Re: [xmca] Unbelievable - & Spanish

From: David Preiss (
Date: Fri Oct 20 2006 - 19:12:39 PDT

There is an interesting paper by Frank Keil & Paul Bloom in Mind
(2000) where they challenge Vygotsky's approach to language along
with others' approaches such as Sapir. In short the paper challenged
the idea that language shapes thinking and the idea that differences
in language relate to differences in thinking. The paper is well
written and is worth discussing. I propose that we discuss this paper
here vis a vis the issue of bilingualism. What do you think?

On Oct 20, 2006, at 9:05 PM, Stetsenko, Anna wrote:

> Michael, there is a curious contradiction in what you are saying --
> because "fully thinking dialectically" (your expressions) is
> impossible by the very nature of what dialectics takes thinking to
> be -- positing it as a process that can never be complete, full,
> terminal in any sense. Instead, dialectical thinking presupposes
> that there is always a next step, and a new height, however 'full'
> one's thinking is. Vygotsky at least was fully aware of this, by
> the way, as is clear from many of his works, including the
> 'Crisis' (where he is extremely self-critical and self-reflective
> as to inclompleteness of his own thinking and where he predicts
> that his own ideas will have to be challenged in the future; see
> last passage of this work).
> And how about this, from Vygotsky:
> 1. one can certainly think without words
> 2. the ability to think without words is only given by the words.
> pretty dialectical, I'm thinking (though not fully dialectically).
> AS
> ________________________________
> From: on behalf of Wolff-Michael Roth
> Sent: Fri 10/20/2006 3:46 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Unbelievable - & Spanish
> In all your deliberations about (mono, bi-, multi-) lingualism,
> consider the following incompossible, contradictory propositions that
> are truly dialectical in their tenure and are sublated in actual
> human praxis:
> 1. We only ever speak one language.
> 2. We never speak only one language.
> (Derrida, 1998, p. 7)
> Derrida, J. (1998). Monolingualism of the Other; or, The prosthesis
> of origin. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
> To anyone interested in a dialectical account that LSV never could
> achieve because he was not fully thinking dialectically---according
> to a number of texts I recently came across---I recommend this little
> booklet very highly.
> I think we are allowed, and this is fully compatible with a
> dialectical theory of science (see Il'enkov) to go beyond the giants
> (i.e., LSV) on whose shoulders we stand.
> Cheers,
> Michael
> On 20-Oct-06, at 10:08 AM, wrote:
> Ok guys,
> let's go with bilingualism
> Vale,
> vamos con el bilinguismo
> As a first time, I´m going to try with both languages at the same
> time.
> Como es la primera vez, voy a intentar usar las dos lenguas.
> My comment today is that it is very important to realize that a real
> bilingualism should include scientific knowledge -whatever you want to
> understand by this.
> Mi primer comentario es que considero muy importante darse cuenta de
> que un
> bilinguismo total debe incluir el conocimiento científico.
> Last week, Olga Vazquez visited my University and made a presentation
> on "La
> clase mágica". One of the most relevant comments from the audience -
> all of us
> spanish researchers and undergradute students- was about the
> assymetrical
> bilingualism that we still perceived within that so interesting
> experience
> implemented by Olga and her collaborators.
> La semana pasada Olga Vazquez estuvo en mi Universidad presentando su
> investigación en "La clase Mágica". El comentario más repetido por
> parte de la
> audiencia fue sobre nuestra percepción de que el bilinguismo
> implícito en la
> experiencia es todavía asimétrico.
> We expressed this idea in terms of a defense of Spanish as a scientic
> language. But we also realized that it would be applied to other
> languages and
> we made a parallelism between the Mexican at the USA and the arabian
> at Spain.
> Expresamos esa idea como la necesidad de defender el español como
> lenguaje
> científico. Pero también éramos conscientes de que eso afecta al
> resto de las
> lenguas. Reflexionamos sobre la situación de los inmigrantes de
> origen árabe
> en ESpaña y establecíamos un cierto paralelismo con la situación de
> los
> inmigrantes de origen Mexicano (hispanos en general) implicados en la
> Clase
> Mágica.
> So I think is time to tackle the issue in XMCA, but I wonder if
> Thought &
> Language is to long as a first attempt. We can go twofold. Just some
> chapters
> from T&L. Or just some chapters from M in S. I'll delighted any way.
> Así que creo que ha llegado el momento de abordar este asunto dentro
> de XMCA
> pero creo que Pensamiento y Lenguaje puede resultad demasiado largo
> para un
> primer intento. Podemos empezar por algún capítulo aunque también
> podemos
> hacer lo mismo con "Mind in Society". Estaré encantado con cualquiera
> de las
> dos opciones.
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David Preiss, Ph.D.
Profesor Auxiliar / Assistant Professor

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Escuela de Psicología
Av Vicuña Mackenna 4860
Macul, Santiago

Fono: 3544605
Fax: 3544844
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