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

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Wed Oct 24 2007 - 19:15:23 PDT

  It's in Chapter Six of Thinking and Speech, p. 193 of Collected Works Volume 1, where it is sourced to V.25 of Marx and Engels Collected Works, Chapter 2, p. 384.
  I've NEVER seen this in Mao. In fact, I've never seen ANY Marx in Mao that I didn't first see in Stalin, and Stalin didn't read very much.
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

Tony Whitson <twhitson@UDel.Edu> wrote:
  maybe something like this?:

"If the world was really just as it appears to us, there would be no need
for science." Karl Marx

That's my paraphrase, from memory, and I think I'm remembering a Marx
quotation that I read somewhere in Mao's writing (possibly in Chinese).

So, I don't have the exact quote, and I don't know the precise source.

Does anybody recognize this?

On Wed, 24 Oct 2007, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:

> Hi all,
> I think we can find similar kind of thinking in a number of works and
> traditions. For example, with respect to CHAT, Klaus Holzkamp distinguishes
> between the world as available to people everyday, and other aspects only
> available through critique of ideology, structural analysis.
> Similarly, Dorothy Smith (sociologist) writes about the world as available to
> us, and determinations that are not apparent. If I use a concept such as
> Standard North American Family or Single Parent, I am generally not aware of
> the political work that has gone on behind the scenes--from my current
> perspective---and I am importing into my lifeworld ideologies. Only critical
> analysis (ethnography, sociology, critical cultural studies) will allow me to
> make these hidden structures/determinations apparent.
> From a consciousness perspective, only those things mediate my decisions that
> are apparent to me; but from an analytic perspective, there are structural
> determinations or mediations.
> Michael
> On 24-Oct-07, at 3:57 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
> Gordon--
> 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.
> mike
> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>> --
>> Gordon Wells
>> Department of Education
>> University of California, Santa Cruz
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
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Tony Whitson
UD School of Education

"those who fail to reread
are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
-- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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Received on Wed Oct 24 19:18 PDT 2007

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