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RE: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
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- Subject: RE: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
- From: "Jones, Peter" <P.E.Jones@shu.ac.uk>
- Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 11:08:54 +0100
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- Thread-topic: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
Hi to dot, mike, david and all
I certainly appreciate your gracious comments and patient responses to what was undoubtedly a provocative paper which I apologise again for lobbing into a fruitful exchange of views already underway. Dot very helpfully and obviously quite correctly reminds us that all of these issues need to be properly contextualized both in relation to vygotsky's overall endeavours and to the intellectual traditions and context in which these ideas were developed. But of course, as Dot again rightly points out, this does not resolve for us definitively any questions we might have about the relationship between and the validity of particular concepts - 'internalization'/'appropriation', or even 'culture' and 'language' etc - but instead simply puts us in a dialogue with those whose work comes before us about the difficult task of making sense of it all in the light of what we (think) we've learned since those things were written or about the new tasks which face us today. Against this background, then, it does become very difficult, as Mike says, to work out exactly what claims are being made in what context and their implications for the overall theoretical positions we're examining. And it is clear from our different emails that we're looking at things from different angles and with different agendas (immediate and long term). Perhaps, then, it would be unwise, as mike implies, to simply continue the discussion as is - maybe it would be best to think about constituting some separate forum in which a dialogic examination of the specifically linguistic and semiotic influences on vygotsky's work and the specifically linguistic and semiotic assumptions and claims that vygotsky himself makes could take place in a more systematic and less frenetic way?
With comradely greetings to all!
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Dot Robbins
Sent: 24 July 2009 04:24
To: Culture ActivityeXtended Mind
Subject: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
Dear Peter, David, Andy, Mike, and all,
Thank you Peter, for opening a discussion on internalization. It is an extremely difficult discussion. Thank you Mike, Andy, David for helpful points.
Well, in being very honest, I am disturbed by many of the claims/accusations regarding Vygotsky, such as : “Crudely put, the internalization model assumes that the signhood of language units has already been established by ‘society’ and that these already signifying units then implant themselves into the individual’s psyche.” So many points I hope more people will have time to discuss. I am not sure why the word “linguistics” was used. I have never heard of a Vygotskian linguistics before as such….and, the words “language theory” and “semiotics” have taken on an incredibly polarizing position for many….Clearly, viewing certain aspects of Vygotsky’s thoughts on language within a fragmented framework is something that needs to be discussed in general….it is very sad for me to often see ideas within polarized debates, where, for example, activity is dislocated from signs; or internalization is subordinated to appropriation (in some cases), etc. Here, I was especially discouraged to read the few words on Luria….I felt so sad that Luria’s approach to language was not considered in a deeper fashion….I am not trying to simply criticize….but, we must be aware that a very extended reading of Vygotsky in context is so extremely important….it would be helpful to place his thoughts within the history he lived in and was influenced by….W. von Humboldt, A. A. Potebnya, up to the semiotics of Sergei Eisenstein….to then include art, aesthetics, poetry, defectology, etc. For me, understanding Vygotsky must take place on a higher metacognitive, metatheoretical level….to solve any problem, as I understand Vygotsky, we must stand higher, taller than the problem. There will never be a clear explanation of internalization, nor consciousness, etc. within concrete thinking alone, and certainly not within linguistic theory. I would think that the attack would be against Western linguistics, not Vygotsky. If we want to understand Vygotsky’s thoughts on language and semiotics (people do not need to be so opposed to semiotics, because it is not used as a single explanatory theory….however, there is no cultural activity without the meaningful use of signs, etc.), we cannot overlook the theories of A. A. Leontiev. For those interested, please check the Journal of Russian and East European Psychology (Vol. 44, Nrs. 3 and 4, 2006). Regarding internalization…..many have written on that, and I have as well (2001, 2003), and we need to re-read many ideas of many people. Most of all we must transcend 3-dimensional thinking. There are many levels of internalization (Andy stated this), just like the ZPD, etc.…..And, until we start to view Vygotsky’s thoughts on language from a metacognitive perspective, then fragmented, concrete dialogue will be simple arguing for the sake of argument, in my opinion…it is what we do with these theories that matter. If we want to get closer to some understanding of “internalization,” I would think that linguistics would not be the place to go to for answers. It is the development of psychological functional organs (as opposed to morphological organs) that can be studied as the result of internalization, not internalization itself (although a number of neuroscientists are doing very interesting work). I will close with a quote from E. V. Aidman and D. A. Leontiev : (“From being motivated to motivating oneself: A Vygotskian perspective. In Studies in Soviet Thought, 41,1991): “It is stressed that the interiorization process is not merely a move of a function from without, but rather the process of building the inner (mental) structure of consciousness. The word ‘interiorization’ should be thus considered as a metaphor depicting the result rather than the process of development of higher psychological functions” (p.
143). ....Again, I want to stress the need to read A. A. Leontiev and A. R. Luria when speaking of language theories....I have attached an un-published, old paper on Luria, with no time to re-read it, and with no references....the reason I am sending it (and feel free not to look at it) is to simply see the overall complexities needed in a discussion of language theories within the Vygotskian framework.....I agree with Peter that so little has been written on this important aspect of Vygotsky....and, I appreciate Peter's attempt to push us all in this direction.
With warm regards to all,
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