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


at the beginning of the discussion you raised the following question: 

>From Marc:
<<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).>>

I am here forwarding Fernando G. Rey's response to your question concerning sense and meaning. I have not edited any of his notes but have copied and pasted them as he wrote them. Fernando is positively recovering from a medical intervention, but has been kind enough to follow up the discussion and is willing to take up specific questions if these rise.

>From Fernando:
 <<I think that for this discussion is very necessary to take into account the importance given by Vygotsky to emotions at that final moment of his work.  In ““On the Questions of the Psychology of the Creative Artist” he wrote: “In the process of societal life . . . emotions come into a new relationship with the other elements of psychical  life, news systems appear, new blendings of psychical functions; units of a higher order emerge, governed by special laws, mutual dependencies, and special forms of connections and motion. (Vygotsky, 1984, p. 328) . In that comment he attributed a generative character to emotions; emotions come in relation to other elements of the psychic life and are treated as equivalent to them . From this relations new systems appear. It is possible to ask,  to which systems Vygotsky is referred in that statement?. We don´t know , but it was a strong interest of Vygotsky in that time; to define new psychological systems on the basis of the units he was tried to advance with concepts like sense and perezhivanie.   In  “Thought and world” that Thinking was divorced from the full vitality of life, from the motives, interests and inclinations of the thinking individual.(Vygotsky, 1987b, p. 50). This position is fully consistent with that expressed before by Vygotsky . Both positions reveal his comprehension of emotions as inseparable from other functions and elements of psychical life, as part of the ontological nature of psychological phenomena. Subjective senses embody the idea of the full vitality of life referred by Vygotsky in relation to  thinking. For my viewpoint that “full vitality of life “ have to be defined by the way of in which  the constellation of symbolic social constructions within which human experience takes place, emerge as singular subjective senses that organizing themselves in subjective configurations becoming self-generative subjective systems. Subjective senses and configurations express how social symbolical realities as, norms, institutionalized o
rders, myth, race, gender and many others simultaneously appear as subjective production. The own Vygotsky explicitly defended that meaning was only one zone of sense.  Unlike Vygotsky´s  definition of sense, as word´s sense, subjective senses and configurations are integrative units of symbolical processes and emotions through which the social and cultural realities appear as they are lived by individual, groups and social instances.  From my point of view, there is no doubt that Vygotsky at the end of his life was looking for a new kind of units to advance a new definition of consciousness ( at his time identified as the more complex psychological system). He clearly considered meaning as the unit of consciousness for a little period of time.  His references to the personality both in the definition of the sense and the perezhivanie, lead to think that the attempted to articulate those concepts with psychic systems. He only explicitly wrote on perezhivanie as unit of consciousness, but he did no advanced forward  this idea>>

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
Sent: 12 January 2017 21:41
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

David, I admire much of what you write in your first three examples in your prior post. But I am reacting to your latter post on Chess. It is the second or third time that you bring the CHESS example to bear in xmca, and I always feel uneasy about it.

I see the point that there are different developmental stages and that these can be best categorised according to the type of generalisation that the child can engage into. Obviously, treating a piece of marble "as if" it was a piece in the game of chess involves a different type of generalization than treating the same piece of marble as if it was a piece in the game of "let's put the black pieces in black squares and white pieces in white squares". But I do not think that my 20 months daughter will put black pieces on black squares in any systematic manner simply because she can PERCEIVE and act upon the difference between black and white; and indeed I do not think that my 7 years old first daughter will do any of these things with the chess pieces, considering  she has never learned to play chess. Indeed, why would any child do that? I do strongly believe that to get any of my daughters to arrange the pieces by color, there would have first to be a TEACHING/LEARNING situation, which itself would involve establishing a semantic field, a field that perhaps out of my ignorance I would call semiotic (sign).

 In my view, in both cases there are rules and therefore imagination, if we listen to Vygotsky's writings on play, and perhaps, as Vygotsky notes, there may be a difference in the "moral attitude", but I would be cautious by gross divisions between perceptual and semantic structures. Yes,there are different levels, types, or stages in the way semantic fields are organised, and that playing the chess pieces as pieces of the CHESS game involves a qualitative leap compared to playing them as pieces in the game of putting them together by shape or color; but there is a game going on in both cases, and therefore a perceptual as much as a semiotic structure being at play. These are different semiotic contexts, as you say at the end of your e-mail, but I do think that your assertion that in playing with the chess pieces by color "the structure would be visual but not semiotic" can be problematic and may lead to what I consider an incorrect view of the relation between higher and lower functions in development.

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
Sent: 11 January 2017 04:50
To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Happy New Year and Perezhivanie!

Vygotsky's got a terrific metaphor for how "perezhivanie" is internalized:
it is like internalizing the rules of the game of chess.

The child who doesn't know how to play chess simply plays WITH the pieces
instead of playing them. She or he might try to create a piece-board
structure by putting black pieces on black squares and white pieces on
white squares, but the structure is a visual one and not a semiotic one;
it's about color and not about meaning. The child who DOES know how to play
chess plays the pieces instead of playing with them. She or he too creates
"structures" but this time they are semiotic ones: a black knight in a
completely different column and a completely different row, can capture a
white pawn.

The board is the same and so are the kids; the children may have very
similar biological and very similar cultural endowments, but they do not
have the same semiotic context at all. Hence different perezhivanie and
different personalities.

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 11:54 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> How to understand the personality? ... i.e., the *development* of the
> personality?
> The subject's inheritance, and The subject's experiences (/perezhivaniya/)
> ... just think of how you'd go about writing a good biography or
> Bildungsroman.
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> On 11/01/2017 10:24 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>> Andy:
>> A good paradox! Word meaning is a unit, but the spoken word itself is
>> just an element--a thing. We can see that this is, on the face of it,
>> impossible: within a single holistic analysis, an element can be a part of
>> a unit, but a unit can never be a part of an element. So what you are
>> referring to when you say that the word is a thing is the "sonic" or
>> "phasal" quality of the word: its "acoustic" properties, its "phonetics".
>> But not its phonology. The word that Vygotsky uses for "phoneme" refers
>> to the 1929 work of the Prague Circle, originally the Moscow Circle. He is
>> a LITTLE coy about this, because the founders, Jakobson and Trubetskoy,
>> were not very popular with the authorities and Vygotsky already had plenty
>> of heterodox acquaintances to worry about. Nevertheless, whenever Vygotsky
>> says "phoneme", we know he really means what Jakobson and Trubetskoy called
>> "morphophonemes". We know this because the examples he actually
>> gives--Russian case endings--are morpho-phonemes and not simply phonemes:
>> so for example in English the sound /s/ is a simple phoneme when I say the
>> word "self" but if I say "Andy's" the sound /s/ is a morpho-phoneme: a
>> difference in sounding that makes a difference in meaning. The system (that
>> is, the paradigmatic menu) of these differences in soundings are what the
>> Moscow and Prague Circles called "phonology" (as OPPOSED to phonetics), and
>> this is the kind of "phoneme" that Vygotsky is really talking about.
>> Still, you can see that it is not what he is talking about when he says
>> word meaning, because these units are still nowhere near big enough to
>> describe the kinds of changes which must occur when verbal thinking
>> develops. I feel the same way about a lot of the examples offered of
>> "perezhivanie", including Marc's. If MacDuff's grief or Carla's epiphany
>> about the misbehavior of her kids being due to "outside influences" really
>> is the unit of personality and experience that Vygotsky wants us to use
>> when we analyse the ontogenesis of personality, then it is no more
>> appropriate than using the morpho-phoneme to analyse the whole of verbal
>> thinking. Just as evolution (of species) requires very different units from
>> history (of classes), development, whether we are talking about verbal
>> thinking or the personality as a whole, is going to require very different
>> units from learning, whether we are talking about MacDuff or Carla. The
>> units must be able to develop; that is, the relationship of the elements
>> within them must be susceptible to many changes over time.
>> Let me give three examples of how this happens in different
>> "perezhivanie". They are not mine; they are Vygotsky's, and they are all
>> from the Pedological Lectures.
>> First, the Crisis at One. Neither the biological nor the social endowment
>> of the child greatly changes in the acquisition of speech; nevertheless,
>> the relationship between the personality and the environment, of which both
>> personality moments and environmental ones are constituent elements, is
>> entirely transformed. Here we are not talking about phonemes, or even
>> morpho-phonemes: we are talking about "wordings"--whole utterances. In
>> Melbourne I presented some data that demonstrated this beautifully--a
>> child's first word is actually an attempt to imitate a whole conversation.
>> Second, the Crisis at Three. Vygotsky spends a lot of time discussing the
>> "Seven Stars"--the symptoms of the "Terrible Twos" and "Threenagehood"
>> noted by harried parents everywhere. But by the end of his analysis it's
>> clear that what really happens is a new relationship between wish and will:
>> in extreme cases, the child actually wishes for one thing (e.g. compromise)
>> and wills the opposite (the everlasting "No!"). Again, neither the
>> personality moments as such nor the environmental ones change, but there is
>> a separation and a sorting which allows the subordination of wish to will
>> that we see in play. This isn't the kind of "aha" moment that Marc is
>> offering us at all: Vygotsky actually calls it the "antipode" of future
>> will, because instead of enabling will it actually paralyzes it. But it is
>> indubitably a key moment in the development of the relation of personality
>> to environmental moments that we see in "perizhivanie".
>> Thirdly, the Crisis at Seven. I think Gonzalez Rey makes a total hash of
>> this, and I get very cross when I read his article. It is not true that the
>> essence of perizhivanie remained a mystery to Vygotsky simply because he no
>> longer subscribes to "the aesthetic reaction" and "catharsis" and other
>> notions that he toyed with in Psych of Art (he's no longer doing
>> experiments on changes in breathing rate when people read the works of
>> Bunin either!). It might be true that he never offered a system of facts
>> and methodological procedures for perezivanie, but that was only because
>> one already existed, for example in the work of Wallon and Stern and
>> others. It is demonstrably not true that when Vygotsky says that the speech
>> environment of those around him does not change when the child learns to
>> talk at one, he is not "profoundly contradictory with the concept of
>> sense": when you read the quotation in context, it is very clear that what
>> he is referring to are the kinds of absolute indicators used by Zalkind:
>> how often the parents read the newspapers, the dialect they speak, and
>> their educational background. These do not change, and if the child wants
>> to make sense, these are the factors the child will have to relate to.
>> Vygotsky gives the example of a child who is severely retarded. The child
>> wants to play with other children and is rejected. The child walks down the
>> street and the other children follow, laughing. The child is shrieked at,
>> insulted, but as soon as the humiliation stops, the child is perfectly
>> happy with himself. Vygotsky points out that the child is not able to
>> "co-generalize" the "perizhivanie" of the humiliations: each is unpleasant,
>> but they are entirely separate and cannot be connected with any internal
>> sense of inferiority. A normal child, however, is able to "internalize"
>> these humiliations and consequently develops a sense of inferiority. We can
>> see that what has happened is the insertion of what Vygotsky calls an
>> "intellectual" moment: an inner layer, which is what distinguishes later
>> Chaplin movies from earlier ones (again, Vygotsky's example, not mine!) and
>> what brings about the "loss of directness and naivete" that we see in
>> pre-schoolers.
>> I think that the reason people find "perizhivanie" so hard to work with
>> is the same reason that they find "word meaning" hard to work with: it
>> develops. The feeling of drinking milk as the infant drinks it is
>> perizhivanie, and the thought of being humiliated when you are mulling it
>> over and contemplating revenge is also perizhivanie, and only a profound
>> analysis which includes ontogenetic development and not just learning will
>> show the inner link between them. It's for that reason that I think that
>> "activity" is not a useful unit of analysis and I am much more inclined to
>> use your word "project", so long as it can include what Vygotsky calls
>> "inner activeness".
>> Vygotsky says:
>> Когда я размышляю, припоминаю и т. д., я имею дело с внутренней
>> активностью, эта внутренняя деятельность психологических процессов
>> непосредственно не связана с внешней деятельностью. Вот эта новая форма
>> внутренней активности в школьном возрасте заключается в том, что, в то
>> время как в дошкольном возрасте эти внутренние деятельности обнаруживают
>> непосредственную связь с действием, внешней активностью, в школьном
>> возрасте мы имеем относительно самостоятельно возникающие, относительно
>> независимые внутренние активности по отношению к внешней деятельности. Это
>> уже ребенок, который может размышлять, в то время когда он делает или видит
>> что-нибудь, тот, у которого возникает дифференциация внешней и внутренней
>> деятельности.
>> When I think, remember, etc. I am dealing withinner activeness; this
>> psychological process of inner activity is not directly linked to any
>> external activity. The new form of inner activeness in the School Age
>> consists of this: that while during the preschool years these inner
>> activities demonstrated an immediate link with action, with external
>> activeness, in the school years we have a relative autonomy which emerges,
>> inner activeness which is relatively independent of external activities.
>> Here is already a child who can think, at the same time when he is doing or
>> seeing something, one in whom has emerged a differentiation of inner and
>> outer activities.
>> David Kellogg
>> Macquarie University
>> On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 10:07 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     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://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>     http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>     <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 <mailto: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
>>             <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>             <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>             <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>             on behalf of lpscholar2@gmail.com
>>             <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>
>>             <lpscholar2@gmail.com
>>             <mailto: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://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>             http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decisi
>> on-making
>>             <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
>>                 <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>]
>>                 *Sent:* Saturday, January 7, 2017 6:28 AM
>>                 *To:* Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu
>>                 <mailto:smago@uga.edu>>; eXtended Mind,
>>                 Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto: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://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>                 http://www.brill.com/products/
>> book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>                 <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
>>             <http://www.petersmagorinsky.net/About/PDF/RRQ/RRQ1998.pdf>
>>                      -----Original Message-----
>>                 From:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:From%3Axmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>                                     <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman
>> .ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>                 [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
>>                 <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@>
>>             mailman.ucsd.edu <http://mailman.ucsd.edu>] On
>>             Behalf Of Andy Blunden
>>                      Sent: Friday, January 6, 2017 7:12 PM
>>                 To:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:To%3Axmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>                 <mailto: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://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>                 http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
>>                 <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:From%3Axmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>                                         <mailto: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>>
>>                                         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman
>> .ucsd.edu
>>                 <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>                 on behalf of Marc
>>             Clara
>>                          <marc.clara@gmail.com
>>                 <mailto:marc.clara@gmail.com>>
>>                 <mailto: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 Gonzalez-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>>
>>             <mailto: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