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



Huw,
This is interesting.
A concept of discovering meaning and what is meant by the term (discovery)?
The notion that phenomenological references
Semiotic references
Psychological references 
Each contribute a (portion?) to meaning developing through discovery processes in social spaces.
This paper does seem to relate to our topic.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Huw Lloyd" <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2016-‎01-‎15 4:20 AM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Volkelt's diagram (LSV's HMF Vol 4)

In partial response to the questions being posed on this thread, the paper
from Wertsch and Kazak[1] may prove insightful.  It is quite a compact
paper with references to semiotic, phenomenological and psychological
accounts contributing to their conception of a process of discovering
meanings in a social space through the use of signs etc.

Unfortunately the paper was published in a rather expensive volume, so it
may only be available to those with access to inter-library loans or
similar services.

Best,
Huw

[1] http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4419-7582-9_9

On 15 January 2016 at 05:20, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:

> In response to your points David,
>
> 1.  A young child points to something and utters an inarticulate sound.  I
> then proceed to discern what the child does and doesn't mean by this act.
> What, in this context, could he be referring to? The water?  The paper
> towel?  I test my guess with him, and he repeats his 'request'.
> 2.  In the above scenario the child is not (initially) aware of the
> referents not intended.
> 3.  Structure and system as described are aspects of description.
> Descriptions are brought about by whole acts (descriptions) that yield
> incomplete descriptions. The wholeness of the act is always a given.  The
> 'completeness' of a description is contingent upon its adequacy.
>
> Best,
> Huw
>
>
> On 14 January 2016 at 19:53, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Huw, Greg, Larry:
>>
>> Austin, at least as understand him, is entirely interested in
>> performatives: that is, speech acts in which the making of a structure
>> (eg.
>> "I promise") is actually constitutive of some pragmatic function. That's
>> really not what I had in mind at all, Huw. First of all, I'm interested in
>> development, and performatives are few and ar between at both ends of the
>> developmental continuum (for infants, language is more often ancillary
>> than
>> constitutive and in adults some of the most developmentally important uses
>> of language are not public at all). Secondly, I don't think that Austin's
>> various felicity conditions are relevant to, say, negation: what does it
>> mean to say that only a person who is empowered to negate can validly
>> perform the function of negation? And thirdly--most importantly--I think
>> that what Austin has in mind is only structure and not system. But perhaps
>> I am an unenthusiastic and thus a rather poor reader of Austin: he always
>> struck me as a thinly disguised social-behaviorist.
>>
>> Neither Halliday nor Jakobson really came up with the
>> paradigmatic/syntagmatic distinction, Greg: it goes back to de Saussure.
>> But de Saussure  called his paradigmatic dimension "associative", and this
>> placed him firmly in associationist psychology. Associationism really has
>> no room for the development of free will, and Halliday's notion of
>> "system"
>> requires it. A selection requires a selector. And language development is,
>> in Vygotskyan psychology, about the development of the selector. In HDHMF,
>> for example, Vygotsky actually says that the most important and most
>> fundamental problem in the whole of psychology is that of Buridan's
>> donkey.
>>
>> Consider a four panel cartoon--the sort of thing you see on the comics
>> page
>> of a paper. If we "read" the cartoon horizontally, we get an essentially
>> syntagmatic relation--the default reading is that the events of the second
>> panel transpire after those of the first, and the events of the third
>> after
>> the second, etc.  But within each panel, we find drawings of bodies
>> (doing), faces (feeling), thought "bubbles" (thinking) and speech balloons
>> (saying). These CAN be syntagmatically related but they can also be
>> simultaneous, and if you are a Vygotskyan, hierarchically related (doing
>> may control feeling and feeling control thinking, and--in volition--we can
>> even imagine the very opposite chain of command).
>>
>> Now, imagine a poetics in which these planes are related not only
>> hierarchically but paradigmatically. That is, a novel COULD be written as
>> a
>> set of more or less simultaneous doings (a historical novel). But it could
>> also be written as feelings (a sentimental novel), as thinkings (a novel
>> of
>> ideas) or as sayings (a novel of conversation). All of these are quite
>> different from organizing a story along the syntagmatic axis, which would
>> make it not a novel but an adventure story (here in France, the word for
>> novel is "roman" and--confusingly--the word for an adventure story is
>> "nouvelle", but back home in Korea novels are noun more descriptively as
>> "little talk"). I think that one of the important differences between
>> novels and adventure stories is precisely that the specific weight of
>> the environment and of individual volition are reversed, and the way this
>> is often realized is through a stress on syntagmatic, temporal relations
>> in
>> the adventure story and on paradigmatic, projective relations in the
>> novel.
>>
>> I don't think that meaning potential can be entirely explained as
>> "presence
>> of absence", Larry, because linguistic systems are not always binary, and
>> even when they are, they tend to generate options within options rather
>> than absence of presence (language abhors a vaccuum). Take, for example,
>> intonation. We could argue that there are only two options: up or down.
>> But
>> in fact, we often find down-up ("RE-A-LLY?") and updown ('RE-A-LLY!"), and
>> there is also a fairly flat, neutral intonation ("'Really. Interesting.").
>> If I come to a branch in the road and go left instead of right, the right
>> fork in the road doesn't thereby cease to exist, even in my mind.
>>
>> David Kellogg
>> Macquarie University
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 1:11 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
>> >
>> wrote:
>>
>> > David,
>> > Just wondering if Halliday is getting this from Roman Jakobson's
>> > syntagmatic vs. paradigmatic contrast?
>> > If so, then I'm wondering what happened to the notion of poetics in
>> > Halliday's thought. Poetical patterning seems absolutely essential to
>> > language learning, but I'd also tend to think of poetics as less than
>> > entirely volitional.
>> > Or to put the question more plainly, can you provide a little more
>> nuance
>> > to your statement:
>> > "The problem of grammar can be seen as aproblem of volitional choice,
>> and
>> > what needs to be explained in language development is the same thing
>> that
>> > needs to be explained in other branches of Vygotskyan psychology, namely
>> > the emergence of free will"
>> > -greg
>> >
>> >
>> > On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 10:28 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > Huw:
>> > >
>> > > I'm using meaning potential in a somewhat technical, Hallidayan,
>> sense.
>> > For
>> > > Halliday every utterance has both structure and system. Structure we
>> know
>> > > about: it's syntagmatic, in the sense that it is laid out one step at
>> a
>> > > time (in time with speech and in space with writing). It's
>> non-Markovian,
>> > > in the sense that each step has some influence on the next steps and
>> not
>> > > simply on the next step (e.g.if you start a sentence with "the" you
>> are
>> > > going to need noun pretty soon, but not necessarily right away).
>> > >
>> > > For example, if I find myself saying
>> > >
>> > > "The artist David Bowie was not a chameleon; he just hired a lot of
>> > > different poorly paid adjuncts to write his songs"
>> > >
>> > > My argument is laid out one step at a time: "The" and then "artist"
>> and
>> > > then "David" and then "Bowie" and then "was" (not "is", because of his
>> > > death), etc.
>> > >
>> > > System is a little different. First of all, it's paradigmatic, in the
>> > sense
>> > > that it can be thought of as  kind of drop-down menu. It's a free
>> choice,
>> > > in the sense that although context will favor certain "canonical"
>> choices
>> > > over others, I can create contexts (and that is what writers of verbal
>> > art
>> > > do). Each choice overlaps with a finite (often only two or three)
>> number
>> > of
>> > > choices not chosen. In this way "system" combines free will with
>> > > cultural-historical determination.
>> > >
>> > > For example, if I find myself saying "The artist David Bowie" when I
>> get
>> > to
>> > > the noun "artist" I could say "singer" or even "celebrity" but the
>> choice
>> > > is not infinite, particularly if I look at probability and not just
>> > > possibility. Even with proper nouns, in place of "Bowie" I could say
>> > > "Kellogg" or even "Cameron" but the number of choices is distinctly
>> > > limited. I could have said "is", but Bowie's death makes "was" more
>> > > canonical; by choosing "not", I am choosing from only two choices
>> > (because
>> > > an indicative clause can be either positive or negative in polarity
>> but
>> > not
>> > > both and not anything else) and yet by choosing the negative I am
>> > probably
>> > > saying something that goes against 99% of what will be said about
>> Bowie
>> > in
>> > > the days to come.
>> > >
>> > > This set of many small choices (some of which, like polarity, are
>> highly
>> > > skewed in probability) is not only true at the level of words, it is
>> also
>> > > true at the level of wording: I can choose to make a major or minor
>> > clause;
>> > > if major, I can choose to make an imperative or an indicative; if
>> > > indicative, I can go declarative or interrogative, etc. Each utterance
>> > > represents a kind of a path through an indefinite number of systems,
>> each
>> > > of which is a kind of menu providing a finite number of choices, and
>> this
>> > > is what makes language both infinitely complex and in practice easy to
>> > use.
>> > >
>> > > There are three important consequences of this somewhat technical use
>> of
>> > > "meaning potential". First of all, the problem of grammar can be seen
>> as
>> > a
>> > > problem of volitional choice, and what needs to be explained in
>> language
>> > > development is the same thing that needs to be explained in other
>> > branches
>> > > of Vygotskyan psychology, namely the emergence of free will. Secondly,
>> > the
>> > > choices that the speaker makes are made significant (made meaningful)
>> not
>> > > simply by pointing to context (this is really only true of infant
>> > language)
>> > > but instead by all the choices that the speaker did NOT make but COULD
>> > HAVE
>> > > made (this "could have" prevents the theory from dualism--the ideal is
>> > > simply the potentially real). And thirdly, finally, meaning potential
>> is
>> > > always linked to but distinct from meaning proper precisely in the
>> sense
>> > of
>> > > NON-participation: meaning potential is simply the road not taken.
>> > >
>> > > David Kellogg
>> > > Macquarie University
>> > >
>> > > On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 11:05 PM, Huw Lloyd <
>> huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>> > > wrote:
>> > >
>> > > > >From what I have been reading and thinking, the biggest difference
>> > > between
>> > > > the conceptual system presented by Vygotsky and the of Leontiev
>> (most
>> > of
>> > > > which is well known) is the difference of the conceptualisation of
>> > > activity
>> > > > or the symbolic level (which is mostly absent for Vygotsky).
>> > > >
>> > > > Without necessarily refuting David's points, but indicating an
>> > > alternative
>> > > > interpretation, I would say:
>> > > >
>> > > > 1. Learning how to apply or use something is still a constructive
>> act.
>> > > One
>> > > > does not have to understand the full technical make up of a
>> component
>> > in
>> > > > order to make use of it.  Indeed this is would entail an infinite
>> > > regress.
>> > > >
>> > > > 2. I'm not fully clear what the assertion is with respect to active
>> > > > participation in meaning potential, but it is perfectly reasonable
>> to
>> > > > revisit the problem space that an old artefact is drawn from only to
>> > > > rediscover what this product achieves in terms of design.  This is
>> > > actually
>> > > > an excellent source of edification.
>> > > >
>> > > > 3. Contemplation can be understood to be in response to an active
>> > > problem.
>> > > > There is nothing to say that activity must be glued to a specific
>> site.
>> > > > When I am programming, I am forever walking away from the computer
>> to
>> > > solve
>> > > > or express a particular problem.
>> > > >
>> > > > Best,
>> > > > Huw
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > > On 13 January 2016 at 10:02, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> > > >
>> > > > > Dear Haydi:
>> > > > >
>> > > > > In the very beginning of the text that Huw is reading, the
>> HIstory of
>> > > the
>> > > > > Development of the Higher Psychic Functions, Vygotsky writes of
>> the
>> > > basic
>> > > > > division psychology, between those who would treat the mind as
>> > > something
>> > > > > made by "Deus Sive Natura" ("God, i.e. Nature"), like the eye or
>> the
>> > > hand
>> > > > > or any other physical phenomenon, and those who would treat the
>> mind
>> > as
>> > > > (to
>> > > > > quote Mike's epigraph) an object which itself creates history. In
>> one
>> > > > case,
>> > > > > we have an object which really can be usefully described
>> > synoptically,
>> > > > like
>> > > > > a sculpture that we can walk all the way around. But in the other
>> we
>> > > > have a
>> > > > > process which can only be described dynamically, like a piece of
>> > > theatre
>> > > > > that walks around us while we sit and observe.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > Of course, we CAN argue, the way that Vico would argue, that to
>> > produce
>> > > > the
>> > > > > process is to fully understand it: we cannot fully understand the
>> eye
>> > > or
>> > > > > the hand, because although these things are part of us, they were
>> > made
>> > > by
>> > > > > God. We can understand a telescope or a hammer, because although
>> > these
>> > > > > things are not part of us, they were made by ourselves. And we can
>> > even
>> > > > > argue that the process of making it is essentially the process of
>> > > > > understanding it: once you have made a telescope or a hammer and
>> used
>> > > it,
>> > > > > you have understood everything there is to know about it. That
>> is, I
>> > > > > understand it, the position you attribute to dialectical logic, to
>> > > CHAT,
>> > > > > and to Davydov, and I think you attribute it correctly. The
>> problem
>> > is
>> > > > that
>> > > > > I am not sure that the position itself is correct.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > The reason is this: we may be able to actively participate in the
>> > > process
>> > > > > of producing and using a telescope or a hammer. We may even
>> (although
>> > > > this
>> > > > > is much more problematic) actively participate in the process of
>> > > > producing
>> > > > > and using a mind or a personality. But our observational
>> standpoint
>> > is
>> > > > > nevertheless fixed by our position in time: we can never "actively
>> > > > > participate" in constructing the counterfactual potential, the
>> > meaning
>> > > > > potential, of a telescope or a hammer, much less a mind or a
>> > > personality.
>> > > > > Our active participation is always fixed in the actual, and
>> meaning
>> > > > > potential is accessible only through contemplation. It may be
>> > > > contemplation
>> > > > > with activity firmly in mind, but it is only potentially active
>> and
>> > not
>> > > > > actually so.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > I think this is a fundamental difference between Vygotsky and
>> > Leontiev,
>> > > > and
>> > > > > the activity theory that followed him: For Vygotsky, the autistic
>> > > > function
>> > > > > (that is, the irrealist function, the contemplative function which
>> > > turns
>> > > > > away from immediate activity) may come late (as Vygotsky points
>> out,
>> > it
>> > > > > receives major impetus from the acquisition of words and then
>> > concepts,
>> > > > > both of which come well after the beginning of social life), but
>> this
>> > > > > "autistic" contemplative function is then never out of date:
>> concepts
>> > > are
>> > > > > not formed purely through activity, but also through the turning
>> away
>> > > > from
>> > > > > reality oriented activity. And in that, he has the complete
>> support
>> > of
>> > > > > Lenin, who knew a thing or two about how concepts are joined to
>> > action.
>> > > > >
>> > > > > David Kellogg
>> > > > > Macquarie University
>> > > > >
>> > > > > On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 12:06 AM, <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> > > > >
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Thanks , David , for the two-parag. epigraph as always !
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > --First of all, Kant says we cannot know / cognize a material
>> > object
>> > > in
>> > > > > > itself because a priori we don't have an image of it so  we are
>> > > unable
>> > > > to
>> > > > > > have an overlap between the two ; hence agnosticism let alone
>> > 'inner
>> > > > > > connections' of a whole as 'moments' . Dialectical Logic (close
>> > > > relative
>> > > > > to
>> > > > > > CHAT) says as man relies on object-related activity while an
>> ideal
>> > > > > > adaptable to the future coming object ever runs through the
>> > activity
>> > > to
>> > > > > the
>> > > > > > finish , is able to penetrate the depths . When you put the
>> mental
>> > > > model
>> > > > > > into a material model , in reifying or objectifying that model
>> > into a
>> > > > > > finished product and all through the durational time , you can
>> see
>> > > what
>> > > > > is
>> > > > > > necessary , essential and what is not . In higher momentums of
>> > > > > conception ,
>> > > > > > you reach concepts and this is the time you've got a theoretical
>> > > > rational
>> > > > > > cognitive copy of the inner mechanisms and transformations of
>> the
>> > > > related
>> > > > > > object or objects . When we say 'ideal' is a moment of an
>> activity
>> > ,
>> > > we
>> > > > > > mean it's ever running through uninterruptedly because the whole
>> > > entity
>> > > > > > falls down , collapses otherwise . Or if you aim to take it
>> wholly
>> > > > apart
>> > > > > ,
>> > > > > > again nothing is left for objectfication . Davydov says we
>> cannot
>> > > stop
>> > > > at
>> > > > > > phenomenology ; it's not to our will or taste ; we should ever
>> > > > reproduce
>> > > > > > our ever changing needs and products and that needs true science
>> > and
>> > > > true
>> > > > > > science needs true concepts . Yes , we want the object to move
>> > > > > (dynamicity)
>> > > > > > according to its inner transformations (moments) which has come
>> to
>> > us
>> > > > as
>> > > > > > fixated knowledge in speech and skills historically . We don't
>> want
>> > > to
>> > > > be
>> > > > > > stuck in our position observing it to move . If you take
>> moments as
>> > > > > moments
>> > > > > > of your positioning while observing , you've not been able to
>> > convert
>> > > > > those
>> > > > > > phenomenal aspects (empiricism) into innermost movements hence
>> > > > > agnosticism
>> > > > > > prevails . Yes ,  We could somehow treat these moments as always
>> > > > > inhering ,
>> > > > > > how ? Are neoformations parts and parcels of some detachable
>> > > > independent
>> > > > > > separate phnomenon ? Are they not fused , interwoven ,
>> intertwined
>> > > > > moments
>> > > > > > of inner mechanisms of whole development (internalization ,
>> > > > > appropriation ,
>> > > > > > instruction , development , upbringing involved) ? Does
>> development
>> > > or
>> > > > > even
>> > > > > > periods of development contain , include some parts and parcels
>> or
>> > do
>> > > > > they
>> > > > > > subsume some moments of developmental transform


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