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

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Sat Oct 21 2006 - 19:04:02 PDT

Well said!
At 10:11 AM 21/10/2006 -0700, you 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
>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
>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.
>xmca mailing list

  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
identity: AndyMarxists mobile 0409 358 651

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