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



Martin,
I am wondering if you have a reflection on Merleau-Ponty's way of phenomenologically referencing - constituting activity -.
Assuming 3 dimensions of emergence of meaning
- structural emergence
- genetic emergence
- radical generative emergence

Dimensions understood as not fully formed structures OR fully formed moments within genetic formings.
Merleau-Ponty developing a new account of the radical generation of ORIGINAL genetic formings organically emerging.

Merleau-Ponty exploring these 3 dimensions - structural, genetic, generative - developing new original orders of meaning..
Structural dimension emerging out of the genetic dimension. I have read many versions of this transformation on CHAT.

Genetic dimension emerging out of the radical generative dimension which radically EXCEEDS AWARENESS because the generative dimension never was a present moment.

Merleau-Ponty suggesting this generative dimension is offered against a genetic account of consciousness which questions constitutive activity.

Merleau-Ponty exploring a particular sense of PASSIVITY which PRECEDES a synthetic principle of constitutive activity.

This is a genre exploring the INSTITUTION of meaning which includes a radically PASSIVE generative dimension informing the genetic dimension.
Similar in movement to the way the genetic dimension informs the structural dimension emerging.

I am not sure if I have posed my question clearly but I do intuit a depth to this question?
Structural dimension retrospectively explored as emergence within genetic concepts.
Genetic dimension retrospectively explored as emergence within radical generative concepts.

Leading to a critique of constitutive activity as synthetic consciousness being PRECEDED by this sense of radical passivity as an - institution - of meaning.

I find this theme challenging, and I have not read Merleau-Ponty's Passivity lectures of 1955. 
However, I find this line of thought an opening through door-ways as ventures.

Martin, your background studying Merleau-Ponty may guide my next step.



-----Original Message-----
From: "Martin John Packer" <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
Sent: ‎2016-‎01-‎15 7:55 AM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Volkelt's diagram (LSV's HMF Vol 4)

I wrote a critique of the chapter by Wertsch and Kazak, published in the same book:

Packer, M. J. (2011). Schooling: Domestication or ontological construction? In T. Koschmann (Ed.), Theories of learning and studies of instructional practice (pp. 167-188). New York: Springer. 

Martin

On Jan 15, 2016, at 10:39 AM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 pa


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