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Re: Vygotsky/tool/sign/symbol

Is the Pierce article the one for discussion?

Regarding sign or symbol, I would like to learn about what you, David, and
others in the seminar see as the possible consequences of one versus the

The definitions you found for sign and symbol make me think of Grice's
discussion of natural and non-natural meaning.  "These spots mean measles"
is an example of natural; "Three rings of the bell means the trolley is
about to
stop" is an example of non-natural.
Tools and symbols would both be non-natural.  Signs would be natural.
For language, there is also a tripartite distinction among sentence meaning,
utterance meaning, and speaker meaning.    Maybe that distinction would come
in handy when thinking about symbols that re-present in/for a
socio-historical community of users.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Cole" <lchcmike@gmail.com>
To: <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 11:42 AM
Subject: Vygotsky/tool/sign/symbol

What, for Vygotsky, was the relationship between tool, sign and symbol?

This question was raised in a seminar  David Preiss and I are conducting
Santiago and La Jolla.

It turns out to be an interesting question because the answer is no
obvious. LSV's book,
part of which appears in *Mind in Society" was titled "orudie i znak"
in Russian, which,
litterally, should be trranslated as tool and sign. But sometimes is
translated as tool
and symbol vis, in mind and society!)..

The term, symbol, is little in evidence in the Collected works, but it
appears in phrases
like "symbolic activity."

Jaan Valsiner, when asked, said that the route to an answer lies
through Cassirer.
Jim Wertsch, when asked, said that the route to an answer lies through
Husserl and


If one googles "signsymbol" one comes up with various answers to the
sign symbol relationship. For example:

Signs—stands for or represent something else.
           Not arbitrary

Artificial or conventional signs (There is no direct relationship with
their referents.)
Arbitrary and ambiguous

The article on Peirce in MCA is clearly relevant to this issue, but I
wonder if others have
considered it and might share their insights?