Re: [xmca] neoformation

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at>
Date: Tue Jan 22 2008 - 23:14:15 PST

  I enjoyed your last post in this thread. It was a lot less technical than many of your other long posts, more of a hawks-eye view of the territory you inhabit. But since you didn’t use quotation marks, I did have a problem identifying which paragraphs were quotations from Vygotsky and which your commentaries. Perhaps that’s not really relevant. But two themes you addressed set me to thinking.
  Your presentation of language as a dialectical unity of speaking and listening, in particular your discussion of the time ratio between the two, connected dots for me. The relationship between listening and thought. Or the relationship between silence as not speaking, the space to which Yeats referred in his lines: “Like the long-legged fly upon the stddream, His mind moves on silence.” or the silence of having your ability to speak restricted, a basic form in which power relations are expressed from the dinner table to the classroom to the totalitarian society. “Children should be seen but not heard.” “Speak when your spoken to.” And then the failure to listen as ignorance: “People hearing without listening.” Do you know the work of the phenomenologist, Don Ihde. He wrote a wonderful book on the phenomenology of listening and hearing. You might really enjoy it.
  You wrote,\
  LSV says that this time lag is NOT because listening and speaking are separate skills which can develop in isolation from each other. It is because they are linked skills which move in different directions towards different goals (in fact, towards each other
  I’d like to know what are the different goals toward which “listening” and “speaking” are directed? Is the movement of these goals toward each other some kind of telos of ideal socialization? Is it the movement of our species' ontogenetic development itself? If so, in what temporal frame does this development take place? Is their ONE trans-historical pattern (same for all homo sapiens since 100,000 years ago or even farther back along the lines our hominid tree) or does this movement result from the processes that define the historical epoch of the collectivity into which the child is born (say quantification of the life-world in the era of capitalism)?
  A passage from the post whose author I was unsure of also struck a chord with me:
    A childĄ¯s thought, precisely because it is born as a dim, amorphous whole, must find expression in a single word. As his thought becomes more differentiated, the child is less apt to express it in single words but constructs a composite whole. Conversely, progress in speech to the differentiated whole of a sentence helps the childĄ¯s thoughts to progress from a homogeneous whole to well-defined parts.
  I’m unclear about thought’s “dim, amorphous whole” form at birth. Is there ONE vague cloud that forms into “more differentiated thoughts”, an Ego that remains self-identical through its participation in the different activity systems in which the process of cognitive development (differentiation /learning) occurs? Or or there multiple vague clouds of undifferentiated thought that develop in relation to the different activities in which the child participates, clouds that, independently of each other develop into specific competencies and identities?
  I have no idea if research has been conducted that relates to this question. But from personal experience I think that the former seems highly improbable. And that the latter fits pretty well with my own experience,. It also suggest that another important form of learning, might be the integration of these separately formed , and independent groups of differentiated thoughts, each derived out of and oriented toward distinct activities of which they are artifacts and that do not necessarily share a common logic (just as not all the activities or practices in which the child is involved share a common logic) .
  What do you think?

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Received on Tue Jan 22 23:19 PST 2008

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