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[Xmca-l] Re: Shpet & principium cognescenti
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Shpet & principium cognescenti
- From: Peter Smagorinsky <email@example.com>
- Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:00:06 +0000
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- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] Re: Shpet & principium cognescenti
I'm hardly an expert on Shpet; most of what I know comes from The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky. Again with apologies for quoting myself, I think that it's important to contextualize Vygotsky's challenges in referencing his mentors in repressive times. P. 8, Smagorinsky, P. (2011). Vygotsky and literacy research: A methodological framework. Boston: Sense.
The Soviet system has long been known for its brutal reinforcement of its ideol-ogy, and in its early days and through at least the 1950s monitored its psycholo-gists with a vengeance (see Cole, Levitin, & Luria, 2006). Because of the excessive role he identified for individual development in social context, says Zinchenko (2007), “Vygotsky’s commitment to Marxist beliefs did not save him from criti-cism. His works were banned, denounced, and declared to be vicious and even evil. He was lucky to have managed to die in his own bed in 1934” (p. 213). Some believe that Vygotsky allowed himself to die rather than face interrogation, torture, and execution by the authorities over his departure from the state’s more exacting interpretation of Marx (M. Cole, personal communication).
Others, however, were not so fortunate to die of natural causes. In Thinking and Speech, Vygotsky did not reference Gustav Gustavovich Shpet, one of his mentors. Vygotsky likely avoided acknowledging Shpet because did not wish to bring upon himself the fate of Shpet himself, who was dismissed from his academic positions on multiple occasions and subjected to “brutal interrogation and execution in 1937” by Soviet authorities (Wertsch, 2007, p. 184). Shpet made the fatal error of exhibiting “freedom and dignity and the independence of his thought from Marxist-Leninist ideology, which at the time was growing stronger and stronger” (Zinchenko, 2007, p. 212). Shpet’s literary contemporary Mandel’shtam, notes Zinchenko, met the fate of many Soviets, no matter how seemingly benign their field of endeavor, who in any way defied the party position: He died in the Gulag in 1938.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Huw Lloyd
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 8:53 AM
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Shpet & principium cognescenti
So people find the three-ness interesting? The thing I thought might be interesting was the transitions from essential to external to internal.
I can't say I read anything about dualism into the article. The oscillation (which didn't strike me as being a big deal) was between the variously given forms of phenomena (if I recall correctly). Zinchenko's referencing functional organs and his intimate work with ergonomics etc permit him an alternative form of investigation, that doesn't rely upon a dialectic description (but that is compatible with it).
On 28 January 2015 at 02:47, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Apparently these principium triad comes from the Theologian Hermann
> Bavinck: all knowledge begins with God, and via the Scriptures, man
> can make it his own knowledge.
> But in line with Mike's observation, I well remember the perezhivanie
> I had when a friend pointed out the parallels between the Marxist
> conception of primitive communism - civilization - socialist society,
> and not just the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, but a half a dozen
> narratives or our own time. Paralleled by the perezhivanie I had when
> I read that for Spinoza, "God" meant Nature (including humanity).
> Nonetheless, despite the humbling symmetry between the great world
> theories, we all signal our allegiance to this one or that one by the
> names we give to the One (God, Nature, matter, Allah, Spirit, ...) and
> the Triad and in the case cited, Vygotsky is using a famous Hegelian
> version of the triad, "in itself, for others, for itself":
> "The education and instruction of a child aim at making him actually
> and for himself what he is at first only potentially and therefore
> for others, viz., for his grown up friends. The Reason, which at
> first exists in the child only as an inner possibility, is
> actualised through education: and conversely, the child by these
> means becomes conscious that the goodness, religion, and science
> which he had at first looked upon as an outward authority, are his
> own nature."
> Although the symmetry between the systems of thought we unkowingly
> affiliate to is surprising, we all declare our affiliation by the name
> we give to the One or the Triad, as the case may be. In the article
> Larry cites, however, Zinchenko just seems to be chiding Vygotsky
> repeatedly for failing to adhere to analytical Dualism.
> *Andy Blunden*
> mike cole wrote:
>> I can try an answer, Huw. These idea of a triadic system, spirals of
>> development, etc are core metaphors for expressing some sort of
>> thirdness about human life.
>> Father/son and holy ghost, id/ego/superego, subject/object/medium
>> etc. It is a part of the Judeo-Christian system and aligns with
>> non-religiously affiliated intuitions that dualism does not cut it as a mode of thought.
>> The trouble is, there are only two kinds of people in the world....
>> On Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 2:14 PM, Huw Lloyd
>>> There seems to be a clear parallel between Vygotsky's use of the
>>> formulation "in itself, for others, for itself" and Shpet's
>>> referencing theological principium cognescenti which according to my
>>> brief browsing are three principles:
>>> principium essendi, principium cognoscendi externum, principium
>>> cognoscendi internum.
>>> Is anyone here familiar with the etymology of these principles and
>>> their bearing on Vygotsky's work? Is there more than a superficial