Re: [xmca] New Valsiner SEmiots paper on MCA website at lchc

Date: Tue Nov 21 2006 - 06:47:32 PST

Well David:

If you are truely interested about Valsiner's ideas he is more then happy
to converse through e-mail. When i wrote my master's paper i found this
correspondence very helpful. Until then let me just point out that
Valsiner is a Developmental Psychologist and veiws all human action through
that lense. I also believe that he would agree with Pierce's pragmatics
and if this makes him a realist, so be it. I will leave the rest of the
explaining of this paper to Valsiner. About there being no distinction
between inter- and intra- is that dualism as an idea is rejected and that
communication is a large body of water, sometimes we swim in the water and
sometimes we sit on the shore and merely observe.


                      < To: <>, "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity"
                      .kr> <>
                      Sent by: cc:
                      xmca-bounces who-is-at web Subject: Re: [xmca] New Valsiner SEmiots paper on MCA website at lchc
                      11/18/2006 08:51
                      Please respond
                      to "eXtended
                      Mind, Culture,

Help! I'm having a lot of trouble with Jaan Valsiner's new paper, "The
Overwhelming World". I think there are three problems, in particular:

a) I can't decide if Valsiner is a realist or not. If so, why isn't
"pleromatization" a form of schematization, since any artistic
representation of the world must necessarily represent a simplification?

b) I can't decide if pleromatization is ONLY a form of externalization. If
so, why can't we simply consider it an iterative from of schematic
representation? Why does it have to have a different conceptual structure?

c) I can't decide if Valsiner is really serious when he denies the
distinction between inter-personal and intra-personal knowledge. If so, how
does ANY knowledge come into being?

I must confess an interest; I am a realist painter, heavily influenced the
Dutch masters, as you can see if you examine:

One of my good friends, Wolfgang in der Wiesche, however, is not:

When he was in the kunstschule in Brauschweig, though, they had to produce
one pencil sketch that was as realistic as possible. While everybody else
was covering themselves in sweat and eraser dust to draw lemons or
landscapes or even human faces, he took a very small price tag off a pencil
in a stationary store and reproduced that almost perfectly.

I see a fair amount of this cheating in my data, which is mostly children
improvising in a second language. The kids have a strong tendency to
OVERspecify their nouns:

S: I like an apple.

Lest we attribute this some Piagetian stage of concrete before formal
operations (or sensorimotor famliarity with the object "apple" but not the
conceptual category "apples"), I should add that they have a comparable
tendency to UNDERspecify their verbs, providing neither tense, number, or
aspect, and overusing "to be".

S: I'm play.

It's as if the kids live in a schematized world where every noun is a
concrete apple and every verb is an abstract process of "being", "doing",
or "having". We can explain this by saying that the kids interpret the
world as Wolfgang did, in a way that ensures ease of expression rather than
accuracy of reproduction.

In the same way, why can't we explain Valsiner's "pleromatization" as the
selection and iteration of schematizations rather than as a direct response
to the overwhelming world?

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of
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