Re: [xmca] On Roth's "On Mediation"

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Wed Oct 24 2007 - 15:57:39 PDT


A position in Michael's paper that seems crucial to me is that between
functional and structural
perspectives with respect to mediation of CONSCIOUSNESS (not necessarily
behavior, although
sometimes I get confused on this score).

So, while I may be unconcious of the fact that a gear box/stick etc are
mediating my interaction with the world
while driving, e.g., functionally for consciousness the operation of gear
shifting is unediated, structurally, the
operation IS mediated.

This is sort of like Don Norman's "first person" versus "system" view of
mediated human action and the use of
artifacts in action.

Not sure how we can zero in and be more precise, lets see what michael says.

On 10/24/07, Gordon Wells <> wrote:
> Michael,
> I too had some difficulty with the non-mediating operation issue. I
> agree with your analysis of speaking and Mike Cole's explanation of
> Leontiev's example, but I still think that the operation (of
> gear-shifting or fish feeding with the scoop) act as mediational
> means in the action in focus. Using Mike's explanation, it would
> seem that having to attend to gear-shifting - or to how to use the
> scoop - means that those are actions - or probably sub-actions -
> rather than operations.
> Taking this general discussion a little further, wouldn't it also be
> necessary to recognize that, just as there are sub-actions, so there
> are sub-operations that are even further from conscious awareness?
> Gordon
> >Hi Eric,
> >thanks for your note.
> >
> >>How does the immediacy of operations develop into the mediated
> >>actions of a goal directed activity?
> >
> >Operations do not "Develop" into mediated actions, they are produced
> >in response to current conditions, which include the present state
> >of the action. I am thinking about talking in everyday situations as
> >a paradigm. We don't go and search for words, they seem to appear in
> >our mouths. The type of words is a function of the current state,
> >including what we have produced thus far, and we stop not BECAUSE of
> >grammatical rules but because of a stop order (remember, most people
> >and especially children don't know formal grammar and yet produce
> >grammatical sentences), which tells us that what we have produced is
> >somehow complete. We can make salient operations, which usually
> >happens when something goes wrong, and the reverse happens as we
> >become familiar with actions that they disappear from our
> >consciousness. When this happens precisely normally is not available
> >to consciousness, because it precisely involves the disappearance of
> >being conscious of the action. (I once studied it when I was
> >teaching in Newfoundland, taking also a course, and doing a study of
> >tying shoe laces with a child that had trisomy 21. What are
> >operations to us had to be made explicit, involving something like
> >18 steps in my case. With time, 2 actions combined, leading to the
> >disappearance [becoming operations] of its predecessors)
> >Michael
> >
> >On 24-Oct-07, at 9:25 AM, wrote:
> >
> >
> >Woff-Michael:
> >
> >Firstoff: great read! I so enjoy an article that places a "real-world"
> >context for the reader to negotiate the scholarly "words". The
> real-world
> >context being the fish hatchery. Also, for once I believe I have a firm
> >grasp on how Leontiev was negotiating the avenue of activities, actions
> and
> >operations. Your examples clearly indicate the differences and I am able
> >to better understand the history and development of Cultural-Historical
> >theory as a result of your article. Thank you. Here is my difficulty.
> >Perhaps it is in the paper and I am not deciphering it correctly, perhaps
> >not. How does the immediacy of operations develop into the mediated
> >actions of a goal directed activity? Where is the explanation of the
> >process that allows actions to become operations? Vygotsky viewed the
> >transition of speaking aloud to problem solving to inner speech for
> problem
> >solving as the process. Valsiner similar but more intricate in his
> >explanations. The difference obviously being that Valsiner has enjoyed
> >much more time in the research arena. Using your example of learning how
> >to feed the fish could you possibly walk me through your thoughts on how
> >you transitioned from using the scoop as a mediating device to the point
> >where feeding the fish was an operation and you were able to move into an
> >'everydayness' of feeding fish.
> >
> >eric
> >
> >
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> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> --
> Gordon Wells
> Department of Education
> University of California, Santa Cruz
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Received on Wed Oct 24 15:59 PDT 2007

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