[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Fwd: Re: Volkelt's diagram (LSV's HMF Vol 4)

Thanks, Haydi--I have always wondered what the word "molar" means (in the
wk of Leontiev) and what the relationship to chemistry and dentistry is.
Your explanation cleared this up, as well as clearing up the relation
between "moment" and music.

I'm not so sure that Andy's contribution--the idea that what is meant is a
moment in calculus--is so irrelevant. You see, for me there are three
problems that we have to work out in annotating Vygotsky's use of "moment"
(and actually I think that the task of annotating Vygotsky's work is the
real next step in Vygotsky studies, not mindless "mythbusting").

First of all, "moment" is used in Kant, in Hegel, and in phenomenology in a
way I would characterize as SYNOPTIC--that is, to describe something like a
sculpture which does not move, which we may circumambulate and describe
from various sides. But in Vygotsky the "object" being described is almost
always no object at all, but rather an unfolding process. Where the
synoptic object does not move and can be circumambulated, the dynamic
object moves, and we are usually stuck in one position, observing it. This
means that the "moments" are only aspects of the whole in retrospect: as we
observe they tend to appear as neoformations which were not even present,
much less typical, of the phenomenon previously. We could somehow treat
these moments as always inhering, the way that puberty is implicit in a
newborn infant) but treating real psychic phenomena like speech or
musicality that way seems absurdly teleological and seems to deny the
irreducible unpredictability of development. I think that the idea of
"moment" as being a moment of an integral gets us around this (because even
nonlinear functions can be integrated). Certainly if I were explaining
"moment" to a high school teacher of science, I would use the example of
angular momentum.

Secondly, Vygotsky (and also Hegel) sometimes uses "moment" and sometimes
uses "instance". Are these different? It seems to me that they are. The
cline of instantiation, in Hallidayan linguistics, is quite different from
the description of development. A text is an instance of a language, but
it's not a 'moment'. A context of situation is an instance of a context of
culture, but it's not a moment of it. We cannot say that "weather" is a
"moment" in the development of a climate: it's an instance. Viewed
synoptically, weather and climate are simply to different chronological
sections of one and the same phenomenon (akin to using "phylogenesis",
"ontogenesis", "microgenesis"). But that brings me to a third problem,
where it seems to me that Haydi's musical analogy is indispensible.

I think that it is only when we treat the phenomenon to be described
synoptically, and not when we treat it dynamically, that we can seriously
say that, for example, weather and climate are descriptions of the same
phenomenon which differ in granularity. In fact, weather is chiefly
influenced by wind; the angle of the sun (or the relationship between solar
radiation absorbed and solar radiation reflected out into space) is
present, but it is much less immediately causal. With climate, it's the
other way around. When we say that word meaning develops, we see much the
same qualitative shifts: sense is a constitutive moment of infant speech
while signiication is quite peripheral, whereas with dialogue on xmca we
have the reverse relationship. This shift in the organic make up of the
phenomenon also occurs with other dynamic phenomena, and an obvious way to
grasp this is Haydi's example of music: recitative in opera, for example,
is dominated by melody (derived from speech), but arias are much more
regular and rhythmical (and for this reason stand somewhat closer to
emotion and to logical thought, even when looked at as text).

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 6:04 PM, <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all ,
> Look at this please !
> [[V. S. Bibler has singled out the following basic features of a thought
> experiment: 1) The
> object of cognition is mentally transferred to conditions where its
> essence can be revealed
> particularly clearly; 2) this object then undergoes further mental
> transformations; 3) this same
> experiment leads to the formation of a system of mental links in which the
> object is
> “embedded.” If the construction of this object can still be represented as
> a process of
> abstraction of the real object’s properties, then this third moment
> essentially becomes a
> productive contribution to the mentally represented object. It is only
> within this special
> system of links that the object’s content gets revealed.]]
> This is the same with "activity" as "molar" , that is , activity , action
> , operation are not parts or stages of a whole , discrete and separate even
> componential . As I can think of it , it is a point in a circular
> succession of a whole which could naturally be manifest in temporal
> instants . By definition , in a round of activity , neither itself , nor
> action , nor operation could keep to their constancy or stability or
> independence or invariability. At each point of succession or motionality ,
> because of opposites , alterations in drives , motives
> , emotional incentives or stimuation , each of the three could be converted
> in the other as we all have seen .
> And there's an affinity in music domain . A whole melody is played with
> all nuances , pitch , other contours in their entire composition . It's a
> whole to be absorbed in its entirety so that the invited pleasurable
> feeling is obtained . Usually some individual wouldn't refer to a
> particular part or stage orietating on which this or that kind of affect or
> ecstacy runs through the soul . The individual might even stop to think of
> how to express it and he might  finally resort to imitation . Then , the
> philosopher , might refer to that particular point or that single note in
> whole composition or in playing as moment or as a temporal instant on which
> such and such a manifestation , event , episode , feature , state occurs .
> Taking that single note apart from the whole might be uncognizable or
> immanipulative in itself and the whole without it or with a substitute
> might lose the favor . Another example might be the "ideal" which is said
> to be immersed in material activity . Davydov's works are good sources for
> such qurries but I can't give a locus now .
> Best
> Haydi