Re: [xmca] Kevin's paper for discussion: causality

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Jul 04 2006 - 18:26:19 PDT

Hi all--

Yrjo is a busy guy and doesn't have time to go over this topic for us, but
if you
google "engestrom causality" it could keep you busy for a while. :-)

Happy US Independence day, marked by the simultaneous launching of rockets
from Florida and North Korea,
all with God on their side. Very comforting to know!
ps-- And the victory of Italy over Germany, which a whole lot more people
cared about than either of the above two
On 7/4/06, Steve Gabosch <> wrote:
> Mike raises a really interesting challenge, which is to relate this
> high level discussion of causality to Kevin's paper, which I am
> thinking about. Kevin's paper does not specifically discuss theories
> of causality, but seems to encounter different views of causality in
> its general discussion of cognitivist teaching strategies versus
> cognitive apprenticeship, and - this needs to be looked into more
> carefully - may also be encountering different views on causality in
> the discussion of symmetry - Kevin's argument that the cognitive
> apprenticeship approach to learning needs to explore *symmetrical*
> explanations of learning by going beyond studies of communities of
> practice that are relatively benign and homogeneous. What
> conceptions about causality are implied in Kevin's symmetrical
> approach, and how are they different from approaches that are
> satisfied with asymmetrical explanations?
> I am glad Emily brought up Hume, and her discussion of dynamic
> systems theory and emergentism are also very useful - as is Ana's
> discussion of Prigogine. There is sure a lot packed into this little
> word, "causality"!
> Hume's theory of causality (the Wikipedia article on Hume has a
> useful section on this) has been an important discussion piece in
> philosophy for several centuries. Hume denied causality exists in
> nature - he claimed it was an illusion created by human minds because
> we *expect* certain things to happen based on our
> experiences. Consistent with his skepticist philosophy, Hume argued
> that we can never really know how things happened or will happen,
> just that we think they did or will. Hume flatly denied the
> existence of causes and effects being necessary and determined. This
> questions of whether causality actually exists in nature at all and
> when can causes be conceptualized as necessary and determined seem
> like some of many important issues to address in developing a CHAT
> approach to causality in exploring the causes of human development
> and activity.
> Interesting stuff, eh?
> - Steve
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Sep 05 2006 - 08:13:16 PDT