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RE: [xmca] About periods in Vygotsky's thought
Thank you very much... It's a very important contribution...
Then I understood that "creative periods" have not strict chronological boundaries, therefore...
By the way of to consider "immanent critique"... many important hermeneutic questions arises,
and a more accurate reading effort is demanded, together more attention with quotations problems.
But, what do you think about the hypothesis of a "more objectivistic" Vygotsky's period in function
of social political restriction to researchers thinking? It's very hard to me understand the actual
process in what this could happens... There was so many mediations... state, social institutions,
group relationships, personal goals and needs... text and sub-text relationships... Despite I can
recognize important differences between "Psychology of art" and "History of development of
HPFs", Its difficult to me thinking about the second one without any dialectical contribution...
Even that the own concept of sign and meaning in "Thinking and speach" will be not the same,
Can we heterocronically think about more than one "creative moment" inside a same work? The
author signs as "struggle arena" (Voloshinov)? I fear periodizations as strict classifications and,
at the limit, hierarchization of the works, when I prefer to read all periods as an open inter-textual
net... Despite I don't have a good view of the totality of the works... Maybe not "despite", but
just "because" I don't have... I only have some clues...
I will see your suggestion, it's very interesting. Thank you very much.
> Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2009 16:04:24 -0700
> From: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [xmca] About periods in Vygotsky's thought
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> It seems to me that what got published, when, and how was too subject to random forces to give us much clue into how it all relates to Vygotsky's creative development. Why do we have this bit of Aeschylus and not that? There's no reason, or rather there is no reason that tells us anything about the creative development of Aeschylus.
> Some of the stuff (e.g. Chapter Five of "Thinking and Speech") was published variously (at first as a correspondance course for teachers who couldn't make it Moscow University) and then recycled as is. Other stuff (e.g. "Psychology of Art") was just never published at all. There are reasons, but they don't have much to do with the unfolding of Vygotsky's ideas into their more mature forms.
> Even what got written, when, and how is not always a good clue, because some of this (e.g. "The Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology") got written when it did and how it did because of Vygotsky's illnesses and for no other apparent reason.
> An even bigger problem is figuring out what other influences he is integrating into his work and how. For example, in the early draft of Chapter Five, Vygotsky refers openly to Nazi psychologists (e.g. Krueger) and these disappear in later versions. For different reasons, he refers openly to the Saussurean R. Sor in an early edition, and this reference disappears with when Sor did, in the purges. The same thing is true, of course, of the name of Mandelstam, and I am still trying to figure out if he actually read Volosinov or not (see below).
> Even when LSV does name the names, Vygotsky's attitude is not very clear for two reasons. First of all, as Volosinov points out, Russian is rather sloppy about distinguishing between direct, indirect and quasi-direct speech. Quotation marks were apparently optional in Vygotsky's time (as in English until the mid-nineteenth century), and some editions of his work use them and others do not.
> Secondly, as Andy has pointed out, a lot of Vygotsky's work can be said to follow the method of "immanent critique", where he ACCEPTS on TRUST a particular point of view, just to see where it will lead. That's the only way I can make sense of section 17 of Chapter Five, where he begins by taking on trust the assertion of Groos, Kohler, and Kroh that potential concepts exist in animals.
> By the end of the chapter shows that this assumption is NOT compatible with the idea (already current in the mid eighteenth century) that judgement was one of two poles that made rational thought possible (the other, interestingly enough, was wit).
> We can see the same method of "immanent critique" at work in his discussion of the Buhlers' idea that "judgment" already exists in a final form in the three-year-old. He takes this on trust, and then shows that it leads to a contradiction.
> Judgment is based on conceptual thinking, what is judged is a concept, and even the self, the judger, is a concept. So the Buhler view boils down to the assertion that concepts come from concepts.
> Vygotsky resolves this contradiction by showing that judgment is not a closed system: the word makes it possible to synthesize the judgements of adults and even ancestors with the developing volition of the child.
> Obviously, Vygotsky applied the same kind of "immanent critique" to his own work; he was even more conscious of the contradictions that the early forms of his thinking led to than we were. I think this is the way to unravel the real periods of his thinking, rather than studying the dates of publication or even writing.
> There's a little article in the International Journal of Applied Linguistics that tries to do this, rather imperfectly in my view, by comparing Vygotsky's work with that of his close contemporary Volosinov. Have a look!
> (pdfs from the author available on request)
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> xmca mailing list
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