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[Xmca-l] Re: Crises and stages/ages

After sending the note below I encountered the following definition of
learning in Simon's
*Sciences of the artificial* which I am reading with respect to other
(related) matters.

*Learning is any change in a system that produces a more or less permanent
change in its capacity for adapting to the environment.*

The word, development, does not appear in this book.

Seems relevant to many long standing discussions of learning and
development in this discourse space.


On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> David ---
> Picking on just one thread from your multiplex comments in the context of
> the discussion on printing presses and digital computer
> ​technologies, i would like to thank you for juxtaposing these​ two
> paragraphs, one from LSV on crises in development, the other
> from Leontiev. I have made a separate header because I am not agile or
> learned enough to keep track of both at the same time,
> the ontogenetic level of analysis is plenty enough for me to try to think
> systematically about in a single message..
> \Vygotsky, (could you give pages in current English version so we enter
> the relevant portion of the text?):
> These ages (i.e. stable ages--DK) and this type of child development have
> been studied more completely than ages characterized by a different course
> of child development (i.e.the crisis--DK). These latter were discovered by
> empirical paths, one by one, in a haphazard manner, and many have still not
> been shown by the majority of investigators in systems and are not included
> in the general periodization of child development. Many authors have even
> doubted the evidence of the inner necessity of their existence. Many are
> inclined to take them more as “maladies” of development, as deviations of
> the process fromthe normal path, than as internally necessary periods of
> child development. Almost none of the bourgeois investigators have realized
> their theoretical signfiicance, and the attempt in our book at their
> systematization, at their theoretical interpretation, and at their
> inclusion in the general scheme of child development for this reason should
> be seen as perhaps the first attempt of this kind."
> Compare:
>   “These crises—the three year old crisis, the seven year old crisis, the
> adolescent crisis, the youth crisis—are always associated with a change of
> stage. They indicate in clear, obvious form that these changes, these
> transitions from one stage to another have an inner necessity of their
> own. The existence of development of crises has long been known and their
> ‘classic’ interpretation is that they are caused by the child’s maturing
> inner characteristics and the contradictions that arise on that soil
> between it andthe environment. From the standpoint of that interpretation
> the crises are, of course, inevitable, because these contradictions are
> inevitable in any conditions. There is nothing more false, however, in the
> theory of the development of the child’s psyche than this idea. In fact,
> crises are not at all inevitable accomplishments of psychic development. It
> is not the crises which are inevitable, but the turning points or breaks,
> the qualitative shifts in development. The crisis, on the contrary, is
> evidence that a turning point or shift has not been made in time. There
> need by no crises at all if the child’s psychic development does not take
> shape spontaneously but in a rationally controlled process, controlled
> upbringing.”  (pp. 398-399)
> Leontiev, A.N. (1981). Problems of the Development of the Mind. Progress:
> Moscow
> ​I take the red​ text to be the crux of the argument, and the kind of
> difference we see in the two men's articles
> about the "problem of the environment."
> In American developmental psychology the issue of continuities and
> discontinuities in ontogenetic development
> continues today the discussion taking place in the 1920's and 1930's. But
> I have never seen anyone argue that (say) the syndrome
> of behaviors identified as "the terrible twos" occurs because a turning
> point has not happened in time, nor that ontogeny is rendered continuous by
> rational control of parents/society. That, it seems, is the red thread of
> Stalinism that is so offputting in ANL.
> I do not love LSV's characterization of non-Soviet psychologists  treating
> such periods "as deviations of the process from the normal path." I am
> not sure who he is referring to, and perhaps he is right and I just need to
> dig deeper into the history of European and American developmental
> psychology. Piaget and Erikson,  two Europeans whose work was influential
> from the 1950/60's don't, at least on the surface, fit this discussion.
> Maybe they do below the surface, or there are other, allied issue to raised.
> Several years ago we (you and I and Andy and others) sought to
> characterize LSV's developmental theory but could not reach agreement.
> Perhaps it is worth another try.
> mike
> --
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.