind embodied?

You suggest: "the embodiment of mind does not reside in the “body”, nor in
the “objects” (or their rules), but in the activity that subjects realise."

And in terms of explaining the relationship between the inner and outer
world (inside and outside the skin) you say:

"... it is a matter of explaining how the inner and the outer world are
co-constructed by mediated actions."

These questions and suggested answers strike me as excellent dialectical
frameworks for developing an understanding of the "ins" and "outs" of human
activity. My sense is that this line of reasoning is also at the core of
what Arievitch and Galperin are saying.

And I also think your points are very helpful in overcoming that erroneous
and dichotomous "either-or" thinking that insists that the external world
and the
internal world are completely separate entities, where things are either in
location or the other.

Great post, thank you.

- Steve

6/30/2004, Mabel wrote:
>Hi, all.
>I do not write because of time and because of shyness.
>About “internalisation”, I was thinking: considering the embodiment of mind,
>where is it embodied, according to the internalisation process that Galperin
>explains, as said by Arievitch.
>Arievitch affirms, as Steve quotes, that
> > "… Galperin’s study of attention empirically showed how some (material)
> forms
>of the individual’s external activity get gradually transformed into other
>(mental) forms of that same external activity. It was, perhaps, the first
>empirical demonstration of how the dualistic dichotomies of external and
>internal could be eliminated (for details, see Galperin, 1989)."
> > "Understanding human action in any of its guises, including mental or
>internal, as following objective rules of the outer world, and
>demonstration of
>how mental actions emerge from external actions was Galperin’s way to
>the dualism of mental and material, external and internal processes… To
>summarize, Galperin’s internalization demonstrates the genetic link between
>external and internal activity and the particular mechanism of how external
>becomes internal without a dualistic dichotomy between these two planes. Such
>dichotomy is eliminated by conceptualizing internalization as transformation
>of certain (material) forms of individuals external activity into other
>(mental) forms of that same external activity, and as a specifically human
>form of appropriation of new knowledge and skills. In this sense, it appears
>that we can overcome the dualistic dichotomies without discarding individual
>cognition and the internal plane. Instead, we can reconceptualize them in a
>nonmentalist way."
>I wonder if internalisation really “follows the objective rules of the outer
>world” or if the rupture of the dichotomy could come instead of from
>rules” internalised, from the understanding of the internalisation as
>an “outcome” (deutero learning a la Bateson) of the activity in which the
>subject participates in the outer world. From this, the embodiment of mind
>not reside in the “body”, nor in the “objects” (or their rules), but in the
>activity that subjects realise. This leads to the need of explaining the
>relationship between internalisation and externalisation. I think that
>understanding the outer world as determining a range of possibilities, the
>inner world steps forward and builds and "ideal" (an idea which is born in
>this "inner") to pursue, and pulls to the external action in the context
>of the
>activity. The difficult thing is to explain this “step forward”.
>Some time ago, I tended to think that “the individual” was a creation of
>the “capitalist” (or at least of the “classist”) thinking, but now I consider
>that the relationship between the inner and the outer world (inside the skin,
>outside the skin) are something that needs to be explained, and it is not the
>case of subsuming the existence of the inner into the outer world (and much
>less to the "forms of the outer world"), but it is a matter of explaining how
>the inner and the outer world are co-constructed by mediated actions. I
>consider this a political need, particularly because the commitments are
>as individual decisions (even if they are “externally determined”, as I
>sustained above).
>I hope not to be strayed from the issue.
>At this moment, I have nothing to say about cooking or abacus using.
>Unfortunately I am not one of the “voters”, but I am an old lurker, who has
>learnt a lot here.
>UNAMonos Comunicándonos

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