Re: [xmca] Historical Development

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at>
Date: Tue Feb 19 2008 - 07:34:08 PST

Thanks, Andy,

I agree, if we can figure out the conceptions of science and history that
Vygotsky was employing the next step is to critique them. While I believe
that Marx continues to be relevant, I also think that what he wrote was not
the final word - and also one can read Marx in a variety of ways.

On 2/17/08 7:53 AM, "Andy Blunden" <> wrote:
> This leaves us open to the problem that the Marxist concept of history and
> scientific enquiry, even if true to the ideas of Deborin or Lenin, or even
> if true to Marx, may still be in need of revision and improvement in the
> light of the practical struggles of the 20th century.

> All I am saying is that having disclosed the fact
> that Vygotsky relied on a Marxist conception of science and history, it
> still remains to subject that conception to critique.

I borrowed the phrase "child history" from Silvia Scribner, whose work
helped a lot. I didn't mean to suggest that ontogenesis recapitulates social
history, though perhaps I transposed too glibly the elements of the
historical process from society to the child. You've written before about
the curious fact that Habermas has used Piaget, Kohlberg and Selman to
inform his 'rational reconstruction' of social and individual development
(and Freud before that). It would be interesting to consider what the
product would look like if he draw from Vygotsky instead.

> You mention in quote marks on a couple of
> occasions, "child history." Obviously Vygotsky also criticised what he
> called the "biogenetic fallacy," i.e., the claim that child development
> recapitulates social history. This is a fallacy, incidentally, which
> Habermas embraced as a result of his appropriation of Piaget. I think your
> paper would benefit somehow from an explanation of how "history" is
> differentiated in this way, for Vygotsky.

I've been trying to do this, but it keeps moving! :)

> by first placing oneself sort of
> at the end of history)


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Received on Tue Feb 19 07:36 PST 2008

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