Re: [xmca] Did the Butterfly Leave the Cocoon, and then what?

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sun Feb 24 2008 - 11:33:59 PST

Yes, I think that the idiographic/nomothetic issue, which goes back at least
to the 19th century
is a version of the science vs history debate. This is discussed
(inadequately) in chapter 1 of
Cultural Psychology.

Note, too, that LSV argued that that each side of the mediational triangle
was a reflex/association but
that as an ensemble, they manifested the emergence of a qualitatively new
psychological formation.
"the cultural habit of behavior." Perhaps it is here that the claim for
discarding the idealist/descriptive
half of the two psychologies formulation is to be found? (I know this from
LSVs article in the Journal of
Genetic Psych. Not sure where it is in the collected works, but can be found
in "Reading Vygotsky".


On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 11:08 AM, Martin Packer <> wrote:

> ..but it's hard to drag myself away.
> On 2/23/08 2:17 PM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:
> > Isn't Pavlov working with
> > GROUPS as a warrant for claims about universal processes
> > (in dogs, ........ ). What is idiographic about this work?? (I learned
> > about this stuff from Luria, hence my harking back to his work with
> > individuals and ideas about how to combine idographic and nomothetic).
> On my reading, Pavlov studied groups of dogs, but on the face of it this
> would provde a basis only for genealizations ABOUT dogs. He was able to
> make
> general claims about animals, and all reflexes, because he had selected
> dogs
> as representations of animals, and salivation as a representative reflex.
> The study of a case can tell us something general. He was able to perceive
> the general in the particular. He engaged in abstraction.
> Perhaps ideographic and nomothetic are not the best terms, since they've
> been coopted by the logic of experimental design. But the notion that
> research can study the particular in order to learn about the general is
> an
> important one. How? I'd start again with Marx: one studies a particular
> commodity to learn about the 'commodity form' - the particular way of
> being
> an entity that exists in our social nexus.
> Here's a concern thats growing for me: where does V show in the Crisis a
> recognition (as in Marx and Hegel) that particular social formations
> define
> what counts as objective/objectivity/object? Today at least I cant find it
> Martin
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Received on Sun Feb 24 11:35 PST 2008

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