Re: [xmca] soznanie/osoznanie

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Sun Feb 11 2007 - 19:42:35 PST

But "recognition" (in the relevant usages) comes from "cognate" - co-born,
i.e., of the same kin.
At 10:32 PM 11/02/2007 -0500, you wrote:
>Did you know that the root word both for the English KNOWLEDGE and Slavic
>"ZNANYE", Latin "GNOSIS" is the same Sanskrit "jna"? (remark
>Here is an interesting etymological view:
>Mike Cole wrote:
>>OK, here is the message on this topic. It has not appeared on the archive
>>where I looked for it. I
>>am trying to figure out why. Thanks to Ed Wall for pointing me to it.
>>There is a cluster of messages from David, Vera, Ana and Martin and ?? here
>>that seems to me
>>especially important and potentially generative.
>>Referring to the note I sent earlier with the analysis of the Russian who
>>also knew Sanskrit, I questioned
>>the issue of so- as a prefix in Russian. ditto o-
>>And when we combine the two prefixes ( so-znanie/ o-so-znanie) what is being
>>created. Peter? MGU Aspiranti?
>>Anna S? ???
>>znanie =knowledge
>>so-znanie ~ co knowledge ????
>>o-so-znanie ~~ about-co-knowledge, concerning-co-knowledge???????
>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>From: Martin Packer <>
>>Date: Feb 9, 2007 6:36 PM
>>Subject: Re: [xmca] Harried instructor seeks words of wisdom
>>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
>>I would certainly be interested in hearing more about the distinctions
>>you're making between responsiveness, awareness and consciousness.
>>To add to the (my) confusion, digging through my notes I've come across the
>>following note by translator Norris Minick in Thinking & Speech (p. 388, n.
>>"By the phrase 'conscious awareness' we gloss the Russian osaznanie, which V
>>carefully and consistently uses and distinguishes from the term soznanie or
>>'consciousness.' Vygotsky clarifies the difference between the two at
>>several points in the text… the earlier translation of this volume (…Thought
>>and language…) rendered both terms as 'consciousness,' introducing a
>>confusion not to be found in the original Russian text."
>>The links to neuroscience are very interesting. If I understand it
>>correctly, Vygotsky's psychology was the study of consciousness and
>>physiology (the material basis of consciousness). The division of labor that
>>developed between Vygotsky and Luria speaks to this, I think. Modern
>>neuroscience too often wants to treat consciousness as an epiphenomenon, but
>>Vygotsky clearly viewed it as having a purpose: it has evolved because it
>>serves an important function. After my last message I recalled Vygotsky's
>>insistence that consciousness appears when action meets an obstacle. I'm
>>pretty confident he says this as early as Educational Psychology, and as
>>late as T&S, but I can't track down specific citations at this moment. And
>>this links to David's comments about volition. Consciousness occurs when our
>>prereflective action is blocked, and we must deliberate, look around, and
>>consider alternatives. A two-way link to volition: Cs arises from practical
>>activity, and serves to reorganize that activity. Cs gives us the will to do
>>what is hard to do, what needs to be done, what at first grasp seems
>>impossible to do.
>>And while I'm cutting and pasting from my notes, this is from the last pages
>>of Educational Psychology:
>>"Man has set himself the goal of becoming master of his own feelings, of
>>lifting the instincts to the heights of consciousness and making them
>>transparent, of stretching the thread of will into what is concealed and
>>into the underground, and to thereby lift himself up to a new stage, to
>>create a 'higher' sociociological type, a, so to speak, super-man." 351
>>None of this gives my students a *definition* of consciousness. But perhaps
>>one has to be satisfied with a *history* of it, a story that describes how
>>it comes into being and then departs again.
>>On 2/9/07 11:24 AM, "Vera Steiner" <> wrote:
>>>I sent my message on consciousness before reading Martin's "harried
>>>instructor seeks words of wisdom." It is a fine discussion, and my
>>>apologies for not referring to it in my somewhat differently focused
>>>comments.In my class last night, I tried to differentiate between
>>>responsiveness, awareness and consciousness, a hard task, but if anyone
>>>is interested, I would be willing to struggle with it some more in our
>>>discussions. Right now, I have to leave the house and the computer,
>>>Martin Packer wrote:
>>>>Trying to get the worms out of one can I seem to have opened another, but
>>>>think David may have rescued me before I started to ask. Trying to
>>>>why studying consciousness was important to Vygotsky, I started with the
>>>>assertion that for him (and me too) consciousness is in our interaction
>>>>the world. I suppose that all animals have consciousness, perhaps even
>>>>plants in some sense, since they respond to changes in the environment
>>>>& night; the movement of the sun) and so must sense these in some way.
>>>>human consciousness is, one supposes, much more complex, and it develops.
>>>>If consciousness is in our interactions, not in our heads, that is
>>>>when we are trying to avoid dualistic thinking. And, yes, Vygotsky was
>>>>trying to give a materialistic account of consciousness, which at first
>>>>seems pretty contradictory.
>>>>Psychology today generally doesnıt consider consciousness: in one class
>>>>might study memory, in another perception, in a third language, and so
>>>>> From Vygotskyıs point of view this has divided up something unitary ­
>>>>all, in my conscious existence I am thinking at one moment, remembering
>>>>something the next, then imagining something, talking, ... and even this
>>>>account divides consciousness up too much. So the proper study of
>>>>consciousness is the study of all these functions in their
>>>>interrelationship. It is, I said, only to keep things simple that
>>>>focuses mainly on thinking and talking in the book we are reading.
>>>>I said some more. I said it in (bad) Spanish and now I canıt remember it
>>>>And they said, okay, very good, but what was Vygotskyıs definition of
>>>>Œconsciousnessı? Give us a definition of consciousness, and keep it
>>>>and formal. They said this with a (collective) smile, so I know they
>>>>expecting a dictionary definition, even before reading Davidıs message.
>>>>I wasnıt able to give a (good) answer.
>>>>David, for me, too, consciousness is not cognition. I completely agree
>>>>you that volition is crucial for Vygotsky. (For example, I think
>>>>position on scientific concepts is misunderstood when people say that
>>>>concepts enable self-control; V is clear that itıs the other way round:
>>>>self-control, mastery of oneıs own psychological functions, makes such
>>>>concepts possible.) But Iım not entirely comfortable *equating*
>>>>consciousness with volition. I guess for a first shot Iıd say that
>>>>is a relation between consciousness and functions that lack
>>>>One thing I like about this formulation is that it includes the
>>>>that consciousness is social, intersubjective, and that self-control has
>>>>roots in control-by-others. And I do believe that this was Vygotskyıs
>>>>position (in-itself; for-others; for-itself). But ­ having put it this
>>way ­
>>>>one has to distinguish carefully between consciousness and
>>>>self-consciousness, no?
>>>>Enough for one day. Iım off for enchiladas. More words of wisdom from
>>>>collective consciousness will be much appreciated!
>>>>p.s I think Osimbologia may be a Nahuatl word. ;) I saw a wonderful
>>>>Spanish-Nahuatl dictionary the other day. Any takers?
>>>>xmca mailing list
>>>xmca mailing list
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