Re: Summer Study Group on Ilyenkov's Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Wed Jun 01 2005 - 20:23:35 PDT

Just jump in hwere it is interesting to you, Steve. Everyone seems pretty
distracted at present, so I am sure offers of interest and help will be

On 6/1/05, Steven Thorne <> wrote:
> Mike, Steve, and all -- i like the idea of an Ilyenkov course -- this
> would tie in nicely with my growing interest in language and the
> materiality/ideality question. Ilyenkov seems to be the key here. i've got
> quite a bit out of David Bakhurst and Peter Jones work but could use some
> proleption.
> i'm not sure what Phil or others have in mind for a language/CHAT focused
> discussion -- there was a brief flurry of interest in early april but i
> haven't heard/read anything since (save for Peg's recent posts).
> steve
> Steve--
> Thanks for the initiative. We are awaiting new of whether the language and
> activity
> group will get active now, and how long they.we are assumed to be active.
> I do not
> know. Those who do know should speak up.
> Any discussion of Ilyenkov has to be relevant to xmca so I am happy to see
> the discussion
> here, but if it is on yahoo, some way of posting summaries back to xmca
> would be very
> helpful. He is one of those thinkers who most people know through
> secondary sources,
> which is a shame. But our individual bandwidths are, quite evidently
> (speaking for myself!)
> are finite.
> mike
> On 6/1/05,* Steve Gabosch* <> wrote:
> King Beach's mention of Ilyenkov's Dialectics of the Abstract and the
> Concrete is a perfect introduction to announcing an on-line study group
> that Peter Moxhay, Kristen Clark and I are planning for this summer on
> that
> very book. We actually began planning it last summer, but kept postponing
> doing it for the usual "too busy" reasons.
> Peter will be our discussion facilitator (some may remember the terrific
> job he did facilitating the section on Davydov in the 2003 xmca
> webcourse). We want to discuss the final chapter, Chapter 5, in some
> depth, but at a friendly pace. Any xmca list member is welcome to
> participate, listen in, etc. The book is available on-line at
> courtesy of the Marxist Internet Archive site. We will be publishing an
> informal syllabus to keep everyone on the same page as the discussion
> proceeds. We will announce the start date soon. We will probably start
> around the end of June or the beginning of July.
> We have a Yahoo discussion list set up for this (just like Anna set up for
> the CH-SIG workshop at Montreal) but there has also been some talk about
> doing it right here on xmca. Either will work. Each approach has pros and
> cons.
> Doing it on the Yahoo discussion list has the advantage of not dominating
> xmca bandwidth and disrupting its discussions on things like articles from
> the MCA journal every quarter - articles such as the current Jurow article
> that Mike is coaxing us to discuss more, which King took up - or this
> intriguing epi-discussion about a CHAT theory of language that Anna is now
> tantalizing us with :-)) . Keeping an in-depth book discussion separate
> from xmca seems to make a lot of sense.
> People will be able to get and send all posts to the Yahoo site sent
> through their regular e-mail, but they will have to have a (free) Yahoo ID
> (e-mail account) to do so. We will post more details about all this
> soon. If anyone has a definite opinion on whether to do this on a Yahoo
> site, or on xmca - or has other ideas on how to proceed with this book
> discussion group idea - this is the time to speak up.
> - Steve
> ********************************************************************
> At 07:53 PM 5/31/2005 -0700, King Beach wrote:
> >Mike and others,
> >
> >I am going to dip my oar in the water here from New Delhi where we
> >are working with organizations trying to help street and working kids
> >build connections (not necessarily similarities) between their lives
> >in slums and the government schools--certainly involving
> >generalization is a broader sense. However, two points flow from the
> >juxtaposition of our current work with this conversation.
> >
> >One is our tendency to look for a single overarching characterization
> >of generalization, e.g. as ascending from the abstract to the
> >concrete or the expansion of local discursive practices. Those of us
> >who are psychologists by training might recognize this as our
> >discipline's historical desire for single process explanations such
> >as learning transfer. Davydov's concept of substantive
> >generalization, for example, makes far more sense to me in the
> >context of teaching and in science than it does where there are not
> >clearly generative "germ concepts." Trying to makes sense of the
> >transitions that primary-aged kids make between school and home/work
> >involves so many levels of generalization as to make single
> >process/single principle constructs problematic.
> >
> >The other is a tendency with generalization to focus on that which
> >develops with some degree of commonality across social space and time
> >rather than on the production of disjunctions and contradictions as
> >well. Like Michael Roth here I do find Hegel and Ilyenkov (partic.
> >Dialectics of Abstract and Concrete) helpful in thinking about
> >generalization more broadly than the production of similarity. The
> >contradictions and disjunctions between what the kids must do here in
> >their daily lives and what they do in the school classrooms have far
> >greater developmental potential than do any hoped for highly
> >"abstracted" set off commonalities between studying in school and
> >working on the streets (or well-intentioned but misguided attempts to
> >"smooth" the daily transitions that these kids make between the
> >streets and the school by making "word problems" out of their
> >experiences working with their families).
> >
> >Cheers,
> >
> >King
> --
> Steven L. Thorne
> Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics
> Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
> and
> Communication Arts and Sciences
> Associate Director, Center for Language Acquisition
> Associate Director, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and
> Research
> The Pennsylvania State University
> Interact > 814.863.7036 | |
>>| IM: avkrook

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jul 01 2005 - 01:00:06 PDT