reduxed Rommetveit

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sat Aug 21 2004 - 19:46:11 PDT

Well, perhaps Steve is correct and xmca-ites are otherwise occupied. But
the next issue of MCA is soon to be upon us, and it seems a shame not to
consider Ragnar Rommetveit's paper a little more closely.

I started by trying to be sure that folks understood some of the referents,such
as those to Michotte and Heider. I asked for help on Danzinger and discovery of
the subject, but got back nada. Actually nada nada.

So. I'll back up and repeat Michael G's comments and try to comment. If nothing worthwhile comes of it, lets move on.

Michael Wrote (for good formattting, go to xmca at

 a "script" (I got that from the Daily Howler and Paul Krugman) that people just keep following. I think I understand the reasons why Rommetveit does this, but I would argue he gives up far more than he gains by setting up this false dichotomy between American thinking and European thinking (which he backtracks on somewhat by bringing Mead and to a lesser extent Royce into the discussion).
 there are many similarities).
on to the next problem she faces.


I read things differently, but had my own questions with about the same
level of resonance.
1). I didn't mind at all that RR started with Hull. It was the generation
against which he had to respond, as did I.

2. I thought the differing interpretations of Mr. Smith's activity were
interesting. I did not understand the "approaching from mediation versus
understanding from motivation" question Michael raises. I did not understand
the reason for bringing in Leontiev nor the reason for attributing Leontiev's
views to Stanislavsky.

3. As I tried to raise with my own pointing to the michotte and heider
examples, I did not understand how these examples entered into the coauthorship

I do not understand how invoking co-authorship is a political.

In short, there is a lot I do not understand about this article. But I believe
that the emphasis on meaning potential as a range of meaning-making
possibilities is helpful, that it does not exclude motivation, and that
it points to a unit of analysis very much like joint-mediated-activity
which I find congenial.

I was challenged by the idea that experiments which I thought defied the idea
of co-authorship might be so interpreted, and led to think about how a
psychology of the "second person" could be empancipatory.... not a term
I have used.

Rommetveit himself is self-questioning. The last paragraph of the article
is clear about this. to what extent does the social penetrate the individual
even under conditions where we think it does not?

Anyway, if we will soon have a new voting booth up and less general articles
to consider for discussion. And besides, we will all be back at work. Too
bad we cannot be playing while at work and versa visa! :-)

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