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Re: Comments on Arievitch issues

A comment on Frawley (1997):

An excellent volume that deserves greater recognition, as Mike has
indicated. It is probably worth noting that Frawley comes down very hard on
contextual  and situated action approaches that, on the one hand embrace
Vygotsky, and on the other minimize, or seek to do away with altogether,
the role of symbolic thought in accounting for behavior and activity
(pp.24-25). So researchers like Greeno, and Agre, are given short shrift.

This is relevant to the Arievitch argument that Galperin's approach can
inform sociocultural psychology with its emphases on contextualized and
participatory learning.  This seems to me to be a valuable insight that is
worth pursuing, but we should keep in mind that the Galperin contribution
will be one that brings with it a construct of symbolic thought. In this
matter I see Frawley, Galperin, and even Hutchins as occupying the same

Frawley, W. (1997). Vygotsky and cognitive science: Language and the
unification of the social and computational mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.

A note on interaction on xmca from a newby:

I found myself with tears of laughter in my eyes as I read though the
following sequence of postings to the board.

Mike Cole (Fri Jul 02): "Anyway, I wanted to begin by appreciating Bill's
invocation of Newell?"  [Huh? Who's Bill? Oh! He got the name wrong.]

Mike Cole (Mon Jul 05): "Bob not bill! My apologies to Bob Williams for
referring to him as Bill." [Aha! , a correction on the name, but? wrong

Bob Williams (Mon Jul 05 2004): "No worries Mike, Except? I can't find the
document  where you got my name confused."  [Now everyone is confused!]

As my wife said when I showed her, you can always tell when you're posting
to a board frequented by academics. I think perhaps I'll sign myself
"Robert", it's less confusing.


Robert Bracewell
Associate Professor
McGill University
3700 McTavish Street
Montreal, Canada H3A 1Y2
email: Robert Bracewell <robert.bracewell@mcgill.ca>
voice:  514-398-3443
fax:    514-398-6968