Re: Query Re Genetic Domains

From: Victor (
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 09:22:46 PDT

You might look at Vygotsky's Primitive Man and His Behaviour for some
of Vygotsky's ideas on the relationship between the stages of the
intellectual development of the child and the culture-historical
(prehistorical) development of human consciousness. As I recall he does not
regard the development of meaningful speech to be the model for the
prehistorical development of human culture.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Gabosch" <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 4:43
Subject: Re: Query Re Genetic Domains

> 11:23 AM 6/10/2005, Mike wrote:
>>Dear Colleagues,
>>It is my impression that lot of people, following Vygotsky (summarized in
>>Wertsch, 1985) have made the programmatic claim that human ontogeny is the
>>emergent outcome of phylogenetic, cultural historical, and moment by
>>(microgenetic) processes.
>>I am looking for references that include this kind of rhetoric. I recal,
>>but cannot find, that Ronald Tharp once wrote on this topic. Yrjo's book
>>on learning by expanding certainly adopts this point of view. and......??
>>Suggestions needed!
> I suggest Ken Richardson (1998) _The Origins of Human Potential_ , Chapter
> 3, "Developmental Systems."
> Some tidbits:
> "In the previous chapter I tried to show how the standard genetic
> assumptions underlying the current framework of nature-nurture debates in
> psychology are unlikely to be valid." pg 66
> [In this chapter] ... I want to continue this scrutiny by showing how the
> evolved system of genomic regulations is only the first of a number of
> regulatory levels to be found in organisms living in complex environments.
> Just as the expression of structural genes have become nested in a complex
> of genomic regulations, so these have become nested in other systems of
> regulations, at additional hierarchical levels." pg 66
> Richardson quotes Piaget (1980): 'The epigenetic system, as we have noted,
> is highly integrated: each stage has its own system of regulations, and
> each is bound to the levels before and after by a complex of
> interregulations.' pg 71
> Referring to Oyama (1985): "Although we commonly speak of the genotype as
> 'creating' its appropriate phenotype through epigenetic processes, we now
> wee that it is at least as legitimate to speak of the developmental
> process 'creating' its own appropriate genotype (Oyama 1985: 49)." pg 71
> "I have argued in several places (e.g. Richardson 1992; Richardson and
> Webster 1996) that such learning is only achieved by the lifelong
> developmental construction of 'nested covariation hierarchies' within the
> cognitive system reflecting those in natural experience, including those
> revealed by action upon the environment. This is the kind of information
> that cognitive systems evolved to deal with. Indeed, a number of
> neuroscientists have long argued that it is such nested covariations that
> form the 'language' of higher cerebral functions (e.g. Mackay 1986)." pg
> 79
> "Steven Rose (e.g.1981) has long advocated a 'levels', or hierarchical
> systems view, as an antidote to reductionism of the collapsing of all the
> regulations that have evolved back into a shallow genetic determinism." pg
> 94
> Fascinating chapter, one of the best pieces of contemporary writing I have
> seen putting these ideas together. Vygotsky especially, but also
> Leontiev, Rogoff, Cole - yes, Mike Cole - and many others also figure into
> Richardson's presentation.
> - Steve

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