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[Xmca-l] Re: Dynamics of Developmental Change

We aim to please, David. Being concrete in this way helps me a lot.
A few commentaries in italics in between your paragraphs.

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 2:37 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> It's astonishing to me how much of this is in Vygotsky's chapter on infancy
> and also in his work on The Crisis at One.
> a) Vygotsky vigorously denies that the newborn is a purely instinctive
> being; he argues precisely the opposite, that the evidence is that the
> newborn's instincts are extremely weak, and even those that exist (to do
> with feeding and positioning) are not "spinal", "medullar", or even purely
> "midbrain" in their mediation but instead linked to an undeveloped cortex.

​*I am actually not certain what you are referring to here. The
contemporary literature as I read it allows for a very clear set of
reflexes present at birth that are sufficiently widespread in the species
to be used as tests for serious organic damage. It has long been known that
smiling and sucking are observed in hydrocyphalic infants with no cortex.*

*The key issue it seems is how to understand the reorganization of the
infant's life world and biological consiitution which has, until recent
research of the sort in the social smiling case, has used qualitatve change
in the physiological nature of, and social consequences of, the beginning
of what Vygotsky seems to be referring to by "receptive interest in the
world." Differentiation of mother's faces near birth in populations I know
about has been pretty clearly established, so receptive interest" seems to
be there from the beginning. What is primary intersubjectivity, in LSV's
terms? When does human perception become active (is it ever just
receptive?), or is it a form of action from the beginning?*​

> b) Vygotsky says that most writers on infancy consider that social smiling
> is the THE key milestone which marks off the newborn period from infancy.
> Vygotsky says it isn't. Infancy begins with "receptive interest in the
> world", and it is only reciprocated in later periods of infancy (what
> Halliday calls proto-conversation).

​*Perhaps Manfred or an xmca-er familiar with the Nso/German and other

*​when reciprocity begins, Their kids show other features of behavior that
are part of the ensemble that includes smiling, activity, and in the
European cases what might be considered protoconversations. I do not recall
data on the study of the local language uses in infant-caretaker
interaction for the Nso, but it sure is something we would want to know.*

> c) In HDHMF, Vygotsky tries to work out a typology of the different forms
> of higher cultural behavior. He does this through the method Andy calls
> immanent critique: he takes Thorndike's two level scheme and finds it
> doesn't explain intellect at all; he then adopts Buhler's three level
> scheme and finds that, 1) Buhler over-extends it to cover both humans and
> animals and both children and adults, and 2) it doesn't explain volition at
> all, since intellect too is a form of adaptation. In the infancy chapter,
> Vygotsky argues that the roots of ALL of the forms of behavior (instinct,
> habit, intellect and volition) are right there in infancy--in the form of
> affect.

​*Perhaps here is where the concept of primary intersubjectivity could be
helpful because it is all about affect.*​

> Halliday too argues against the "blank slate": he points out that each of
> the different grammatical forms associated with what appears in Vygotsky as
> ​
> crises and stable age periods has a "proto-" period ( which in my scheme
> ​
> corresponds to the crisis) and a "proper" period (which
> ​c​
> orresponds to the
> ​
> stable period).
>                               CRISIS                  STABLE PERIOD
> newborn                 protoconversation
> infancy                                                 conversation proper
> one                        protolanguage
> early childhood                                      language proper
> crisis at three         protonarrative/dialog
> preschool                                              narrative and
> dialogue proper
> crisis at seven       protodiscourse
>                             (academic wording)
> school age                                            discourse proper
> crisis at 13             prototurn taking
>                            (grammatical metaphor,
>                              variation, register,
>                              social dialect)
> puberty                                                   turn-taking
> proper
*This is Halliday, David? And you wish to use it and line it up with LSV?*
*If so,*
*1.  a suggestion concerning the case of the change from newborn to infancy
that is the topic of the shift I recently sent around. You might want to
put newborn as a stage before, or within, infancy. Protoconversations in
Hallidays sense start after The "3 month shift", right? (If their culture
is so organized that reciprocal smiling is a valued from of joint mediated,
activity- to use my heavy jargon). *

*2. What happens when we move outside of schooled environments? I assume
they acquire discourse proper in some other fashion? I am uncertain about
what it means to acquire turn-taking proper. *

3. *It has always struck me that the stages posited by Piaget and Vygotsky
corresponded so closely. I think one of the great benefits of all you have
been writing about is that it gets us to focus on the process of change.
Piaget had a name for this process, but, disequilbrium. But he does not
single out the period of (relatively) rapid transition for special notice.
LSV does. And in a manner that seems to be au courant, even if it is in a
different dialect.*

​Do you by chance have a pdf of the Halliday article?


Halliday, M.A.K. (1978) Meaning and the Construction of Reality. In Modes
> of Perceiving and Processing Information (H.L. Pick and E. Saltzman Eds),
> Hillside, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 67-96, Also in the Collected Works of
> M.A.K. Halliday, Voll 4, pp. 113-143).
> David Kellogg
> On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 1:07 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:
> > Thank you, Mike -- and Martin and Sheila!
> > Good material to think with and a nudge to look again at Barbara Means'
> > baby reports.
> > Tangentially, you know those strollers for babies that are reversible --
> > the reclining baby can be looking toward the person pushing the stroller
> or
> > with a switch the baby can be looking at the same world the pusher sees?
> >  Maybe different affordances for proto-conversations within one wider
> > culture (don't know of any studies) and possible mini-impacts on
> > developments like smiling?
> > Peg
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike
> > cole
> > Sent: Monday, September 07, 2015 3:20 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Dynamics of Developmental Change
> >
> > I have been trying to think of a way to more concretely engage David's
> > developmental domainsxstages table. One of David's stage margins is at 3
> > months and there is ample reason for arguing for the existence a stage
> > shift in development at this time. (My wife and I wrote about it in just
> > this way in our textbook).
> > However, there is also a lot of interesting, newer, evidence showing the
> > cultural-historical contingency of the changes that underpinned the
> > developmental literature for several decades.
> >
> > I thought that perhaps this example, since it is pretty well worked out,
> > might help us get at the issues David raised. I believe this work could
> > usefully be related to notions of zopeds, but am not sure.
> >
> > This rather long fragment is taken from a recent article that Martin and
> I
> > wrote.
> >
> > mike
> >
> > (For this one, not only Boesch but Waddington are apt: The latter having
> > written that every new level of development implies a new, relevant,
> > context.)
> >
> > 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