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[Xmca-l] Re: The Semiotic Stance.pdf

The mirror metaphor, as used by Vygotsky, is very good for conveying the phantasmic nature of objects of thought, but the defect with it as a metaphor is that it does not well convey the fact that these thought-objects are also effective (and in that specific sense act-ual) in orienting objective practice. The mirror metaphor needs to be made more specific, such as with the rear-vision mirror of a car, where the driver can reliably use the image to reverse, thereby changing what is reflected, knowing all the while that there is nothing "in" or behind the mirror (something my cat has never understood).


Andy Blunden
On 18/07/2016 2:28 AM, Helena Worthen wrote:
Let me see if I understand what you’re saying here:

We’re talking here about unlearning, not just learning, right? (I have always been intrigued by unlearning, and have wondered why we don’t talk much about it.) So, using my own background (labor relations) to put in concrete examples of what I think you’re describing: An “objective element" comes into being after some time passes (example: a struggle takes place, followed by an election, and there is new leadership which makes new conditions possible). But after some more time passes, people take these new conditions for granted (example: at City College of San Francisco, big union struggles in the 1990s produced much improved conditions for faculty; people took these for granted, including union leaders, and the union became de-mobilized and unprepared for changes in the economy after 2000 and attacks which were essentially efforts to privatize the college). Faculty continued to have “revolutionary spirit” and thought of themselves as in control of their work, but the objective elements had disappeared. thus they were vulnerable to the 2012 attempt by the ACCJC (accreditation commission) to shut the whole place down. The good news is that the phantom of activism has had its flesh put back on through a major effort of internal organizing (and support from student and citizens coalition work) and the faculty union has just last week pulled off forcing the administration to agree to a decent contract — but they had to build towards a one-day strike in April, and the credible threat of an open-ended strike in the fall, in order to force this to happen.

I think that the image of the candle, the mirror, and the reflection, are a nifty way to think about what goes on in the teacher (or organizer’s) imagination (another word would be “prolepsis.) Then you add the notion of the phantom that can become more or less realized — both directions is important! - and you can talk about time passing and even history.

Fun — Helena

On Jul 16, 2016, at 8:43 PM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:

Helena this phantom that is emerging at the origin of the learning process (can we describe this process as potential?) this phantom may move into being a concrete **thing** but then it may return to being a phantom?.

In the IRECE Journal one of the articles (Qualitative Epistemology) references Gonzales Rey who was inspired by Vygotsky and Rubinstein. Here is his description of what may occur after objective objects/elements which come into being at a later turn in the spiral than you are referencing, then **disappear**. The objects which have defined a new order actually disappear, but in the imaginary **remain**, continuing to subsidize the subjective **sense** of that disappearing order.

Can we call this subjective imaginary a **phantom** that continues to **legitimize** this imaginary sense of objective elements when there is actually no remaining objective elements (which have disappeared).

In Rey’s own words; “The objective elements that produce the revolutionary spirit can be killed by the processes of institutionalization and bureaucratization, but people still (feel) part of the revolution – for a few generations.

Note, this phenomena is inter/generational in duration.

This seems to be an image of psyche emerging from phantom appearances, becoming existent and then becoming symbolized but at some moment the revolutionary spirit **disappears** and what remains are imaginary phantoms.

Adding my own reflections are these revolutionary spirits that have disappeared, are they **dormant** or **dead**. Can their spirit be **reawakened** or is that a phantom?

Sent from my Windows 10 phone

*From: *Helena Worthen <mailto:helenaworthen@gmail.com>
*Sent: *July 16, 2016 7:02 PM
*To: *ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
*Subject: *[Xmca-l] Re: The Semiotic Stance.pdf

OK — from Andy’s link:

"When we know the thing and the laws of reflection of light, we can always explain, predict, elicit, and change the phantom.”

How about this: the thing is what the teacher wants the student to learn. By understanding how people learn (the laws of reflection of light), the teacher can explain, predict, elicit and change what the student learns (the phantom).

I like thinking of what the learner learns as a phantom. It certainly feels like a phantom at the beginning of a class and gets more flesh on it as the weeks go by, but is still a phantom at the end of the semester, although hopefully a different-looking phantom.


> On Jul 2, 2016, at 10:33 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:


> https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/crisis/psycri13.htm#p1387


> ------------------------------------------------------------

> Andy Blunden

> http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>

> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making

> On 3/07/2016 3:19 PM, greg.a.thompson@gmail.com <mailto:greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:

>> M...


>> And can you remind us of the candle in the mirror metaphor?


>> Greg


>> Sent from my iPhone


>>> On Jul 3, 2016, at 12:02 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co <mailto:mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>> wrote:


>>> I think that’s a fair comment, Larry. It must appear that I’m being inconsistent introducing gods after being so hard on Michael for invoking intelligent design. But, while I want to follow Latour (and Viveiros de Castro) in arguing that there are multiple ontologies, many ways of existing, in which case mind can be said to exist in the ontology of Western folk psychology, I also want to insist that the ontology of a scientific psychology has to be consistent and non-contradictory, which means it must be non-dualist. No mind in a scientific psychology (except as an appearance to be explained, like a candle seemingly ‘behind’ a mirror), and no god either.


>>> Martin


>>>> On Jul 2, 2016, at 8:51 PM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:


>>>> Greg,

>>>> This shift in the relationship between (mind) and (meaning) towards meaning being primordial or primary and mind arising as one particular way of imagining meaning seems to be a radical shift in ways of approaching or orienting towards (mind) as an object.

>>>> Mind becomes one way of imaging and diagramming, and symbolizing (meaning potential) in other words -mind as object.

>>>> As Martin says, this may be *fictional* but is *real* in a way similar to God being *real* in particular traditions.



>>>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone


>>>> From: Greg Thompson