Re: [xmca] Double stimulation task -- wiki

From: Martin Packer (
Date: Thu Mar 08 2007 - 07:16:11 PST


Thanks for your description of the instructions, and of the strategies that
you found. Very helpful.

The point I was making was that any study of the process in this task is
going to be influenced by the way one defines the endpoint of that process,
and here the endpoint is defined by the way the nonsense words name groups
of objects. I can't quite articulate my discomfort about this. Perhaps I was
bitten at too young an age by ordinary language philosophy, by Wittgenstein
and Ryle. In the dark ages I did an undergraduate project on learning
polymorphous concepts. I've always had sympathy for those who maintain that
science is an ordinary activity too, and that its concepts are also those of
family resemblance - complexes, not concepts. Obviously Vygotsky would have
disagreed with me, and reading him is making me rethink my position. But the
definitions of LAG et al strike me as different from concepts like 'mass' or
'velocity.' Scientific concepts are defined in a network, no? Mass and
velocity are interrelated, along with space and gravity... But that's not
true of LAG and the others. One could remove one nonsense word and the
definitions of the others wouldn't need to change.

Nor does LAG strike me as a particularly dialectical concept. The concept of
'commodity,' for example, is once again part of a complex network, and it is
inherently dynamic. LAG doesn't seem anything like a process. Perhaps that's
one of the artificialities of this experiment, and Vygotsky is very clear
that these artificialities serve important analytical purposes.

I will try to think some more!


On 3/7/07 12:56 PM, "Ana Marjanovic-Shane" <> wrote:

> Martin, you asked: "How realistic is to set this task with scientific
> concepts?". I always thought that this tasks enables the whole RANGE of
> developmental possibilities to be seen. It is not a
> "correct"-"incorrect" type of a test, but a diagnostic task which lets
> the child (adult) show what strategies they use in collaboration with a
> partner who "knows" the names (the meaning??) of things. It is a micro
> genetic cultural tool, in the sense that it also enables a
> child/adolescent/adult - to develop their own strategies, through
> reflexive refinement which takes place between the partners in the task
> activity.
> Ana

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