RE: [xmca] Peirce as Hegel, but "in costume"

From: Tony Whitson <twhitson who-is-at UDel.Edu>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 19:42:19 PDT

Andy,

You ask if it has "more to do with" certain factors than others. I don't
know how to weigh biographical and socio-historical factors against more
purely theoretical factors. Someone said something about the American
frontier. That's no doubt a different environment for thought than
Germany. But for Northeasterners, maybe the U.S. Civil War was a weightier
influence than the frontier (cf. Menand). And for Peirce, the experience
of working for the Geodesic Service rather than in a University Philosophy
Department might also have been important (like Einstein's work trying to
figure out how clocks could be synchronized -- for the sake of train
schedules ! )

All I know about Engestrom's comments on Peirce is from the snippet in the
one post I read based on Parmentier (I have not had the time to follow the
thread on Mead). Parmentier does identify problems in CSP's later
thinking, but it seems to me Parmentier does not support the criticism in
that snippet from Engestrom, which I could also not support from my own
reading of Peirce.

Peirce's theory is really different. I haven't read that much of the
Russians, but in what I have read (mostly secondary sources) the idea of
"sign" for the Russian theorists is very much about intentional
communication among humans. Peirce's basic conception of sign, rooted in a
tradition that runs from the Greeks through pre-modern Latin philosophers
like Poinsot, is radically different from that.

On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, Andy Blunden wrote:

> Returning to Engstrom's criticism of Peirce and Mead in particular, Tony, it
> seems to me that the defect he claims to find in Mead and Peirce are no more
> serious than the critiques he makes of each writer in the Russian tradition.
> Putting it another way, from what Engstrom says about Mead and Peirce, it is
> not at all clear why their ideas are seen to be initiators of a quite
> distinct current of thought, from those mentioned among the Russians. But
> despite the laudable collaboration of "followers" of all three thinkers on
> XMCA, it is certainly true that the Americans gave birth to a quite distinct
> current from the Russians. Isn't this more to do with geo-politics, national
> culture and language, political-economy and history, than the actual theories
> and ideas of Vygotsky, Leontyev, Mead and Peirce?
>
> Andy
> At 09:23 PM 3/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>> Andy,
>>
>> There are four paragraphs in the Collected Papers that include "Hegel"
>> "logic" and "false." One of those is your quote with the "Nantucket"
>> phrase. None resembles what you're remembering, although of course it
>> might be in CSP's writing not included in the Collected Papers.
>>
>> It would not actually surprise me if he did write that, and it wouldn't
>> necessarily (without context) force a reconsideration of how I understand
>> CSP's attitude toward Hegel. In fact, it's probably possible to read the
>> quotes that we've been looking at in a way that foregrounds the criticism
>> and backgrounds the appreciation, to yield a reading like your remembered
>> quote.
>>
>> To compare with Marx: I expect it's easy to find paragraphs in which Marx
>> has nothing good to say about Hegel, and runs through what look like a
>> series of blistering criticisms -- not short of saying things like
>> "Hegel's wrong at every point." Yet, I don't think we would say that "Marx
>> hated Hegel."
>>
>> I have no doubt that Peirce and James each had differences with Dewey. But
>> the differences between Peirce and James seem at least as profound. I'm
>> just resisting a tendency to draw a line with Peirce and James on one side
>> vs. Dewey and Hegel on the other side, and the tendency to assimilate CSP
>> to what some folks might find more comfortable in James.
>>
>> On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>
>>> Yes, I accept, Tony, that I was too hasty in my characterisation of
>>> Peirce's attitude to Hegel. Haste is one of my vices, I'm afraid. :(
>>> There was a quote which I can't find and may turn out to have been
>>> someone else where (I thought) Peirce was saying of the Logic that every
>>> one of Hegel's deductions was false. It may have been someone else.
>>>
>>> Re calling Peirce "Pragmatist". With some difficulty, I have come to the
>>> way of using the word "pragmatism" to include all theories of activity,
>>> all those theories that usng some kind of activity theory, with or with
>>> mediation by artefacts, so as to do away with reference to all
>>> other-worldly entities (espcially ideas, universals or concepts)
>>> supposed to exist outside the social activity of human beings. So
>>> Peirce, James, Dewey, Mead, Vygotsky, Leontyev all qualify, and I sort
>>> of include myself now. Habermas could qualify on this basis, but it does
>>> seem a strange label in his case, I think. Of course, one could take the
>>> view that every one of the writers just mentioned had their own, unique
>>> incomparable "ism" (and I am sure they do, each have several in fact),
>>> but I think one still needs words to grasp these very broad
>>> methodological, cultural-historical associations between writers.
>>>
>>> Andy
>>> At 08:12 PM 3/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>> Interesting quotes. I was particularly intrigued by the phrase "that
>>>> Nantucket of thought." I think it's most likely a reference to "One of
>>>> Robert Lowell's most famous early poems, "The Quaker Graveyard in
>>>> Nantucket," with rich allusions to whaling and death at sea ..." See
>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nantucket,_Massachusetts#Literature
>>>> In at least some of these quotes posted by Andy and me, Peirce is
>>>> crediting Hegel as superior to all the other modern philosophers,
>>>> while critiquing his failure to follow through on his more promising
>>>> insights, and faulting Hegel's followers for not having critiqued and
>>>> advanced upon those insights as would have served Hegel better.
>>>> That's not an attitude that I'd characterize as one of "hating" Hegel.
>>>> Since we have the same language in front of us, what difference there
>>>> is here must be over usage of "hating," rather than over CSP's esteem
>>>> for Hegel.
>>>> As for the evolution of CSP's thought over his career, both Parmentier
>>>> and Bergman are writing about changes in the course of that evolution;
>>>> but I don't see support in those texts for either Yrjo's or Michael's
>>>> characterizations of how Peirce's thinking changed (which I also don't
>>>> see as mutually equivalent, either -- so I don't see Michael's
>>>> interpretation, if valid, as necessarily supporting Yrjo's in any
>>>> case).
>>>> The identification of Peirce and James on "Pragmatism" is also
>>>> curious, since Peirce famously renamed his own philosophy as
>>>> "pragmaticism" specifically to deny its identification with James'
>>>> "pragmatism," which had become what people thought of by the word
>>>> first coined by Peirce. Peirce added that the new word "pragmaticism"
>>>> was so ugly that it stood in less danger of being kidnapped.
>>>> On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> In the light of day, I accept that it was far too bland to claim
>>>>> Peirce "hated" Hegel. Clearly his view was more nuanced.
>>>>> Some more of Peirce on Hegel:
>>>>> -----------------------
>>>>> The Hegelian system recognises every natural tendency of thought as
>>>>> logical, although it be certain to be abolished by
>>>>> counter-tendencies. Hegel thinks there is a regular system in the
>>>>> succession of these tendencies, in consequence of which, after
>>>>> drifting one way and the other for a long time, opinion will at last
>>>>> go right. And it is true that metaphysicians do get the right ideas
>>>>> at last; Hegels system of Nature represents tolerably the science of
>>>>> his day; and one may be sure that whatever scientific investigation
>>>>> shall have put out of doubt will presently receive a priori
>>>>> demonstration on the part of the metaphysicians. [from 'Fixation of
>>>>> Faith'CP 5.358-87]
>>>>> -----------------------
>>>>> Had Kant merely said, I shall adopt for the present the belief that
>>>>> the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles because
>>>>> nobody but brother Lambert and some Italian has ever called it in
>>>>> question, his attitude would be well enough. But on the contrary, he
>>>>> and those who today represent his school distinctly maintain the
>>>>> proposition is proved, and the Lambertists refuted, by what comes
>>>>> merely to general disinclination to think with them.
>>>>> As for Hegel, who led Germany for a generation, he recognises
>>>>> clearly what he is about. He simply launches his boat into the
>>>>> current of thought and allows himself to be carried wherever the
>>>>> current leads. He himself calls his method dialectics, meaning that
>>>>> frank discussion of the difficulties to which any opinion
>>>>> spontaneously gives rise will lead to modification after
>>>>> modification until a tenable position is attained. This is a direct
>>>>> profession of faith in the method of inclinations. [Note to
>>>>> 'Fixation of Faith', 1893]
>>>>> -----------------------
>>>>>
>>>>> Internal anancasm, or logical groping, which advances upon a
>>>>> predestined line without being able to foresee whither it is to be
>>>>> carried nor to steer its course, this is the rule of development of
>>>>> philosophy. Hegel first made the world understand this; and he seems
>>>>> to make logic not merely the subjective goal and monitor of thought,
>>>>> which was all it had been ambitioning before, but to be the very
>>>>> mainspring of thinking, and not merely individual thinking but of
>>>>> discussion, of the history of the development of thought, of all
>>>>> history, of all development. This involves a positive, clearly
>>>>> demonstrable error. Let the logic in question be of whatever kind it
>>>>> may, a logic of necessary inference or a logic of probable inference
>>>>> (the theory might perhaps be shaped to fit either), in any case it
>>>>> supposed that logic is sufficient of itself to determine what
>>>>> conclusion follows from given premises; for unless it will do so
>>>>> much, it will not suffice to explain why an individual train of
>>>>> reasoning should take just the course it does take, to say nothing
>>>>> of other kinds of development. It thus supposes that from given
>>>>> premises, only one conclusion can logically be drawn, and that there
>>>>> is no scope at all for free choice. That from given premises only
>>>>> one conclusion can logically be drawn, is one of the false notions
>>>>> which have come from the logicians' confining their attention to
>>>>> that Nantucket of thought, the logic of non-relative terms. In the
>>>>> logic of relatives, it does not hold good. [from CP 6.287-90, 1893]
>>>>> Andy
>>>>> At 05:25 PM 3/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>>>> Tony,
>>>>>> Are you saying that you are arguing that Peirce's thinking didn't
>>>>>> go through an evolution and change as he became invested in
>>>>>> Pragmatism, or are you simply arguing that Peirce didn't hate
>>>>>> Hegel. As far as the first one goes we can have a discussion
>>>>>> about that based on Bergman's article some time I suppose. If it
>>>>>> is the latter, I have to tell you that I don't read the quotes you
>>>>>> offered as being particularly sympathetic to Hegel. Of course he
>>>>>> didn't think Hegel was a fool or a bad philosopher. But he makes
>>>>>> the same points I have read elsewhere which is the critique of an
>>>>>> idealist based movement, suggesting any movement towards an end
>>>>>> point is idealist.
>>>>>> The issue was Hegel's organicism, which I think you can really
>>>>>> read Peirce as critiqueing in the quotes you offered. I believe
>>>>>> there are letters between James and Dewey where James chastises
>>>>>> Dewey for holding on to this organicism. I have read in more than
>>>>>> one place that Peirce was complaining to James about Dewey. I
>>>>>> think the quotes offered sort of suggest this was Peirce's view of
>>>>>> Hegel.
>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Tony Whitson
>>>>>> Sent: Sat 11/3/2007 10:23 AM
>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> Subject: [xmca] Peirce as Hegel, but "in costume"
>>>>>> Thanks, Michael G., for calling attention to Bergman's article in
>>>>>> Semiotica 144-1/4 (2003) 1-17.
>>>>>> After reviewing both Bergman and Parmentier, I'm afraid I can't
>>>>>> find the
>>>>>> basis for either Engstrom's comments or your observations (Nov 1,
>>>>>> below).
>>>>>> but I see you didn't have Bergman's paper at hand then.
>>>>>> I was surprised by the comment that Peirce & James "hated Hegel"
>>>>>> (below).
>>>>>> I don't know about James, but I don't remember Peirce ever
>>>>>> expressing such
>>>>>> an attitude toward any philosopher worth reading at all.
>>>>>> It's a bit late for Halloween (when kids and, increasingly,
>>>>>> adults, dress
>>>>>> up in costumes in the US), but I think these paragraphs better
>>>>>> represent
>>>>>> Peirce's view of Hegel:
>>>>>> Peirce: CP 1.40-42 (40 and 41-2 are from separate unidentified
>>>>>> fragments,
>>>>>> c. 1892.)
>>>>>> 5. HEGELISM
>>>>>> 40. The critical logicians have been much affiliated to the
>>>>>> theological
>>>>>> seminaries. About the thinking that goes on in laboratories they
>>>>>> have
>>>>>> known nothing. Now the seminarists and religionists generally have
>>>>>> at all
>>>>>> times and places set their faces against the idea of continuous
>>>>>> growth.
>>>>>> That disposition of intellect is the most catholic element of
>>>>>> religion.
>>>>>> Religious truth having been once defined is never to be altered in
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> most minute particular; and theology being held as queen of the
>>>>>> sciences,
>>>>>> the religionists have bitterly fought by fire and tortures all
>>>>>> great
>>>>>> advances in the true sciences; and if there be no true continuous
>>>>>> growth
>>>>>> in men's ideas where else in the world should it be looked for?
>>>>>> Thence, we
>>>>>> find this folk setting up hard lines of demarcation, or great
>>>>>> gulfs,
>>>>>> contrary to all observation, between good men and bad, between the
>>>>>> wise
>>>>>> and foolish, between the spirit and the flesh, between all the
>>>>>> different
>>>>>> kinds of objects, between one quantity and the next. So shut up
>>>>>> are they
>>>>>> in this conception of the world that when the seminarist Hegel
>>>>>> discovered
>>>>>> that the universe is everywhere permeated with continuous growth
>>>>>> (for
>>>>>> that, and nothing else, is the "Secret of Hegel") it was supposed
>>>>>> to be an
>>>>>> entirely new idea, a century and a half after the differential
>>>>>> calculus
>>>>>> had been in working order.
>>>>>> 41. Hegel, while regarding scientific men with disdain, has for
>>>>>> his chief
>>>>>> topic the importance of continuity, which was the very idea the
>>>>>> mathematicians and physicists had been chiefly engaged in
>>>>>> following out
>>>>>> for three centuries. This made Hegel's work less correct and
>>>>>> excellent in
>>>>>> itself than it might have been; and at the same time hid its true
>>>>>> mode of
>>>>>> affinity with the scientific thought into which the life of the
>>>>>> race had
>>>>>> been chiefly laid up. It was a misfortune for Hegelism, a
>>>>>> misfortune for
>>>>>> "philosophy," and a misfortune (in lesser degree) for science.
>>>>>> 42. My philosophy resuscitates Hegel, though in a strange costume.
>>>>>> On Thu, 1 Nov 2007, Michael Glassman wrote:
>>>>>> > Andy,
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > I'm going to try and find the reference, but there is this great
>>>>>> article that I think eloquently argues that Peirce made a turn
>>>>>> from concentrating on language per se, where he was more
>>>>>> interested in semiotics, to being more interested in relations. I
>>>>>> can't remember if he said this is when Peirce started referring to
>>>>>> semiosis. Once he started talking about relations the issue of
>>>>>> mediation became far less important in his work - again not in
>>>>>> terms of existing, but in terms of study.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > So Engestrom is right, but depending on which Peirce you are
>>>>>> reading at the moment. Of course Peirce is terribly opaque, and
>>>>>> any discussion I have ever had about him eventually winds up going
>>>>>> down the rabbit hole. But I think you can make the argument that
>>>>>> as James and Peirce were becoming invested in the Peircian named
>>>>>> Pragmatism his thinking did change - and actually become more
>>>>>> challenging - if that was possible.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Michael
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > ________________________________
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Andy Blunden
>>>>>> > Sent: Thu 11/1/2007 6:30 PM
>>>>>> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> > Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Thank you Michael, and Eric and Mira and others too. My
>>>>>> questions have all
>>>>>> > been wonderfully answered (unless, Michael, you tell me that you
>>>>>> are really
>>>>>> > Mikhail Glashchmanovich writing under an assumed name, in which
>>>>>> case I'll
>>>>>> > have to go back to the drawing board).
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Another question for you all. Recently I criticised Sasha
>>>>>> because I thought
>>>>>> > he had misunderstood Peirce. Reading Engstrom's book, I find
>>>>>> what I take to
>>>>>> > be the same misunderstanding.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > He says: "For the sake of clarity, Peirce's excessive and often
>>>>>> opaque work
>>>>>> > is here discussed only through the concise but balanced
>>>>>> interpretation of
>>>>>> > Parmentier" - something we can all sympathise with I am sure,
>>>>>> but then goes
>>>>>> > on to claim "The mediating sign is here [with Peirce], in the
>>>>>> context of
>>>>>> > human action, treated as something purely mental and
>>>>>> intentional. It thus
>>>>>> > loses its potentially anti-Cartesian, cultural quality and
>>>>>> reverts to
>>>>>> > individualism and rationalism."
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > This was never my view of Peirce. Do you Americans have a view
>>>>>> on this?
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Andy
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > At 02:44 PM 1/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>>>> >> Mira,
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> I know Dewey studied Hegel with George Morris, but James and
>>>>>> Peirce
>>>>>> >> hated Hegel - and criticized Dewey for holding on to him. I
>>>>>> don't think
>>>>>> >> it had much to do with Feuerbach's critique though. I think it
>>>>>> was more
>>>>>> >> a reaction against idealism, which Eric talks about. Pragmatic
>>>>>> >> philosophy is not as abstract as other philosophical
>>>>>> traditions, and it
>>>>>> >> emerges out of a number of issues that would in many ways be
>>>>>> alien to
>>>>>> >> continental philosophy (for instance I would argue that the
>>>>>> exploration
>>>>>> >> of the frontier, the settling of the mid-western and western
>>>>>> states, and
>>>>>> >> the need for communal problem solving that accompanied it had
>>>>>> an
>>>>>> >> important impact (even though Pragmatism started in Boston, it
>>>>>> really
>>>>>> >> reached fruition in Chicago just as it was emerging as the type
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> >> metropolis that grows from a frontier town). I also think
>>>>>> Lincoln had a
>>>>>> >> tremendous influence on the development of at least
>>>>>> instrumental
>>>>>> >> Pragmatism. All this and more combined with the emergence of
>>>>>> Darwin's
>>>>>> >> ideas of adaptation probably had far more to do with the
>>>>>> development of
>>>>>> >> Pragmatic thought than continental philosophy in general. It
>>>>>> was a
>>>>>> >> different idea and by trying to bring the two together I'm not
>>>>>> sure if
>>>>>> >> we are trying to fit a square peg in to a round hole.
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Michael
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> >> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
>>>>>> >> On Behalf Of Branimira Slavova
>>>>>> >> Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:03 AM
>>>>>> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> >> Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Hello,
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> I was trying to understand the differences among these
>>>>>> philosophies some
>>>>>> >> time ago. So I'll pitch in my 2 cents. I was led to believe
>>>>>> that the
>>>>>> >> main difference between the American pragmatist philosophers
>>>>>> and the
>>>>>> >> Russians is based on their different stances on the Feuerbach's
>>>>>> critique
>>>>>> >> of Hegel. My sense was that the pragmatists had more of a
>>>>>> reductionist
>>>>>> >> view, while the Russians were anti-reductionist which allowed
>>>>>> them to
>>>>>> >> consider more sophisticated basic units of analysis. Is that a
>>>>>> fair
>>>>>> >> thing to say?
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> m
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Dr Mira Slavova
>>>>>> >> Research Fellow in Information Management
>>>>>> >> AIM TECH
>>>>>> >> Maurice Keyworth Building
>>>>>> >> The University of Leeds
>>>>>> >> Leeds LS2 9JT
>>>>>> >> Tel: 0113 343 7818
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> >> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Michael Glassman
>>>>>> >> Sent: Thu 11/1/2007 13:24
>>>>>> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> >> Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Andy,
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> I think the response is a kind of complicated and it relates
>>>>>> back I
>>>>>> >> think to an earlier comment you made about unity or whether you
>>>>>> consider
>>>>>> >> communication as products of labor. There was a difference
>>>>>> between
>>>>>> >> Peirce/James and Dewey/Mead when it comes to Pragmatism - which
>>>>>> involves
>>>>>> >> whether activity builds upon itself, making life better and
>>>>>> adaptation
>>>>>> >> easier, or whether all activity is situation specific and
>>>>>> doesn't really
>>>>>> >> have a larger social meaning beyond solving a problem. James
>>>>>> (and I
>>>>>> >> assume Peirce) believed that Dewey (and by extension Mead) saw
>>>>>> social
>>>>>> >> progress in activity because of a Hegelian deposit that
>>>>>> remained in
>>>>>> >> Dewey's thinking even after he left Johns Hopkins. It has been
>>>>>> a
>>>>>> >> continuous argument about whether Dewey has a Hegelian deposit
>>>>>> for about
>>>>>> >> a century now. But James was much more interested in the
>>>>>> individual
>>>>>> >> while Dewey/Mead because of their interest in progress were
>>>>>> necessarily
>>>>>> >> more socially or societally oriented - Is that what you mean by
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> >> difference between narrow and broad Pragmatism? Pepper
>>>>>> separated them
>>>>>> >> by calling one contextualism and one organicism (though the
>>>>>> >> differentiation seem to be to be a short at Dewey).
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> But the idea that there are materials that can somehow be
>>>>>> thought of
>>>>>> >> separate from practical activity and problem solving - now I
>>>>>> think they
>>>>>> >> all pretty much would have argued against that by the mid
>>>>>> 1890s. The
>>>>>> >> big issue I think is their thinking was a fear of dualism.
>>>>>> Once you
>>>>>> >> assume that there are materials that are separate from actions
>>>>>> in any
>>>>>> >> way, including any types of universals, then you are somehow
>>>>>> separating
>>>>>> >> the human condition from nature itself. What you run in to is
>>>>>> control
>>>>>> >> of these things, or attempts to control these things, outside
>>>>>> of the
>>>>>> >> problem based interaction/transaction itself. For instance if
>>>>>> you posit
>>>>>> >> that discourse is somehow a product, are you making the
>>>>>> assumption or
>>>>>> >> claim that you can somehow control discourse and they way it is
>>>>>> >> manipulated outside of the process itself? I think this is the
>>>>>> reason
>>>>>> >> that, at least to my reading, even though Dewey believed there
>>>>>> was
>>>>>> >> mediation he questioned the worth of studying and understanding
>>>>>> it,
>>>>>> >> because that assumed that you could transfer this meaning to
>>>>>> the next
>>>>>> >> situation - because you can't separate language or anything
>>>>>> else from
>>>>>> >> the actual activity.
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> I'm not sure I understand your point about one group of
>>>>>> theorists in
>>>>>> >> Russia and one group of theorists in the United States. What
>>>>>> is true is
>>>>>> >> that there were a number of forces in the United States that
>>>>>> were
>>>>>> >> pushing thinking about human condition towards more practical
>>>>>> aspects of
>>>>>> >> human problem solving.
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Michael
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> _____
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Andy Blunden
>>>>>> >> Sent: Thu 11/1/2007 8:49 AM
>>>>>> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> >> Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Mmm, that's an answer, Micharl.
>>>>>> >> Engstrom seems to be saying, amongst other things, that Mead
>>>>>> was much
>>>>>> >> better than his interpreters of the 1980s/90s. The question
>>>>>> arose for me
>>>>>> >> in
>>>>>> >> connection with a paper I am writing about Axel Honneth,
>>>>>> including his
>>>>>> >> appropriation of Mead in the 90s. I had the same view, i.e.,
>>>>>> that what
>>>>>> >> Mead
>>>>>> >> said was OK, but Honneth just missed it, and transformed his
>>>>>> theory into
>>>>>> >> typical postmodern "intersubjectivity" (social rather than
>>>>>> societal some
>>>>>> >> would say). When I was challenged and asked to say why I
>>>>>> thought
>>>>>> >> Vygotsky
>>>>>> >> and Leontiev should be used as a foundation in social
>>>>>> psychology,
>>>>>> >> instead
>>>>>> >> of Mead, it was confusing to answer. I actually think that the
>>>>>> main
>>>>>> >> differences between Vygotsky/Leontyev/Luria and
>>>>>> Mead/Peirce/Dewey is
>>>>>> >> that
>>>>>> >> the first group were Russians living in the USSR and the second
>>>>>> lot were
>>>>>> >> Americans living in the USA. - not so much in the actually
>>>>>> theoretical
>>>>>> >> differences between these early figures.
>>>>>> >> One of the ideas I use in my paper is the contrast between
>>>>>> pragmatism in
>>>>>> >> the "narrow" sense an pragmatism in the "broad" sense. People
>>>>>> said, you
>>>>>> >> mean Mead was pragmatic in the narrow sense and Vygotsky in the
>>>>>> broad.
>>>>>> >> No!
>>>>>> >> Mead is pragmatic in the broad sense, but the "spirit" of
>>>>>> American
>>>>>> >> pragmatism is narrow, and the ideas of great thinkers cannot
>>>>>> survive the
>>>>>> >> spirit of their times and the spirit of their people. (By
>>>>>> narrow
>>>>>> >> pragmatism
>>>>>> >> I mean pragmatism that reduces everything to interactions
>>>>>> between
>>>>>> >> individuals deemed to be the bearers of needs, knowledge etc.,
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> >> denies
>>>>>> >> the real existence of universals. By pragmatism in the broad
>>>>>> sense, I
>>>>>> >> mean
>>>>>> >> pragmatism which understands that interactions between
>>>>>> individuals
>>>>>> >> happen
>>>>>> >> by means of universals, which are material artefacts, culture -
>>>>>> public
>>>>>> >> property, so to speak, and this material culture constitutes
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> >> objectivity of universals. The ordinary American pragmatist of
>>>>>> the kind
>>>>>> >> I
>>>>>> >> think you are talking about Michael, if I'm not mistaken,
>>>>>> doesn't
>>>>>> >> believe
>>>>>> >> in theories and ideas, it all comes down just to whether its
>>>>>> useful or
>>>>>> >> not.
>>>>>> >> But Mead and Dewey and Perice were better than that.
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Andy
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> (PS Engstrom answer my question about communicative and
>>>>>> instrumental
>>>>>> >> action
>>>>>> >> a few paragraphs later. Sorry for the stupid question in that
>>>>>> other
>>>>>> >> thread
>>>>>> >> I started, and apologies for forgetting to set "Send text
>>>>>> only")
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> At 08:02 AM 1/11/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>>>> >>> It's difficult to describe, but even though the theorists
>>>>>> don't get so
>>>>>> >>> much play, much of the theory of Mead and the others is
>>>>>> integrated in
>>>>>> >> to
>>>>>> >>> everyday activity in United States society (why the
>>>>>> >>> disconnect? Hmmmm.) Every time somebody does Case Management
>>>>>> they are
>>>>>> >>> testing this theory. Many drug programs and housing programs
>>>>>> are
>>>>>> >> testing
>>>>>> >>> this theory. Most street level social work is working within
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> >> testing
>>>>>> >>> this theory. Many teachers, inside the classroom, are
>>>>>> continuously
>>>>>> >>> testing this theory (Standardized Curriculums can be seen as a
>>>>>> frontal
>>>>>> >>> political attack on these ideas). The results need to be
>>>>>> empirical but
>>>>>> >>> they are not positivist, and they are not generalizable -
>>>>>> which in
>>>>>> >> itself
>>>>>> >>> is part of Pragmatic thought. It is not so much these ideas
>>>>>> aren't
>>>>>> >>> constantly used and tested, but perhaps more the way we view
>>>>>> testing
>>>>>> >> and
>>>>>> >>> evidence.
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> Michael
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> ________________________________
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Andy Blunden
>>>>>> >>> Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 9:14 AM
>>>>>> >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> >>> Subject: RE: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> Please understand Michael that my knowledge of Mead is very
>>>>>> thin; I
>>>>>> >> only
>>>>>> >>> know what have read in terms of a couple of hundred pages of
>>>>>> his
>>>>>> >> writings,
>>>>>> >>> a couple of biographical articles and of course I am familiar
>>>>>> with the
>>>>>> >>> Progressive Movement, Dewey, Peirce and everyone, of which he
>>>>>> was a
>>>>>> >> part.
>>>>>> >>> But I get the impression that he worked out these ideas, as
>>>>>> you say, in
>>>>>> >>> dialogue especially with Dewey and in the midst of that
>>>>>> milieu, but I
>>>>>> >> don't
>>>>>> >>> imagine that there was a lot of laboratory work involved,
>>>>>> controlled
>>>>>> >>> experiments and observation, and so on, by Mead, during his
>>>>>> own
>>>>>> >> lifetime.
>>>>>> >>> The Vygotsky school on the other and incorporates today many
>>>>>> decades of
>>>>>> >>> empirical and practical experimental work and observation by
>>>>>> scores of
>>>>>> >>> psychologists. Yes? How many research groups or psychological
>>>>>> >> practitioners
>>>>>> >>> use Symbolic Interactionism specifically today, as their
>>>>>> comprehensive
>>>>>> >>> theoretical paradigm?
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> Andy
>>>>>> >>> At 08:58 AM 31/10/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>>>> >>>> Andy,
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> Mead's work was not just one man - he was surrounded by an
>>>>>> entire
>>>>>> >> group at
>>>>>> >>>> the University of Chicago that had come together under the
>>>>>> umbrella
>>>>>> >> of
>>>>>> >>>> this type of Pragmatic thought. John Dewey recruited him to
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> >>>> University of Chicago from the Univfersity of Michigan, and
>>>>>> they were
>>>>>> >> best
>>>>>> >>>> friends - both intellectually and socially. There was also a
>>>>>> large,
>>>>>> >> more
>>>>>> >>>> application oriented group centered around Jane Addams and
>>>>>> Hull
>>>>>> >> House, and
>>>>>> >>>> the nascent labor movement. When Dewey went to Columbia,
>>>>>> there was a
>>>>>> >>>> great deal of cross-pollination between the group he started
>>>>>> at
>>>>>> >> Columbia
>>>>>> >>>> and Mead who stayed at the University of Chicago and the
>>>>>> remains of
>>>>>> >> that
>>>>>> >>>> group. Mead's ideas are not the ideas of one man but a
>>>>>> brilliant
>>>>>> >>>> philosophical movement that helped to create what we now call
>>>>>> >> psychology,
>>>>>> >>>> and sociology, and qualitative methodology, and even to a
>>>>>> certain
>>>>>> >> extent
>>>>>> >>>> much of modern anthropology (Boas was also a marginal member
>>>>>> of this
>>>>>> >> whole
>>>>>> >>>> group).
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> I'm interested, why would you think the ideas are so much
>>>>>> more
>>>>>> >> speculative
>>>>>> >>>> than say CHAT?
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> Michael
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> ________________________________
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Andy Blunden
>>>>>> >>>> Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 8:21 AM
>>>>>> >>>> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >>>> Subject: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> I'm currently reading a collection of George Herbert Mead,
>>>>>> which
>>>>>> >> confirms
>>>>>> >>>> my view that his ideas on social psychology were very close
>>>>>> to our
>>>>>> >> own,
>>>>>> >>>> though inevitably, as the work of just one man, relatively
>>>>>> >> speculative.
>>>>>> >>>> Can anyone recommend to me a critique of Mead by a CHAT
>>>>>> person,
>>>>>> >> perhaps a
>>>>>> >>>> message in the XCMA archive or a paper available in HTML or
>>>>>> PDF? I
>>>>>> >> know
>>>>>> >>>> that you guys cover him in your courses at UCSD.
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> Andy
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3
>>>>>> 9380
>>>>>> >> 9435,
>>>>>> >>>> mobile 0409 358 651
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> >>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> >>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> >>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> >>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3
>>>>>> 9380 9435,
>>>>>> >>> mobile 0409 358 651
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> >>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> >>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> >>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> >>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380
>>>>>> 9435,
>>>>>> >> mobile 0409 358 651
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> >> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> >> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> >> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> >> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380
>>>>>> 9435,
>>>>>> > mobile 0409 358 651
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > _______________________________________________
>>>>>> > xmca mailing list
>>>>>> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> Tony Whitson
>>>>>> UD School of Education
>>>>>> NEWARK DE 19716
>>>>>> twhitson@udel.edu
>>>>>> _______________________________
>>>>>> "those who fail to reread
>>>>>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>>>>>> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>>> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>>>>> mobile 0409 358 651
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>> Tony Whitson
>>>> UD School of Education
>>>> NEWARK DE 19716
>>>> twhitson@udel.edu
>>>> _______________________________
>>>> "those who fail to reread
>>>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>>>> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>
>>> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>>> mobile 0409 358 651
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>
>> Tony Whitson
>> UD School of Education
>> NEWARK DE 19716
>>
>> twhitson@udel.edu
>> _______________________________
>>
>> "those who fail to reread
>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>
> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, mobile
> 0409 358 651
>
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>

Tony Whitson
UD School of Education
NEWARK DE 19716

twhitson@udel.edu
_______________________________

"those who fail to reread
  are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
                   -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)

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Received on Sat Nov 3 19:52 PDT 2007

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