David-- You appear to be much better versed in this discussion than I am so
you can provide some help. I first encountered this sort of argument in the
David Bakhurst who was using a philospher named McDowell. David appeared to
that my work suffered from failing to appreciate McDowell's ideas. Jan was
philosopher whose name I do not recall, but who, if I am correct, is in the
same general area.
Both were severely criticized by a member of the audience but I am not
enough of a Hegel or
Spinoza scholar to have a ghost of a chance of evaluating what was going on.
However, I respect
both Jan and David, neither of whom, I strongly suspect, would agree that
they were flashlights(!).
So I am left wondering what this is all about.
On 10/7/05, David H Kirshner <email@example.com> wrote:
> I share (what I sense is) your frustration with this debate. I see the
> insistence on reason, as a variety of dualist thinking entering even
> (otherwise) sophisticated discourses. Now the caveat that people "act
> ALWAYS from reason [but] not necessarily with awareness of it" complicates
> the matter by allowing the possibility that one's actions conform to
> reasonableness criteria even if one's personal mentality doesn't actually
> participate in explicit processes of reasoning. But I think this is just
> obfuscation of the basic position that humans are basically rational
> creatures. One sees the influence of this perspective in a wide range of
> pedagogical discourses (e.g., cognitivist and constructivist
> sometimes sociocultural, too?) that construe metacognitive mastery as the
> primary goal of education--the gateway to everything else. My favorite
> quote on the matter (though framed in terms of consciousness) diagnoses
> causes of the position in almost poetic language:
> Consciousness is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are
> conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious
> of. How simple that is to say; how difficult to appreciate. It is like
> asking a flashlight in a dark room to search around for something that
> not have any light shining upon it. The flashlight, since there is light
> whatever direction it turns, would have to conclude that there is light
> everywhere. And so consciousness can seem to pervade all mentality when
> actually it does not. (Jaynes, 1976, p. 23)
> Jaynes, J. (1976). The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the
> bicameral mind. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
> David Kirshner
> Lois Holzman
> <lholzman who-is-at eastsideins To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> titute.org <http://titute.org>> firstname.lastname@example.org, " <
> Sent by: cc: (bcc: David H Kirshner/dkirsh/LSU)
> xmca-bounces who-is-at weber.uc Subject: Re: [xmca] ISCAR - Sevilla 2005 --
> sd.edu <http://sd.edu> Concepts in CHAT and their connestion to physical
> concepts and knowledge
> 10/06/2005 06:51 PM
> Please respond to
> "eXtended Mind,
> Culture, Activity"
> I was also at the session Mike mentions below. While I too would like to
> explore more any relationship between Vygotsky and Spinoza. And that talk
> brought another thing up. I found Jan's talk to raise an intriguing/thorny
> issue. I can't find my notes right now so my summary will be only enough
> make what I'm thinking (perhaps) clear. Jan was saying that human beings
> ALWAYS from reason‹‹not necessarily with awareness of it but nevertheless
> from reason. I was able to raise the following point with her in the
> and later in a too short conversation: The position she was putting forth
> was a conversational dead end because with her position, anything anybody
> said will be interpreted within her framework and would overdetermine any
> conversation on the matter. If people who did not agree that human beings
> always act out of reason were we to say so, she would ask us/assume we
> acting out of reason, i.e., hear/interpret/place what we said in her
> framework. So how could we go on? How can we talk together?
> Not all differences of opinion get deadlocked in this way but I think this
> one does.
> Any thoughts?
> > From: Mike Cole <email@example.com>
> > Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> > <email@example.com>
> > Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 18:08:57 +0200
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] ISCAR - Sevilla 2005 -- Theoretical Concepts in CHAT
> > their connestion to physical concepts and knowledge
> > Thanks Ana, for your overview. I am checking with folks at LCHC about
> > could
> > most easily make all the abstracts of xmca members, or that xmca members
> > want to
> > discuss, gathered together in one place.
> > I have a few clear minutes to write and have been reading with interest
> > what others have
> > been posting. My own feeling is that concrete issues from concrete
> > might be
> > of interest as possible markers for further discussion.
> > For example, at a symposium chaird by Jan Derry, Vladislav Lektorsky
> > about the
> > centrality of formative experiments as central to cultural-historical
> > methodology. this interests
> > me a lot (I, too, identified this as an issue in need of discussion). I
> > not have the text and
> > Slava read in English which made it difficult to follow, but that topic
> > his ideas are of
> > interest to me for followup.
> > David Bakhurst talked about questions of mediation. I got a few minutes
> > talk to David about
> > his paper which is on what is another of my core interests. I found it
> > odd that he could
> > raise as a possible difficulty the idea that from a chat perspective,
> > world could be seen
> > as accessible ONLY through a mediator. This is clearly not the position
> > taken by LSV or any
> > of his immediate colleagues, or by anyone I know of working in this
> > tradition. Much more could
> > and should be discussed vis a mediation (e,g. our earlier discussion of
> > whethe operations
> > are mediated, or if, once they become ¨transparent¨they no longer are.
> > did not get enough
> > time to talk, but she raised some (apparently disputable) suggestions
> > the relevance of
> > Hegel and Spinoza. Since the lsv-Spinoza connection is little discussed
> > the issue of
> > cognition/emotion is much discussed, this was something I thought worth
> > following up on.
> > My computer connection is outta money.
> > Other comments to come
> > mike
> > On 10/3/05, Ana Marjanovic-Shane <email@example.com> wrote:
> >> ISCAR in Sevilla, September 2005:
> >> In a conference of this scope, where one cannot hope to have attended
> >> even one 10th of all the presentations, it is hard to give any overall
> >> evaluations or even impressions. But, XMCA members who did not come to
> >> Sevilla, ought to have some notion of what went on there for 5 days in
> >> September 2005. So those of us who were there really need to put our
> >> thoughts together and give some descriptions of what went on. That is
> >> not easy. There are different aspects one can write about, different
> >> themes that ran through presentations, different aspects of
> >> organization. I will be working from my notes -- taken in haste during
> >> the workshops, from the abstracts we received and from some other
> >> sources people gave us (handouts, web pages). It would be very useful
> >> someone at the XMCA headquarters could put the abstracts in pdf format
> >> on the server so that everyone could have an access to them. (Mike, is
> >> it possible to organize it?).
> >> The conference was held in 3 buildings of the Department of Psychology,
> >> Sociology and Philosophy, at the University of Sevilla. Those are new
> >> buildings (not part of the University main venue in the old Tobacco
> >> Factory), built with inner balconies and great visibility, so they were
> >> easy to navigate. The workshops were held in auditoriums, most of which
> >> had a classic layout: a podium with a blackboard and projection screen,
> >> and then rows of seats and desks. Everything fixed -- unmovable. There
> >> were just a few rooms without fixed benches -- with panels and chairs.
> >> They were used for Poster sessions. My first fear was that the first
> >> part of our session was assigned a room with fixed benches. We would
> >> have to move it -- since it was an interactive drama workshop where
> >> people have to have space to move, group and regroups and play!!
> >> Fortunately, it was not: we were given one of the poster rooms!!
> >> We usually don't consciously think of the space and its qualities when
> >> we participate in activities with intellectual content. But it is
> >> important. If our beliefs about the mediated quality of intellectual
> >> growth and functioning are true, then we have to think about the space
> >> as mediated and mediating. European universities (at least three of
> >> I know, and now Sevilla) are still mediated by another paradigm about
> >> intellectual processing and education. A paradigm that Vygotsky started
> >> to question 100 years ago. It takes much more to have this
> >> of ourselves trickle down to those who plan and build schools and
> >> universities.
> >> Participants came from many parts of the world. But not from
> >> I was happy to see people from Africa -- some of them from Rwanda!
> >> were not many Africans in the previous ISCRAT conferences. Participants
> >> came from all continents. There were many people known to us on the
> >> discussion list in the conference: N. Ares, D. Bakhurst, S. Chaiklin,
> >> Cole, M. de Haan, J. Derry, Y. Engeström, S. Gaskin, A. Goncu, P.
> >> Hakkarainen, L. Holzman, V. John-Stainer, E. Lampert-Shepel, C. Lee, E.
> >> Matusov, D. Robbins, W-M. Roth, A. Stetsenko, A. Surmava, J. Valsiner,
> >> B. van Oers, N. Veresov, G. Wells, J. Wertsch..., There were many more
> >> we have to learn about.
> >> The conference program listed two main themes with lots of sub themes:
> >> THEME A.- Theoretical and Methodological Issues
> >> THEME B.- Acting in changing worlds
> >> Each workshop was classified within one of the two themes and within
> >> of its subtopics. What was hard on the conference organizers and on the
> >> conference attendees was to separate workshops that tackled similar
> >> problems in time: there were many workshops I wanted to go to, but they
> >> were held at the same time. I always had to choose between, at least
> >> competing workshops and more often between three or four. That was very
> >> hard to juggle. I ended up running from one to another, missing chunks
> >> from each workshop that I wanted to hear, or just worrying that I was
> >> missing something else.
> >> Before the conference, I made my own selection of workshops which have
> >> something to do with play and imagination. That was my personal program
> >> guide, I am attaching here. However, I ended up changing it to
> >> accommodate other talks which were also important to me. [Other
> >> participants in Sevilla: Please send your own selection of the
> >> workshops!"]. In my next postings, I will discuss some of the
> >> presentations I attended. I invite you who went to Sevilla to discuss
> >> least one of the presentations: one paper, one concept you heard
> >> discussed, one thought you found important in Sevilla. Each one of us
> >> has a special "pet" interest, and sometimes, special ways to understand
> >> or to "objectify" this interest through different selection of topics
> >> and different people. Maybe you want to connect the questions we asked
> >> before the Conference with your experience in the conference? Or maybe
> >> you would want to mention just something unexpected, something that
> >> you think?
> >> Until later.
> >> Ana
> >> --
> >> Ana Marjanovic-Shane
> >> 151 W. Tulpehocken St.
> >> Philadelphia, PA 19144
> >> Home office: (215) 843-2909
> >> Mobile: (267) 334-2905
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
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