Re: [xmca] CHAT and the Question of "which way is up."

From: David Preiss (
Date: Sat Oct 21 2006 - 18:31:32 PDT

Mike y otros,

Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con ustedes.

En efecto, para mi el valor de Vygotsky y la Teoría de la Actividad
es su capacidad para generar y alimentar nuevas ideas, en diferentes
contextos, y en diferentes tradiciones culturales. Desde el momento
en que el diálogo sobre Vygotsky se dirime sobre la base de su calce
con la "doctrina oficial" (desde donde quiera que esta provenga),
esta deja de tener interés, al menos para mi.

En Latinoamérica Vygotsky ha sido recibido a partir de dos fuentes:
una mediada por Europa y otra mediada por Estados Unidos. Por lo
mismo, creo que no debemos llamarmos a ilusiones y pensar que hemos
recibido aquí un Vygotsky ortodoxo. Nuestros diálogos con Vygotsky
son también diálogos con el pragmatismo estadounidense y con ciertas
formas de pensar a la cultura en Europa, ajenas a su vez a la
tradición norteamericana (pienso en el culturalismo alemán, por
ejemplo, o en la sociología francesa).

Nuestro diálogo con Vygotsky es, entonces, tal como Bakhtin lo
hubiera soñado: pleno de voces, otras voces sumergidas en la de
Vygotsky, y múltiples resonancias.


On Oct 21, 2006, at 2:11 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

> So many topics are sneaking into the discussion with no change in
> headers (I
> know, Reply is easier and
> definitely preferable to silence!) that I want to pick up on just
> one of the
> many issues raised in the past
> couple of days.
> When Ana writes "no absolute, universal, pre-existing, a-historical
> template
> against which to judge and define 'heights' was meant to be
> suggested" I
> think it is worthwhile pausing at least a little to consider the
> agency
> buried in "was meant to be suggested." This issue relates to the
> issue of
> one-right-way thinking about the legacy of Vygotsky and his
> colleagues and
> how to orient to it.
> So, first, about who might have suggested that while no "pre existing,
> a-historical template" was a part of their understanding of
> genesis (phylo.cultural.onto.micro) there is little doubt in my
> mind that
> LSV and Luria and Leontiev all had a HISTORICAL developmental, from
> lower to
> higher, sequence of changes in mind when they talked about
> primitive/modern,
> etc. According to this way of thinking Theoretical thinking in
> scientific
> concepts is
> later than thinking in complexes ontogenetically and cultural
> historically,
> and phylogenetically and such later modes of thought are higher,
> better,
> more "context independent," and to adopt the
> view expressed by Michael and Ana is, from this perspective, not
> only not
> true to Vygotsky but the delusions of well meaning bourgeois
> liberals whose
> bleeding
> hearts are obscuring their vision.
> (For clear statement of this perspective see Karpov's book on neo-
> vygotskian
> psychology or Mescheryakov & Zinchenko's characterization of the
> deviations
> from Vygotskian
> thinking of which I am manifestly guilty in *Cultural psychology*
> as reason
> to characterize my view as "anti-historical cultural psychology.")
> My own view which is, a trust, readily available to anyone who is
> not bored
> by repitition of it, is that for almost 20 years we have been
> witnessing
> historical changes
> of many kinds, one consequence is, for this group, the meeting,
> converging,
> transforming, distorting, changing, improving, debasing, etc of the
> ideas of
> Soviet (largely Russian)
> psychologists with a very heterogeneous group of non-Soviet, non-
> Russian
> psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, educationalists, work
> researchers...... all of whom are
> attracted by what appear to be important strengths in the core
> ideas to be
> re-constructed from the writings of LSV et al from the mid 1920's
> up to the
> mid 1970's with several
> very significant periods of disruption and radical zigs and zags.
> We all do this differently, drawing upon what we can from those
> cultural
> traditions of which we are a part. So for me it includes Dewey and the
> little of American pragmaticism I know,
> a melange of Anglo-American anthropological work, Bartlett, a
> background in
> human development, encounters with different OTHERS in various
> parts of the
> world. For Michael it
> includes a range of European thought much of which I have not even
> heard of,
> never mind read and thought about, for Ana there is a strong
> starting point
> as a young participant
> in the late days of the Moscow school's approach and her many years of
> experience in Western Europe and the United States, bb brings his
> strong
> background in physics and
> tireless efforts to enable the education of teachers around the
> country
> combined with a voracious reading appetite. Etc.
> All of this to reproduce what LSV wrote in 1924-34? Or Leontiev,
> or.....?
> Did they know how to incorporate Bakhtin? And if they did, could
> they would
> they?
> Short bottom line: Establishing the one right way to develop the
> unfilled
> program of lsv and his colleagues is not an attractive task.
> Seeking to
> explore ways to enrich, correct, make
> relevant to our times, and in general, make those ideas equipment
> for our
> living and the prospects for living of our progeny IS an attractive
> task.
> What a great tool kit we have been
> bequeathed! And with all the modern tools at our disposal and their
> shoulder's to stand on, can we see past our noses? At least as far
> as the
> computer screen?
> It snowed again in Colorado just after I left and the sun glistens
> in my
> back yard.
> Neighbors slaughter each other in Baghdad.
> I vamos escriber en dos lingues acqui en XMCA
> All true. Guess it really is the best of all possible worlds.
> mike
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

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
web personal:
web institucional:

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