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[Xmca-l] Re: ZPD and DST!
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: ZPD and DST!
- From: Wolff-Michael Roth <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:26:40 -0700
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Hi all, I did not realize that my reference wasn't updated. The paper is
and by personal request Alfredo or I will mail a copy to those not
operating at a uni with access to Springer Link.
Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor
Applied Cognitive Science
MacLaurin Building A567
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2
New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 2:33 PM, Wolff-Michael Roth <
> Hi David, you will disagree even more with this one:
> Roth, W.-M., & Jornet, A. (in press). Theorizing with/out "mediators."
> Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science.
> But people like Feliks Mikhailov, and also Ekaterina Zavershneva indicate
> that toward the end of his life, Vygotsy was moving away from mediation. We
> give an extended argument for theorizing without mediators in the article.
> But I hope you understand that I am not out to interpret and find out what
> Vygotsky really said even if he did not say it. I think you are well
> positioned to do THAT kind of research. I want to move on. And, frankly, I
> have no clue what people are saying when they write that something is
> mediated. It seems to me that they are hiding or refraining from going
> after what I am interested in. I am not interested in knowing that a tool
> mediates something. I am interested in what the tool actually does, what
> are the events in which tools participate, shape people and get shaped by
> In the end, all this is about finding suitable discourses, and
> descriptions, for doing the kinds of things we want to do.
> Wolff-Michael Roth, Lansdowne Professor
> Applied Cognitive Science
> MacLaurin Building A567
> University of Victoria
> Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2
> http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth <http://education2.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/>
> New book: *The Mathematics of Mathematics
> On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 2:22 PM, David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> I think the Roth article I would recommend isn't the editorial, but rather
>> this one:
>> Roth, W-M. 2007. On Mediation: Towards a Cultural Historical
>> Theory and Psychology 17 (5): 655-680.
>> There's a lot I disagree with in this paper (e.g. I disagree with the idea
>> that if mediation "explains" everything then it explains nothing--it is
>> like saying that if perception applies to all visible phenomena then it
>> applies to none of them). But here's why I prefer it to Saeed's paper:
>> a) Roth gets to concrete examples from direct experience almost
>> (fish feeding, on p. 656). This gives me something to go back to when I
>> lost in abstraction, and I need it.
>> b) Instead of using Theory A to illuminate Theory B, Roth goes back into
>> the historical origins of Theory A and discovers, immanently, Theory B, C,
>> etc.. This has two advantages: it avoids chalk-and-cheese eclecticism, and
>> it helps me understand how Theory A was formed in the first place. With
>> Saeed's paper, I find myself missing: 1) an account of the CRITICAL
>> DISTINCTIONS between the two theories, 2) an explanation of how each MAKES
>> UP for what the other lacks, and 3) some argument for long term
>> COMPATABILITY, some explication of why the emulsion will not re-separate,
>> like vinegar and oil.
>> c) For Vygotsky--no, for mediation more generally--the key problem is
>> volition, free will, choice. Vygotsky once said that the most interesting
>> problem in the whole of psychology, bar none, is what a human being would
>> really do in the situation of Buridan's donkey (that is a situation of
>> volition, of free will, of choice where the outcomes were either
>> equal or equally unknown). This isn't true of DST, which has, as Saeed
>> admits, an "emergentist" account of volition (to put it uncharitably,
>> handwaving and magic). At the very least, choice is late emerging in a DST
>> account, and that makes, for example, the child's early and
>> successful acquisition of speech very hard to explain.
>> That said, Saeed--I DID appreciate the part on p. 86 where you remind us
>> that learning and development are distinct but linked. As Wolff-Michael
>> says, the point has been made before, but I think that we've got to keep
>> saying this, until people really see that mixing up "microgenesis" and
>> ontogenesis is, in our own time, the same kind of error that mixing up
>> ontogenesis and phylogenesis was in Vygotsky's. If I read one more article
>> which invokes the ZPD for some trivial incident of learning, I'm getting a
>> tattoo that says: "Look here, mate, just because it didn't kill ya doesn't
>> mean it made ya any stronger".
>> David Kellogg
>> Macquarie University