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

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Fri Feb 22 2008 - 11:26:41 PST

Where is the program realized, Martin?
As David Kel pointed out in an earlier message, in LSV you thoughts and
words, in ANL you have actions and activities. Thoughts are to be understood
inside a materialist psychology, presumably using some form of philosophny
as Ilyenkov's .

How could nomothetic science be relevant?

Is there a single, extended, example available for us to all look at and

Is his description of his daughter trying to get a cookie on a high shelf
and turning to adults for help a germ cell from which all can be expanded?

Luria's work, either in central asia or in the clinic (say, the case of
Zasetzky and the shattered brain/mind) fails. right?

What about the study of the mnemonist? There toward the end ARL has a long
discussion of how the man's entire personality was changed by his particular
form of remembering.

Perhaps David Kel's work has solved these problems?

I do indeed want to proceed through the article taking up different parts
with xmca if possible. The entire discussion of
freedom and necessity might be next on the list. But I will rest here until
others have had a chance to chime in either with their own questions,
proferred solutions, the news that my questions do not compute, or whatever.

On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 6:54 AM, Martin Packer <> wrote:

> Mike,
> Let me say first that you are very generous in your appraisal of my paper.
> It's received more praise here than I anticipated, and I'm delighted.
> Perhaps soon the other shoe will drop and people will identify problems,
> and
> that will be fine. Reading it again I think I crammed a lot into a few
> pages, and any suggestions for ways to improve the argument or clarity
> will
> be welcome.
> The biggest surprise for me when reading Crisis was discovering how
> Vygotsky
> intended to resolve the dualism of materialist and idealist forms of
> psychology. I expected he would try to transcend both, to bridge the gap,
> as
> you say. But instead he declared the need to cut away idealism and discard
> it. In retrospect it should not be such a surprise that he opted for a
> materialist psychology, and certainly the proposal for a materialist study
> of consciousness is sufficiently, well, revolutionary to make one pause
> before criticizing his move.
> It's clear that where the dialectical resolution takes place, for him, is
> between theory and practice. Practice provides the test for theory, but it
> also drives theory in the sense that theory takes on the practical concern
> (emancipatory concern?) of enabling mastery of the mind.
> I think there's room in a materialist psychology for both ideographic and
> nomothetic aspects. Analysis, as Vygotsky describes it, is the study of
> individual cases for their general relevance; it involves an abstraction
> from their particularity. But the study of particulars for their general
> significance would presumably operate within a single, materialist,
> ontology
> and epistemology.
> Martin
> On 2/21/08 11:28 AM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:
> > Martin--
> >
> > I have been reading and pondering the "two psychologies" problem as
> > discussed toward the front of your article.
> > Metaphors of dying people and the need for a surgeon's knife read a
> little
> > strangely in retrospect, but I have long
> > thought, and tried to act on, the idea that a "theory-in-practice"
> > methodology was essential to bridging the two
> > psychologies with their different ontologies and epistemologies.
> >
> > However, by the criteria assembled in your paper, even when we include
> use
> > of a genetic component as central to
> > the required resolution (which I also subscribe to) it is unclear to me
> > whether Vygotsky or anyone else has created
> > the new, natural science uber psychology that he called for.
> >
> > My own route has been akin to Luria's version of romantic science which
> puts
> > idiographic and nomothetic knowledge into
> > dialogue with each other and the analyst in valued sociocultural
> > practices/activities. Its a methodological solution, not, as
> > I understand it, a theoretical one. (But theory/methodology/empirical
> data
> > gathering appear to me to all be part of a single
> > theory.practice unity.
> >
> > But this route fails the test as I understand it from your careful
> reading
> > of "Crisis" and other documents. Right?
> > mike
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> >
> >
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Received on Fri Feb 22 11:28 PST 2008

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