RE: [xmca] J.M. Baldwin

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Thu Jun 15 2006 - 10:20:45 PDT

It is interesting (perhaps Abelson would have thought, sad) that "hot
cognition" survives the almost 50 years since Abelson's early efforts as a
dichotomy and a false one at that!

A way to think of what Abelson and his peers were doing way back in the 60's
is that they were trying to break social psychology out of its ghetto. They
developed arguments and evidence that cognition is always hot; hence
phenomena and concepts thought of as peripheral social psychology matters
would have to be moved front and center in the so-called cognitive
revolution (including in computer simulations used as a method to that

I first met such ideas in the 70's or 80's and then was able to bring it
together with ideas of motive/motivation (like Leontiev's and like the
term's use in the phrase "well-motivated argument" in formal logic). I saw
it as an ally in a challenge to limited ideas of affect's role and
realization held by still ghettoized social psychologists who saw motivation
as "rah rah sis boom bah" or "give them cake" types of thing.

In fact, Abelson and his peers' work helped to enrich experiences I was then
having -- hard struggles in painful Zo-peds. Luria's method of combining
systems so that disruptions occur that allow otherwise hidden aspects to
emerge -- for us that was us in interactions with kids learning, as Mike
used to put it, how deep the hole was that they were in as a part of
learning reading and other academicy things.

PS I think the false dichotomy version arose in relation to some efforts to
use the phrase and some corner of the idea in measurement (for education or
for things like market research). Anyone if that's the case?

LCHC and UCSD Communication
(858) 822-4314

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of John Haught
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 6:58 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] J.M. Baldwin

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the link to the new paper!
I followed Mike's advice & googled 'hot cognition', & I agree it's pretty
interesting, but fear
that it simply
perpetuates the false dichotomies that LV tried so hard to eliminate. Hot
cognition, or
thought fired by
challenges to preconceptions vs. cool cognition, rational reasoned thought.
If learning is socially mediated then affect cannot be divorced from human
interaction. The
ZPD is too often
misinterpreted as a loving hand-in-hand walk down the path of learning &
while LV himself wrote
about the sometimes bitter classroom struggle between learners & teachers.
It is this very
dissonance & conflict
that may lead to the greatest transformations & developments within the ZPD.
I think it is
discord that may
lead to the most significant learning outcomes within a community of
learners. Affect may be
the stronger
agent in learning when it is in opposition to prevalent thought. And, in
social engagement or
dialogue, affect
will lie along a continuum - hot, cold, lukewarm, & constantly being
I resisted using Wertche's term 'alterity', though I like the concept a lot.

John Haught

----- Original Message -----
From: steve thorne <>
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 3:19 pm
Subject: Re: [xmca] J.M. Baldwin
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>

> hi Phil --
> >Steve and All,
> >
> >I have Jaan Valsiner and Rene van der Veer's book on order from
> >amazon...thanks. As an adjunct, you mention the
> >externalisation/internalisation dialectic - Harry Daniels has a
> very
> >thought provoking paper in a recent Theory and Psychology issue
> (1,
> >2006) where he teases apart the activity of discourse production
> in
> >terms of the interpersonal functions of language. I especially
> find
> >his integration of Bernstein's principles of power useful.
> thanks for the recent Daniels reference -- i'm finding the journal
> difficult to find (not yet listed in our library services, perhaps
> because it is so new).
> >
> >Tomasello's theory of language acquisition deserves some time here
> >for discussion - as you say it has resonance with chat, and so
> does
> >Halliday, Hopper, and who else?
> as for language theory that is useful for and broadly commensurate
> with CHAT -- as mentioned, Tomasello has been very useful, and
> Hopper, Bybee and others for emergentist and material approaches to
> language patterns (i.e., grammar), and of course Halliday and
> Hasan,
> Jim Martin, and others in the SFL community who tie Halliday to
> Bernstein and Vygotsky.
> cognitive linguistics generally, focusing as it does on grammar as
> conceptualization (Langacker; Talmy), conceptual metaphor theory
> (Lakoff; Johnson), conceptual blending (Foucaunnier and Turner),
> all
> inform and infuse Vygotskian principles of (particularly semiotic)
> mediation.
> a number of folks on the list have requested work in this area --
> here is a link to a PDF of a forthcoming paper (Phil -- you've seen
> a
> very rough and early version, this draft is basically a new paper)
> Thorne & Lantolf, "a linguistics of communicative activity", in S.
> Makoni and A. Pennycook, Disinventing and (re)constituting
> languages.
> clevedon: multilingual matters. find it at:
> steve
> >
> >
> >Phil
> >
> >
> >
> >On 08/06/2006, at 12:03 PM, steve thorne wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>hi Mike -- thanks for the question.
> >>
> >>i'll reduce the arguments to a few sentences with a bit of
> exegesis
> >>to follow (it is over-long but hopefully forges some of the
> >>connections you inquired about).
> >>
> >>- developmentally fecund imitation is intentional and goal
> directed
> >>(Baldwin, also Vygotsky)
> >>- this sort of imitation is the mechanism/process the makes
> >>internalization possible (Vygotsky)
> >>- humans have an innate and plastic capacity to recognize,
> >>interpret, and creatively imitate the linguistic means by which
> >>other humans realize and express intentions (Tomasello)
> >>
> >>as a number of folks have mentioned already -- Baldwin's notion
> of
> >>persistent imitation describes a process that is goal directed,
> >>iterative, and most importantly, intentional. this very specific
> >>definition of imitation is premised on awareness of the goal of
> an
> >>action and the means available (e.g., mediational resources). i
> >>think this is largely commensurate with Vygotsky's observations
> >>about imitation.
> >>
> >>so, the Baldwin tie-in follows on Vygotsky's insight that
> >>development involves internalizing idealizations of social and
> >>material activity that results in increasing ones capacity to
> >>function independent of the presence of specific social and
> >>material resources. imitation, in the transformative sense
> proposed
> >>by Vygotsky (and many others), couples well with the Balwin's
> >>emphasis on intentionality and awareness.
> >>
> >>we also found it important to emphasize the bi-directional
> process
> >>of internalization-externalization where individuals and
> >>collectives can be seen as open and porous environments/systems.
> >>Ana Stetsenko, for example, has a nice way of talking about this
> in
> >>her recent work -- where she redescribes the internalization and
> >>externalization dialectic as the internalization and
> "contribution"
> >>dialectic.
> >>
> >>as for Tomasello -- he focuses on three interrelated areas that
> are
> >>enhanced by (creative) imitative language use in ontogeny --
> joint
> >>attention, intention-reading, and cultural learning. when it
> comes
> >>to the complexities of language development, his usage-based
> >>approach to language acquisition (2003) is a very good fit with
> >>CHAT for it emphasizes intention ascription and language-use as a
> >>specialized form of goal-directed attentional frame setting.
> >>
> >>grammar in this sense isn't a precondition (e.g., nativists like
> >>Chomsky), but emerges historically from language use in
> culturally
> >>organized, goal directed activity. and it is language use that
> >>makes possible the proliferation of, and inculcation and
> >>transformation of, the complexities of human's culturally
> organized
> >>practices. all very Vygotskian (and explicitly noted as such by
> >>Tomasello).
> >>
> >>i should end by mentioning that Tomasello develops an elaborate
> >>approach for addressing the specifics of learning language
> >>(constructions, syntax and morphology, discourse, etc), where the
> >>specifics of linguistic development are rooted in the
> >>intersubjective establishment of joint attentional frames and the
> >>role of communicative intentions within them.
> >>
> >>Jim and i address these relations at length in a couple of
> venues,
> >>which i can share by PDF if there is interest.
> >>
> >>this is perhaps over-much, but i hope to have addressed your
> >>question in adequate detail --
> >>
> >>steve
> >>
> >>
> >>>How would you relate the notion of persistant imitation to
> Vygotsky on the
> >>>one hand, and
> >>>Tomasello on the other, Steve? We can post any text on that
> topic in the
> >>>zoped page at xmca
> >>>mike
> >_______________________________________________
> >xmca mailing list
> >
> >
> --
> Steven L. Thorne
> Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics
> Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
> Associate Director, Center for Language Acquisition
> Associate Director, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency
> Education and Research
> The Pennsylvania State University
> Interact > 814.863.7036 | |
> | IM: avkrook
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
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