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Re: [xmca] Mead, Vygotsky and Hegel

Save the candy until we are over halloween, Greg, but thanks for your
post. I was knocked over by several aspects of the Mead article which
would be worth a whole course, if not a lifetime, to unpack, historicize,

Have you found Arne Raeithel's "genealogy" of cultural-historical, activity
theory thinkers from several years back. I am sure it is somewhere at
lchc.ucsd.edu. Perhaps you (and Andy, and.....) could update it with
more detail. Hegel generated so much that has been "laundered" by subsequent
"original" thinkers its totally amazing, and ditto Mead (whose writings i
know far better, although very inadequately).

For example, at one point later in the essay I wrote "positionality theory"
and not long after, there was a Rom Harre articles on our lab printer. And
interpolation a la Althussar? Old Meade (and probably Hegel for all I know)
wrote chapter and verse on that very subject.

I am beginning to think that post-modernism is is pre-modernism, or early
modernism chasing its self up its own, ugh, backside.


On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 5:07 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Greg,
> It seemed undeniable to me that Mead had modelled his I/Me dialectic on
> Hegel, but I have never found anywhere where he explicitly acknowledged his
> debt to Hegel, so I am delighted to hear about this letter, and intrigued
> that he explicitly mentions the Phenomenology. Could you send the Word
> document, either to the list, or to me personally if you like?
> I have written stuff about Honneth, Mead and Hegel, for example:
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/missing-mediation.htm<http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/works/missing-mediation.htm>
> I have a special interest in "pragmatic" (in the broadest possible sense)
> readings of Hegel, and I object to the work of Axel Honneth and Robert
> Williams, for example, because they manage to take the mediation out of
> Hegel. Mead can plead not guilty to this charge, but in my opinion, he
> provides the opening that recent writers use to get rid of any reference to
> material culture in the formation of the human spirit and support the drive
> to present Hegel as a philosopher of unmediated fights to the death.
> thank you thank you for your observation.
> Andy
> Gregory Allan Thompson wrote:
>> I feel a bit like Lucille Ball working on the line at the
>> candy factory as I watch the incredible rate at which XMCA
>> posts are flying by. "Ooh, there is an interesting one to
>> respond to-- oops, I missed it -- oh look, this seems
>> fascinating, well maybe I'll catch the next -- uh, missed it"
>> and so on. It's wonderful to watch, but difficult to keep up
>> with the rate of production... So I stand in awe.
>> Anyway, I was just teaching a bit of Hegel's Phenomenology
>> last week and Mike's post on Mead was striking in its
>> parallels to Hegel's approach. Of this parallel, Patchen
>> Markell writes:
>> In a 1925 letter to his daughter-in-law Irene, Mead wrote that
>> his social psychology could be understood as “an attempt to do
>> from my own standpoint what Hegel undertook in his
>> Phenomenology.” “I hope,” he added, “it won’t be as inscrutable.”  George
>> Herbert Mead to Irene Tufts Mead, September 10, 1925, The
>> George Herbert Mead Papers, University of Chicago, Regenstein
>> Library, Special Collections, Box 1a, Folder 13 (italicized
>> “Phenomenology” and apostrophe in “won’t” added).
>> Taken from a paper by Patchen Markell entitled "The Potential
>> and the Actual: Mead, Honneth and the I" and can be found in
>> the book: For Recognition and Power, ed. David Owen and Bert
>> van den Brink (and I have a .doc copy of the final document
>> that does not give any instructions against sharing...).
>> Any thoughts on limitations of the parallel between the two?
>> As I recall from a conversation on this list serve, there
>> seemed to be something of a consensus that Vygotsky had
>> Hegelian influences (certainly via Marx, but also as a direct
>> influence). This seems to be to be what ties Mead and Vygotsky
>> together so strongly. I suppose that Mead would have read Marx
>> too, but Marx doesn't have much in the way of an explicit
>> theory of the development of the Self in the way that Hegel
>> does, so it would seem that Hegel provides a much tighter link
>> than Marx. Anyone care to provide a different account? Or
>> maybe to argue that Mead and Vygotsky are quite different?
>> Best,
>> greg
>> p.s. RE: keeping up with the intensification of posts on the
>> conveyor belt that is XMCA, I have a couple lingering posts
>> that still have to be "wrapped up" (like candies?) somewhere
>> down the line, that is if I don't eat them before then!.
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 16:40:00 -0800
>> From: mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] guess who
>> To: ablunden@mira.net, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>> <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> Message-ID:
>> <30364f990911011640w2d80fbaep3f1c5eae560ea1b6@mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
>> Nick V can answer for himself. Reading Mead now in the context
>> of a
>> communication course is very thought provoking. A good deal i
>> am struggling
>> with. The following may be of use to the discussion.
>> These quotes and the entire essay on the self are to be found at.
>> http://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/124ad49b8085d7cd
>> The selection is meant only to index the complexity of
>> ascribing to Mead any
>> sort of Watsonian style behaviorism and to note places where
>> he provides an
>> interesting point of translation between LSV and others of
>> interest on this
>> discussion group.
>> mike
>> -----------------
>> It is the characteristic of the self as an object to itself
>> that I want to
>> bring out. This characteristic is represented in the word
>> "self," which is a
>> reflexive, and indicates that which can be both subject and
>> object. This
>> type of object is essentially different from other objects,
>> and in the past
>> it has been distinguished as conscious, a term which Indicates
>> an experience
>> with, an experience of, one's self. It was assumed that
>> consciousness in
>> some way carried this capacity of being an object to itself.
>> In giving a
>> behavioristic statement of consciousness we have to look for
>> some sort of
>> experience in which the physical organism can become an object
>> to itself.
>> (p. 21 of my edition).
>> The individual experiences himself as such, not directly, but only
>> indirectly, from the particular standpoints of other
>> individual members of
>> the same social group, or from the generalized standpoint of
>> the social
>> group as a whole to which he belongs. For he enters his own
>> experience as a
>> self or individual, not directly or immediately, not by
>> becoming a subject
>> to himself, but only in so far as he first becomes an object
>> to himself just
>> as other individuals are objects to him or in his experience;
>> and he becomes
>> an object to himself only by taking the attitudes of other
>> individuals
>> toward himself within a social environment or context of
>> experience and
>> behavior in which both he and they are involved.
>> We are finding out what we are going to say, what we are going
>> to do, by
>> saying and doing, and in the process we are continually
>> controlling the
>> process itself. In the conversation of gestures what we say
>> calls out a
>> certain response in another and that in turn changes our own
>> action, so that
>> we shift from what we started to do because of the reply the
>> other makes.
>> The conversation of gestures is the beginning of
>> communication. The
>> individual comes to carry on a conversation of gestures with
>> himself. He
>> says something, and that calls out a certain reply in himself
>> which makes
>> him change what he was going to say
>> ---------------------------------------
>> Greg Thompson
>> Ph.D. Candidate
>> The Department of Comparative Human Development
>> The University of Chicago
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20
> ea
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