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[Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!



David: "Are words really units?"

Well, firstly, "units" is a *relative* term. That is, the question is: are words units of something, some complex process subject to analysis. And which?

Secondly, according to Vygotsky, "no." The concept Vygotsky proposes as a unit is "word meaning" which he says is a unity of sound and meaning. The sound is an artefact, which, detached from its meaningful utterance in a transactional context is just a thing, viz., a word. Whereas "word meaning" is an arrtefact-mediated action, a unit of human social activity.

It is true that words can be countable or mass according to context, but I wasn't talking about words was I? I was talking about word meaning.

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
On 8/01/2017 7:59 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
Are words really units? When we look at their ideational meaning (that is,
their logical and experiential content--their capacity for representing and
linking together human experiences) they seem to fall into two very
different categories: lexical words like "perezhivanie" or "sense" or
"personality" of "individual" and grammatical words like "of", or "might",
or "is". The lexical words seem to behave like units--they are bounded,
discrete, and, as Andy would say, "countable" (the problem is that almost
all nouns are both countable and uncountable depending on the context you
put them in, so this distinction is really not as essential as Andy seems
to assume). But the more grammatical words seem to be elements of some
larger unit, which we can call wording.

Veresov and Fleer come up against this problem with "edintsvo" and
"edintsa". Of course, as they say, the two words are distinct. But this
doesn't necessarily mean that the former always corresponds to "unity" in
English and the latter is always "unit". If you look at the paragraph they
translate on 330, you can see that Vygotsky starts with an idea that is
quite "synoptic" and is well expressed by "unit". But in the last sentence
there is a sense that "perezhivanie" is a meta-stable unit--one that
remains self-similar only through a process of thorough change, like a
bicycle whose every part is replaced--and in English is it is better to
express this idea with "unity". The problem is that the differences between
"edintsvo" and "edintsva" in Russian is a matter of gender (I think) and
not simply abstractness, and as a result the English version, which cannot
use the resource of gender,has to rely on abstractness, so the words
"unity" and "unit" are somewhat more distinct and less linked than
"edintsvo" and "edintsva".

There are other problems that are similar. When Gonzalez Rey uses the word
"final moment" to refer to the final period of Vygotsky's thinking, he
leaves the anglophone reader the impression that he is referring to
Vygotsky's deathbed thoughts. On the other hand, when Veresov and Fleer use
"factor" to translate the same Russian word that Gonzalez Rey is using,
they are giving us something more quantitative than Vygotsky intended, and
their translation of "dalee nerazloshim'im chastyami etava edinstva"
into  "vital and further indivisible part of the whole" is quite opaque in
English (notice that here Veresov and Fleer use "whole" to translate
"edinstva" rather than "unit"!) At some point you have to accept that you
can change Russian words into English words as if you were exchanging
rubles for dollars, but you still won't be able to buy a samovar at Walmart.

David Kellogg
Macquarie University



On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 5:21 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
wrote:

Larry, all,

our arguments in the 2014 address a science education literature in which
the constructivist perspective is the leading perspective; We note that the
assertion that people learn from experience is everywhere taken for granted
but nowhere accounted for. We resort to pragmatist and phenomenological
literature along with Vygotsky's insights to point out the need to account
for learning as something that cannot be the result of an individual's
construction; in experience there is always something in excess of what you
intended, and this is a basic feature of doing, of performing. I take that
to be your "trans" in the trans/zhivanie word, Larry, which already is
denoted in the word PERezhivanie.

But I do not wish to move our discussion too far away from Marc's paper
and the Perezhivanie special issue. We also risk disengaging many that have
not have the privilege we've had to have the time to read so many articles
in just few days into the new year. I think we are a point in the
discussion where a pretty clear point of agreement/disagreement, and
therefore of possibility for growth, has been reached with regard to the
view of perezhivanie as "an experience" and as the "working over it". I
think that to allow as many as possible to follow, and hopefully also
engage, I think it will be helpful to bring the diverse perspectives and
theoretical accounts to matter in accounting for some actual material. And
there are a number of cases described in the articles, including Marc's
case of a teacher, as well as everyday facts, such as those brought by
Beth, and in Beth's article...

I take the task for myself too, but Saturday morning need to attend to
other things!
A



________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
on behalf of lpscholar2@gmail.com <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Sent: 07 January 2017 18:26
To: Andy Blunden; Peter Smagorinsky; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity;
Larry Purss
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

Andy, Peter, i hope the intention to move beyond politeness to struggle
with this topic materializes.
In this vein i want to introduce exploration of the ‘excess’ of actual
over intended meaning as he sketched his introduction to ‘experience’.

Citing Dewey, Alfredo says that this excess of actual learning over
intended learning INCLUDES what Dewey refers to as ‘attitudes’ and these
‘attitudes’ are FUNDAMENTALLY what count in the future.
Alfredo and Roth  then add this summary statement :

There is therefore, a need to theorize experience in terms that do not
assume control and rationality as the sine qua non of learning. It also
implies a need to develop analytical accounts that retain the ‘uncertainty’
that is an ‘integral part’ of human experience.

Where are Alfredo and Roth leading us with this sketch of experience? To
highlight ‘attitudes’ that occur in the excess of actual over intended
learning? The word ‘attitudes’ generates images of (atmosphere) and (moods)
that ‘flow’ like cascading waterfalls that can be imaged as (force) or as
(receptive). Attitudes that flow to places where they are received within a
certain attitude of care and concern. Not as forceful an image as moving
only  with control and rationality.  Describing ‘weaker’ thought that
remains uncertain but that also opens us to the other’s peril and plight.
Possibly a post-analytic motion that exceeds the intended by living-through
the actual that develops ‘attitudes’ that are fundamentally what count for
the future.


Sent from my Windows 10 phone

From: Andy Blunden
Sent: January 7, 2017 5:00 AM
To: Peter Smagorinsky; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

OK Peter, what you say is all very true I am sure, but it
entails conflating activity and action (as mass nouns) and
context and mediation, and makes the required distinction
much like one could find multiple meanings for the word
"and" by listing the different phrases and clauses which can
be linked by "and."

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making

On 7/01/2017 11:42 PM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
Let me try to illustrate.

Reading as mediated action: The cultural-historical
context of reading mediates how one’s attention and
response are channeled in socially constructed ways. So,
in one setting, say at home or reading in the company of
friends, a novel might bring a reader to tears, or invite
readers to share personal stories that parallel those of
the plot lines, or laugh out loud. But another setting, a
formal school or university class, would have historical
values and practices that mute emotional and personal
responses, and promote a more sober, analytic way of
reading and talking that fits with specific historical
  critical conventions and genres, and discourages others.

Reading as mediating action: The act of reading can be
transformational. In reading about an talking about a
character’s actions, a reader might reconsider a value
system, become more sympathetic to real people who
resemble oppressed characters, etc. In other words,
reading a text may serve a mediational process in which
textual ideas and exemplars enable a reader to think
differently.

*From:*Andy Blunden [mailto:ablunden@mira.net]
*Sent:* Saturday, January 7, 2017 6:28 AM
*To:* Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>; eXtended Mind,
Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
*Subject:* Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

Can you explain in a paragraph or two,. Peter, rather than
asking us all to read 10,000 words to extract an answer?

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------

Andy Blunden
http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making


On 7/01/2017 11:23 PM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:

     Andy and others, I tried to work out the mediated/mediating question
in the area of reading....see if this helps.
     Smagorinsky, P., & O'Donnell-Allen, C. (1998). Reading as mediated
and mediating action: Composing meaning for literature through multimedia
interpretive texts. Reading Research Quarterly, 33, 198-226. Available
athttp://www.petersmagorinsky.net/About/PDF/RRQ/RRQ1998.pdf
     -----Original Message-----

     From:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>  [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
     Sent: Friday, January 6, 2017 7:12 PM

     To:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>

     Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

     I have never understood this supposed distinction, Alfredo, between
"mediated activity" and "mediating activity" given that all activity is
mediated and all activity mediates.
     Also, could you spell out what you mean by the "tension"

     between perezhivanie as meaning and perezhivanie as struggle.

     Andy

     ------------------------------------------------------------

     Andy Blunden

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

     http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
decision-making
     On 5/01/2017 6:26 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil wrote:

         Thanks Marc for your careful response.

         I am familiar to Vygotsky's notion of cultural mediation and I
am aware and acknowledge that it was elaborated as a means to overcome
dualism, and that it is not analog to a computational approach.
         When I brought the computing analogy, I did so with regard not
to the concept of cultural mediation in general, but to the way it can be
(and is) deployed analytically. I react to what it seems to me a dichotomy
between a "meaning" as something that is static (thereby a form of
"representation" or reflection of the relation with the environment instead
of​refraction)​​  and the experiencing-as-struggling, which is described
as​transformation or change. If so, mediation here would seem to be part of
a methodological device that first dissects "a type of meaning" from "a
type of activity" (or a given state from the process that changes that
state), and then unites it by adding the term "mediation." And this may be
my misreading, but in that (mis)reading (which perhaps is mostly due to the
fact that in your empirical illustration only the initial and end product,
i.e., perezhivanie, are described, but not the experiencing-as-struggle,
that is, the moving between the two), mediation here seems to do as
analytical concept precisely what you were afraid our monism was doing:
explaining nothing. Only the end products but not the process of producing
perezhivanie are revealed. This may be problematic if one attends to what
Veresov argues in the paper I shared yesterday, where he defends the notion
of mediation but also specifies that Vygotsky speaks of *mediating
activity* (as opposed to *mediated* activity). That is, not mediation by
signs as products, but mediating activity as the activity of producing
signs (which again is an activity of producing social relations, perhaps
what you refer as "holistic meanings"?). What do you think?
         I did not think you were trying to deny the influence of
Spinoza, and I do not think we ever said that Perezhivanie was primarily a
move from Cartesian Dualism to Monism, as you suggest in your post. I copy
and paste from my prior post:  "The fact is that Vygotsky was building a
theory on the unity of the affect and the intellect that was to be grounded
on Spinoza, and what we try to do is to explore how perezhivanie, as a
concept being developed during the same period (but not finalised or
totally settled!), could be seen from the perspective of the Spinozist
Vygotsky."
         I totally believe that bringing the distinction between
perezhivanie as meaning, and perezhivanie as struggle, is totally relevant,
and Beth Ferholt's vignettes of Where the Wild Things Are do indeed
illustrate this. We really need to address this tension, which as Beth's
examples and as our own everyday experience shows, is a tension that
matters not just to books and to theories but to living persons (children,
teachers), a tension that moreover is present and mentioned in all the
articles of the symposium. The papers offer different proposals, and I
think is so great we have the chance to discuss them! I too, as you, am
very interesting in hearing others about the questions you had concerning
sense and meaning.
         Alfredo

         From:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>

         <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>  on behalf of Marc
Clarà
         <marc.clara@gmail.com> <mailto:marc.clara@gmail.com>

         Sent: 04 January 2017 22:31

         To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity

         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

         Thank you very much, Alfredo, for sharing this excellent paper by

         Veresov, and thanks also for your responses, which really helped
me to
         better understand your points. My main doubt about your proposal

         was/is caused by the statement that the idea of cultural

         mediation/mediator implies a cartesian dualism. This shocks me

         because, to me, the idea of cultural mediation is absolutely
crucial
         (in fact, the keystone) for the construction of a monist (and

         scientific) psychology that does not forget mind –that is, a
cultural
         psychology. From your response, however, I realized that we may
be
         approaching the idea of mediation in different ways. I talk of

         mediation and mediators in a quite restricted way. The starting
point
         of my understanding of mediation is a dialectical relationship

         (organic, transactional) between the subject and the world
(Vygotsky departs from the scheme stimulus-response, from reflexology).
         This relationship, that Vygotsky calls primitive psychological

         functions, would be basically biological. However, in human
beings
         this relationship is mediated by cultural means: signs and
tools; or
         primary, secondary and terciary artifacts. These cultural means

         reorganize the primitive functions (dialectic S-O relationship),
which
         become then higher psychological functions (S-M-O) (see for
example,
         The problem of the cultural development of the child, in The
Vygotsky
         Reader). Now, the subject, the cultural mediators, and the
object form
         an inseparable dialectical unit, so that the subject acts on

         (transforms) the object through the prism of the cultural
mediators,
         the object acts on (transforms) the subject also through the
prism of
         the cultural mediators, and the cultural means are themselves
also
         transformed as a consequence of their mediation in this
continuous
         dynamic dialectical tension. Here, for me, it is important the
idea
         that the cultural means are as material (if we assume a
materialist
         monism) as all the rest of the world; in fact, are parts of the

         material world which become signs or tools (and can be therefore

         socially distributed). This permits the introduction of the
scientific
         study of mind-consciousness (as mediating systems of signs),
because
         mind is not anymore something immaterial and unobservable, but
it is
         as material and observable as the rest of the natural world. It
is
         from this view that, for me, the idea of cultural mediation is
the
         keystone of a monist psychology that includes mind. Thus, when I
speak
         of mediators, I refer to the cultural means which mediate in the
S-O
         dialectics; I am especially interested in signs/secondary
artifacts.
         Here, it is perhaps necessary to insist that when I talk of
studying
         mediators (and their semantic structure), this doesn't mean that
they
         are taken out from the activity (the flux of live) in which they

         mediate (since out of activity they are not signs anymore);
here, I
         think Vygotsky tries again to overcome another old dichotomy, the

         functionalism-structuralism one. I hope that all this makes also
clear the difference between this view and that of computational
psychologies (which in general are profoundly and explicitly dualist and
not dialectic).
         Back to perezhivanie, I'm not obviously trying to deny the
influence
         of Spinoza on Vygotsky's thinking (this is explicit in Vygotsky's

         writings, especially in “The teaching about emotions”, in the
Vol.6 of
         the Collected Works). But I have doubts that Vygotsky's
introduction
         of the concept of perezhivanie is to be regarded primarily as a

         movement towards monism (from a previous cartesian dualism), and
that
         this movement questions the concept of cultural mediation.
Instead,
         and I think that this is in line with some of González-Rey

         observations in his paper, my impression is that the
introduction of
         the concept of perezhivanie responds more to a movement (a
further
         step) towards holism (something that, in my understanding, can
also be
         found in Spinoza). Thus, I think that the word meaning is still
the
         unit of analysis in the last Vygotsky -and therefore, the idea of

         cultural mediation is still crucial (in fact, in The problem of
the
         environment, he connects the concept of perezhivanie, which has
just
         introduced, to the development of word meaning [p.345-346, also
cited
         in my paper]). However, in my view, in the last Vygotsky the
focus is
         not anymore primarily on the word-meaning as formed for things
(or
         collections of things, as in the ontogenetic research with
Sakharov), but the focus is now in the formation of meaning for holistic
situations.
         Best regards,

         Marc.

         2017-01-03 19:16 GMT+01:00 Alfredo Jornet Gil<
a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>:
             Hi Marc, all,

             thanks for joining and for your interesting work, which I
follow
             since I became aware of it. I appreciate the way in your
paper you
             show careful and honest attention to the texts of the authors

             involved, but perhaps most of all I appreciate that the
paper makes
             the transformational dimension related to struggle and change

             salient, a dimension all papers deemed central to
perezhivanie. And I
             have learned more about Vasilyuk by reading your paper. But
I also
             see that we have approached the question of perezhivanie
differently
             and I think that addressing the questions that you raise
concerning
             our article may be a good way to both respond and discuss
your paper.
             I am aware that our use of the term monism may be
problematic to
             some, and N. Veresov, who has recently written about this
(see
             attached article), warns against the dangers of simply
moving from
             dualism into an undifferentiating monism that relativizes
everything,
             making development un-studiable. This seems to be the way in
which
             you have understood our argument, and of course this is not
what we are or want to be doing.
             Probably many will think that *dialectical materialism*
rather than
             monism is the proper term, and I could agree with them; we
do in fact
             use dialectical materialism there and elsewhere. Yet, we
wanted to
             emphasise the Spinozist influence (an influence that also
runs
             through Marx) and so we found it appropriate to use the term
monism,
             a term that Vygotsky uses before arguing that Spinoza
"develops an essentially materialistic view"
             (Collected Works, Vol. 6, p. 124). For us, the aim is
working out
             ways to empirically examine and formulate problems in ways
that do
             not reify a mind-body dualism.

             Although overcoming dualism is foundational to the CHAT
paradigm, I
             would however not say that Vygotsky did get to solve all of
the
             problems that Cartesian dualism had created for psychology,
even
             though he recognised those problems brilliantly as early as
in the
             "Crisis". It should suffice to cite Vygotsky's own remarks,
which we quote in the paper (and which A.N.
             Leont'ev mentions in the introduction to the collected
works), where
             Vygotsky explicitly critiques some of his own prior ideas
for failing
             to overcome dualism. We agree with those who, like F. G.
Rey, see
             Vygotsky's project as a developing rather than as a
finalised one.
             The fact is that Vygotsky was building a theory on the unity
of the
             affect and the intellect that was to be grounded on Spinoza,
and what
             we try to do is to explore how perezhivanie, as a concept
being
             developed during the same period (but not finalised or
totally
             settled!), could be seen from the perspective of the
Spinozist Vygotsky.
             As you note, in our article we argue that, if one takes the
Spinozist
             one-substance approach, classical concepts used in
non-classical
             psychology, at least in the way they are commonly used in
the current
             literature, should be revised. One such concept is
mediation. And I
             personally do not have much of a problem when mediation is
used to
             denote the fundamental fact that every thing exists always
through
             *another*, never in and of itself. But I do think that it is

             problematic to identify MEDIATORS, such as "a meaning", as a
means to
             account for or explain developmental processes and learning
events,
             precisely because it is there, at least in my view, that
dualism creeps in.
             For example, I find it paradoxical that you are concerned
that our
             monist approach risks turning perezhivanie into a useless
category
             because it may be used to explain everything and nothing,
and yet you
             do not seem to have a problem using the term mediation to
account for
             the transformation of perezhivanie without clearly
elaborating on how
             mediation does change anything or what it looks like as a
real
             process. How is it different saying that a perezhivanie
mediates the
             experiencing-as-struggle from simply saying that it
"affects" or
             "determines" it? Indeed, if perezhivanie mediates

             experiencing-as-struggle, does not experiencing-as-struglgle
too
             mediate perezhivanie? And do not both may be said to mediate
development, or development mediate them? Is not this explaining everything
and nothing?
             I do believe you can argue that there is a difference between

             mediation and classical psychology's cause-effect relations,
but to
             show this you need to dig into the dialectical underpinnings
of the
             theory. In your paper, you offer a nice analysis of a lovely
case of
             a teacher who, in dealing with a challenge with one of her
students,
             changes her perezhivanie. I think you can rightly argue that
there is
             a semiotic transformation, and I fully support your
statement that by
             studying discourse we can empirically approach questions of

             psychological development. The contradictions you show as
being
             involved and resolved resonate really well with what I
experience as
             a parent or as a teacher in the classroom. Yet, without
unpacking
             what this "mediation" taking place between one perezhivanie
and the
             next one means as a concrete and real, the same analysis
could be done taking an information processing approach:
             there is an situation that is processed (represented?) in
one way,
             which then leads to a (cognitive) dissonance, and then there
is a
             cognitive resolution by means of which the situation is
presented
             differently in consciousness (indeed, when seen in this way,
the term
             perezhivanie and the term "representation" become almost

             indistinguishable). How is mediation, as an analytical
concept,
             helping here? And most importantly to the question of
perezhivanie,
             how is this analysis going to show the internal connection
between
             intellect and affect that Vygotsky formulates as
constitutive of the notion of perezhivanie?
             I believe that the key lies in understanding what Vygotsky
means when
             he says that perezhivanie is a unit of analysis. I will not
repeat
             here what already is written in at least a couple of the
articles in
             the special issue (Blunden, ours), that is the difference
between
             analysis by elements and unit analysis (Vygotsky 1987). A
unit
             analysis approach is consistent with Spinoza, for whom
cause-effect
             explanations were not adequate, requiring instead an
understanding of
             self-development, perezhivanie as a kernel cell for the
development
             of personality. And I think you may be after this in your
article in
             suggesting a form of continuous movement from perezhivanie to

             experiencing-as-struggle. But perhaps the major difficulty I
find is that, in positing Vygotsky's perezhivanie as "a type of meaning"
             and Vasilyuk's perezhivanie (or experiencing-as-struggle) as
a "type
             of activity," it is difficult not to see here a division
between
             product and process, a division that then is analytically
bridged by
             the addition of a third term, mediation, that should bring
back the
             real movement between the product and the process.

             A different approach involves considering the concrete
extension of
             actual living and lived social relations, and look at them as

             generative phenomena. What is there in the encounter between
Carla
             and the child that leads to change? For it is not inside the
mind,
             but in real life, in consciousness as the real relation
between people, that Carla is changed.
             How is the semantic structure that you nicely present and
attribute
             to Carla a product of the social relation between her and
the child?
             I think that to rightfully situate perezhivanie as a concept
in a
             Vygotskian framework, we ought to address its relation to
the genetic
             law of development.

             There is much more to disentangle, but this is long enough.
I hope I
             have succeeded in making clear these ideas. Thanks so much
for
             engaging in the discussion!

             Alfredo

             ________________________________________

             From:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
             <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>

             <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
             <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>  on behalf of Marc
Clarà
             <marc.clara@gmail.com>
             <mailto:marc.clara@gmail.com>

             Sent: 02 January 2017 22:14

             To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity

             Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

             Hi, all, and thank you so much, Alfredo, for your kind
invitation to
             participate in this discussion. My paper in the MCA special
issue
             focuses on a distinction between a type of activity, which I
argue
             that is what Vasilyuk called *perezhivanie* (experiencing)
and a type
             of semiotic mediator, which I argue that is what Vygotsky,
in The
             Problem of the Environment, called *perezhivanie.* I argue,
following
             Vasilyuk, that in experiencing activities (Vasilyuk's
perezhivanie),
             this type of mediator is profoundly transformed – in fact,
that
             experiencing activities consist of the semiotic
transformation of this type of mediator.
             As Veresov and Fleer argue in their commentary, perezhivanie
(as a
             type of

             mediator) is for me a psychological phenomenon, one which is
of
             course conceptualized from a specific theoretical framework.
But the
             phenomenon is also visible from other theoretical frameworks
as well,
             as I mention in the paper. This phenomenon is my main
interest, and
             it is from this interest that I arrived at the concept of
perezhivanie (not the other way around).
             Now, the phenomenon is that at least emotion, reasoning, and
volition
             (formation of conscious purposes) seem to be decisively
mediated by
             holistic situational meaning. My current research concern is
trying
             to find ways to study and understand how this mediation
occurs and
             how these semiotic mediators are transformed and
distributed. From
             this view, I think that experiencing activities (Vasilyuk's

             perezhivanie) may provide a good terrain to study these
issues
             (especially regarding the mediation of emotion), as I tried
to exemplify in the paper.
             Studying semiotic mediation, however, is of course not easy.

             Following Vygotsky, I assume that extended discourse is the

             manifestation of thinking within certain psychological
conditions
             (Vygotsky's Thinking and Speech, chapter 7), and I also
assume the
             Vygotsky's law of the unity of the structure and function of
thinking
             (Vygotsky's Thinking and Speech, chapter 6). From these two

             assumptions, I propose that meaning (and its functions in
human
             activity) can be scientifically studied by structurally
analyzing the
             narratives generated by subjects, considering that the
discourse
             produced in the narrative is the point of departure of this
study,
             but that considerable analytical work must be done to move
from this
             discourse to the full characterization of meaning. It is in
that
             point where I find useful the work developed by Greimas, the
usefulness of which I only suggest in the paper.
             >From this background, I found many interesting ideas and
questions
                 in the

             other papers of the special issue. In this first post I will
propose
             two of them for possible discussion. The first one was
raised by
             González-Rey, when he introduces, in connection with
perezhivanie,
             the concepts of personality, and especially, of sense. So,
which is
             the conceptual (and-or

             phenomenal) relation between perezhivanie and sense?
González-Rey
             suggests that both concepts are somewhat similar (and
overcome by the
             concept of “subjective sense”); my opinion, partly expressed
in my
             commentary, is that perezhivanie is a type of meaning, which
includes
             different levels of depth, and that sense corresponds to the
deepest
             level of meaning (which can be characterized as a system of
semic
             oppositions). Therefore, sense wouldn't be in opposition to
meaning
             (as “a microcosm of human consciousness”, as Kozulin
remembers in his
             commentary), although it would be in opposition to
manifested meaning (the surface level of meaning).
             The second issue was raised by Roth and Jornet, and I think
it goes
             beyond the issue of perezhivanie itself. If I understand
them well,
             they argue that Vygotsky's core proposal of cultural
mediation is
             influenced by the Cartesian dualism (mind-matter), and that a

             promising approach to Cultural Psychology would be a
Spinozist
             monism. I am actually very interested on the issue of which

             epistemological position can best substantiate the
construction of a
             cultural psychology, and that's why I feel inclined to take
the
             opportunity to ask for your opinions about that. About the
proposal
             of Roth and Jornet, I have some doubts. First, I don't see
why
             Vygotsky's proposals can be seen as dualist (in the
Cartesian sense)
             -I suspect that it is because of the analytical
distinctions?.
             Anyway, in my understanding, Vygotsky explicitly assumes a

             materialist monism (for example in The Crisis), and in fact
he constructs his proposal on mediation upon reflexology, which also
explicitly assumed a materialist monism (e.g.
             Sechenov). Would a Spinozist monism be a better point of
departure? I
             don't know, in my understanding it is a more idealist
monism, and I
             don't clearly see what could be gained. In my opinion, a
scientific
             psychology which includes the study of mind is only possible
if any
             type of monism is assumed. However, in my view, for a
scientific
             psychology, the ontological nature of the world is perhaps
less
             important (it is an issue for metaphysics?), and I am
inclined to assume a neutral monism (e.g. Russell).
             So from this view, a materialist monism and a Spinozist
monism
             wouldn't be so different, so from both views it could be
assumed that
             all is of the same nature and all is similarly knowable
(including
             mind) [which is the ontological nature of the world and to
what
             degree it is knowable are issues that can be left to
philosophy].
             However, in my opinion, this does not mean that, while
assuming a
             monism, analytical distinctions cannot be done when studying
the
             world. In that sense, I had the impression that Roth and
Jornet
             tended to dilute analytical distinctions in the name of
monism; I
             repeat that I don't know if I understood them well, but if
this was
             the case, in my opinion, analysis would be impossible within
the new
             psychology suggested by Roth and Jornet, and, regarding
perezhivanie,
             there would be the danger, noted by Vygotsky in The Crisis
and
             cautioned by Kozulin in his commentary, that by meaning
everything, perezhivanie ends by meaning nothing.
             Best regards and happy new year,

             Marc.

             2017-01-02 9:12 GMT+01:00 Alfredo Jornet Gil<
a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> <mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>:
                 Dear all,

                 I would like to join David, Luisa, Ana, Henry and the
others to wish
                 you all a Happy New Year! May it be full of joy, peace,
and opportunity.
                 I also would like to begin the year announcing our first
?MCA
                 article discussion, ?although in fact corresponds to the
last issue
                 of the year

             we

                 just passed, Issue 4 on Perezhivanie. This is a very
special
                 *special* issue, not only because its topic has raised
lots of
                 interest lately in

             the

                 CHAT community but also because, greatly coordinated by
Andy Blunden
                 and the rest of the editorial team, the issue takes the
form of a
                 symposium where authors get the chance to present and
respond to
                 each others' ideas on the subject. In my view, this
allows having a
                 rich and

             multidimensional

                 approach to a subject as important as perezhivanie.

                 Following with the dialogical spirit in which the
special issue was
                 assembled, we will focus on one lead article, but hoping
to also
                 engage ideas and insights present in or relevant to other

                 contributions in the issue. ?Marc Clarà's "Vygotsky and
Vasilyuk on
                 Perezhivanie: Two Notions and One Word" will be our
focus. The
                 article very nicely engages the lead work of Vygotsky,
but also the
                 less known ??(?in educational literature) but totally
relevant works
                 of psychologist ?F. Vasilyuk and semiotician

             A.

                 J. Greimas, mobilising a number of key concepts
including those of
             semiotic

                 mediation and transformation.

                 ?In addition to Marc, who will soon join us, I have
encouraged some
                 of

             the

                 other authors in the special issue to also join as
"relevant
                 others," if time and circumstances allow them. Let's
hope that this
                 will help keeping the symposium spirit up.

                 Marc's article is attached to this e-mail and will be
made open
                 access at the T&F pages as soon as people is back from
the holidays.
                 The T&F link

             is

                 this:

                 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10749039.
2016.1186194
                 The link to the MCA Forum pages, where we announce our
discussions
                 and other xmca things, is here:http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/

                 I wish us all a very productive and interesting
discussion.
                 Alfredo