Re: [xmca] Some words about Hi Neighbor

From: Lois Holzman (
Date: Sun Dec 11 2005 - 17:47:37 PST

Phil's comment enticed me to stop what I was doing and read Vygotsky's

What I learned from and find helpful in this article, like so much of
Vygotsky's writing, is how he shows how we must step outside the box and see
in a different way in order to grapple with a particular issue (problem).
And then once we do, we see different issues (problems) and often the
original one vanishes (and this is how Wittgenstein describes his own method
of doing philosophy). So even though I don't think I understand what the
psychology of the actor means to him, I can see how he is relocating it
(whatever it is) in the world, which as I read the article doesn't place it
in a social context but makes it a socio-cultural-historical
entity/activity. While I don't (think) I agree with everything in the next
to the last paragraph of Vygotsky's article (below) I can read it as
locating emotions as social activity and not inner states. Does anyone else
read it this way?

Psychology teaches that emotions are not an exception different from other
manifestations of our mental life. Like all other mental functions, emotions
do not remain in the connections in which they are given initially by virtue
of the biological organization of the mind. In the process of social life,
feelings develop and former connections disintegrate; emotions appear in new
relations with other elements of mental life, new systems develop, new
alloys of mental functions and unities of a higher order appear within which
special patterns, interdependencies, special forms of connections and
movement are dominant.


> From: Phil Chappell <>
> Reply-To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
> Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 19:13:02 +0700
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Some words about Hi Neighbor
> The last thought of Vygotsky in the "creativity" paper Mike posted a
> few days ago is:
> "The experience of the actor, his emotions, appear not as functions
> of his personal mental life, but as an objective, social sense and
> significance that serves as a transitional stage from psychology to
> ideology".
> I've attempted to unpack this string of clauses:
> 1) The actor's experience in acting is reflected in her/his emotions
> 2) The emotions are not associated solely with the individual but
> more with the individual acting in a social context
> 3) The actor's emotions are meaningful (to the actor and to others)
> 4) The activity of acting mediates the actor's consciousness
> In these, my own words, there is a good theoretical basis for "play".
> I'm restricted to the language classroom for my own examples; I'd
> love to hear, as Lois called for, some other examples of "play". And
> Volker's reference to "play" vs "serious talk" is interesting.
> Cheers,
> Phil
> On 11/12/2005, at 8:14 AM, Volker.hippie wrote:
>> Yes, and from Lois Holzman I learned that performing to teach is
>> much more fullfilling than just teaching.
>> The other day one leader (a client) phoned me, where he asked:/
>> Could we instead of doing "supervision" again play, like last time,
>> we worked together, where we played a form of "that's my ridiculous
>> life"? My staff was so happy, afterwards, last time.
>> Yes/, and I think, wow, now the leader has catched the idea, that
>> performing and playing is a (better) way of learning than all this
>> serious talk.
>> Yes, and Phil, you are right, is is about learning, or practicing
>> new language games (it is here Wittgenstein is helpful to read
>> together with Vygotsky).
>> Volker
>> Phil Chappell wrote:
>>> Dear All,
>>> This is an intriguing notion that I would love to hear more about.
>>> It certainly resonates with learning another language...
>>> Phil
>>> On 09/12/2005, at 11:05 PM, Lois Holzman wrote:
>>>> I feel that whatever success I have in intellectual activities
>>>> has to do
>>>> with learning to relate to it as play.
>>> _______________________________________________
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