Re: [xmca] Streamed Discussion of Development in CHAT theory

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at>
Date: Thu Nov 15 2007 - 22:22:17 PST

  I didn't take offense at anything you said although I disagreed with it. And since your last post didn't really address any of my comments I just take it that you don't find them relevant to your concerns. You are perfectly within your rights to change the topic, return to a topic from which my comments might have diverted you, or even to simply ignore what I wrote that doesn't concern you.
  I think we have different understandings of the what's important in the Vygotsky/AT/CHAT traditions and it's not even clear that trying to work out those differences has any importance for moving us farther along in pursuing those distinct concerns. I'm not a fundamentalist or a missionary and am not looking to convince anyone with a different understanding of the meaning of the theories we discuss on xmca, that mine is right. But since xmca is presumably a space for developing multilogues about the theories emanating from that tradition, the essential of which I understand to be an attempt to develop a dialectical materialist psychology parallel to Marx's dialectical materialist economics, I present my comments seeking clarifications of the interpretations posted here that are clearly at odds with my understanding of that tradition.
  If where I'm coming from doesn't fit your understanding of this theoretical lineage , it's not a problem for me, although I might still post queries and challenges that, as I wrote above, you are perfectly free to disrregard . It won't offend me in the least since the intellectual/theoretical exchanges such as those taking place on xmca are not the ground on which the value of those concepts is really worked out anyway, at least that's one of the basic premises of the conception of social phenomena on which Vygotsky's ideas were based. But when there is a fundamental agreement about the premises, or the willingness to deal with the disagreements, I've found that xmca multilogues are fruitful for expanding the practice in which any theory must ultimately demonstrate its value.
David Kellogg <> wrote:
  Dear Paul:

No offense intended. I was trying, in my clumsy way, to get back to discussing the video. I didn't mean to ignore what you said, all of which I found interesting but not all of which I understood.

I am now even more confused than ever, I'm afraid. It seems to me that the issue of silence playing a role in the construction of a piece of music IS actually relevant to Halliday's remark about Nigel's fourteen-day-old communicative act. (I even think it's relevant to the more recent talk about the role of noise in Glenn Gould!) So I really can't see that I am off topic.

But it may well be that the choice of topic is a battle of wills, a little like the choice of subject line. To return (somewhat selfishly) to MY chosen subject line, I was puzzled last night (watching the video for the fourth time) by Penti's remark that play is concerned with SENSE making rather than MEANING making.

Of course I know what he is referring to: it is the distinction between "sense" and "meaning" based on Paulhan that LSV takes up at the end of "Thinking and Speech". But I never really figured out what LSV was referring to, since Paulhan himself doesn't take this distinction seriously.

Assuming that LSV means what Paulhan says, "sense making" would be PRAGMATIC, POLYSEMIC and PERSONAL while "meaning making" is SEMANTIC, CONCEPTUAL and SOCIAL. On what grounds does Pentti think that the latter is "realistic" whle the former is not? That goes against what I think about play (and also against what Vygotsky writes in Chapter Seven of Mind in Society and elsewhere).

Speaking of which, is there any word on the "Play" special issue of MCA? I haven't had any acknowledgment of our submission yet, and in fact I have no word at all from MCA (except a whopping bill for 530 dollars for my 2008 subscription! Apparently Taylor and Francis think I am an institution. Being institutionalized would be cheaper....)

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Thu Nov 15 23:33 PST 2007

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