Re: [xmca] Radius of Subjectivity

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Tue Nov 13 2007 - 18:30:38 PST

Here's a good quote from Volosinov I'm still trying to make sense of.
  "The prehistoric herdsman was virtually interested in nothing, and virtually nothing had any bearing on him. Man at the end of the epoch of capitalism is directly concerned about everything, his interests reaching the remotest corenrs of the earth and even the most distant starts. (...) Society in process of generation expands its perception of the generative process of existence. There is nothing in this that could be said to be absolutely fixed. And that is how it happens that meaning—an abstract, self-identical element—is subsumed under theme and torn apart by theme’s living contradictions so as to return in the shape of a new meaning with a fixity and self-identity only for the while, just as it had before. (Marxism and the philosophy of language, p. 106).”
  One of the really interesting and as yet undiscussed issues that came up in the San Diego-Helsinki discussion was the link (or lack thereof) between economic development and ontogenetic development.
  As Mike points out, this is a dangerous one; it cost Vygotsky and Luria very dearly. Mike himself has reconceptualized it as a much looser link between species development and child development; that is, comparing the way in which ape developed into man and the way children develop into adults.
  This is a bigger leap (by far) but it is in some ways less dangerous, both because it overleaps the old 19th century dictum that the "primitive" is the fore-runner of modern society as the child is the father of the man and because it doesn't involve the confusion between social and economic development (by no means synonymous!) that the former comparison implies.
  It's actually quite easy to find places like Cuba or Kerala in India where the Communists have been in power for a long time and there are highly developed medical and educational systems but very poor economic infrastructure. Needless to say, the reverse is even easier to find. We have met the Klingons, and they are us.
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Tue Nov 13 18:33 PST 2007

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