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[xmca] Re: Vygotsky and Volosinov

The polls have been fixed, David. There are only three article to choose
among. Too bad we apparently have no way of getting other materials
of interest into legal circulation.

I, like you, am persuaded of a Voloshinov. LSV/ARL connection. There is the
direct criticism of Luria's views of psychoanalysis, as one example.
What sort of INTER-action there was I have no idea. The issue of treatments
of non-conscious psychological processes was not a strong suit
of Soviet psychology. I personally like Bakhtin's approach, but again, who
among the followers of LSV knew of or knew Bakhtin was not a matter
of widespread discussion.

We have brought back to life Luria's contribution on psychoanalysis in the
Great Soviet Encyclopedia of (I think), 1942, and it will be republished
in Russian. Not sure if there is sufficient interest for someone to
translate into English.

AERA madness is beginning here in San Diego. That plus a grad seminar and an
undergrad practicum class and a REAL crisis in the university
associated with the budget crisis that promises only to get worse have me a
little distracted. But AERA, too, will pass, and we can look forward
to only to the genuine excitement of teaching/learning and the madness of
massive cutbacks, backstabbing, and associated forms of collegial behavior,
which provides the perfect excuse to escape into the friendly world of XMCA!


On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 9:26 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Mike:
> The abstracts for each article are not correct; they are from last issue.
> Once again, on Vygotsky and Volosinov. The textual evidence of a connection
> is very tempting, of course. But a lot of what the Russian editors of the
> Collected Works say is simply not true: the quotations from Fet used in
> Chapter 7 of Thinking and Speech are actually different from the ones in
> Marxism and the Philosophy of Language. As for the Dostoevsky quote (the six
> drunken workers) this was apparently making the rounds, because at least two
> other writers use it.
> But the textual evidence is not as interesting to me as the IDEOLOGICAL
> evidence, which I points less definitively but more insistently to a
> connection. We know that Luria and Vygotsky did not exactly see eye to eye
> on Freudianism after about 1925 when the co-authored a preface to "Beyond
> the Pleasure Principle".
> In 1927, Volosinov published "Freudianism: A critical sketch" which
> included a direct criticism of Luria in Chapter Ten. Volosinov writes:
> “One can concur with Luria’s criticism of empirical psychology (the
> indictment of mental atomism. But what are the elements Freud uses to
> construct his whole personality? Those selfsame ‘atoms’ of empirical
> psychology—notions, feelings, desires. The introduction of the unconscious
> has not changed a single thing. Broadly speaking, the concept of the
> unconscious is a great deal more subjectivist than the concept of
> ‘consciousness’ in empirical psychology.”
> Volosinov, V.N. (1987) Freudianism: A critical sketch. Bloomington and
> Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.(p. 125)
> The criticisms here sound VERY much like the criticisms of Freud's
> construct of the unconscious that we find in section 2 of Chapter 6 of
> Thinking and Speech. There are at least THREE points in 6.2 where Vygotsky
> is clearly in agreement with Volosinov rather than Luria.
> a)       The unity of consciousness cannot be upheld by mixing Freud’s
> concept of the unconscious with the ideas of general empirical psychology.
> b)       The development of consciousness cannot be explained by doing so,
> because Freud insists that the unconscious is hewn out of consciousness
> through mutilation and repression, while for empirical general psychology
> consciousness emerges from unconsciousness through the heightening of
> awareness.
> c)       Freud’s construct of the unconscious muddles up the non-conscious
> and the preconscious with the nonverbalized motive.
> Now, of course, it's true that TWO of these points are points that both VNV
> and LSV share with general psychology. But what about the THIRD?
> On questions touching the origins of inner speech (a term that VNV also
> uses) in social speech, LSV and VNV are still in perfect accord, but they
> have definitively parted ways with general psychology.
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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