RE: [xmca] activity theory 3rd generation

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Sun Nov 18 2007 - 14:40:32 PST

He, he, it's the posts where, in the heat of the moment, I don't re-read
before pressing "send" which are the real garbledygook, Eric.

But what you refer to is to me a classic case of mediation. The words you
use to formulate your idea are cultural products you have acquired just
like calculators, maps or dictionaries. Using 'psychological tools' like
words, which are reproduced in a unique material instantiation using
symbolic signs every time someone speaks or writes them, is, from the point
of view of psychology, no different from using a 'psychological tool' like
a calculator which lasts until it is trashed and relies on laws of physics,
rather than a conventional symbol, and from the point of view of psychology
is no different from using a key to open a door and see what is behind it.
Doubtless a word, a calculator and a key are very different things but in
each case they only make sense within a certain culture and set of
activities because they fit in with other elements in that culture and
therefore meet human purposes within that cultural world.

These words you use for self-clarification are special because you are
mediating yourself with them, something a little different from when you
use a word to communicate with other people, although even when you use a
word with the aim of communicating you will as a by-product clarify
yourself as well. So you are both subject and object in this case of
mediation and the mediator is words.

Does that make sense, Eric?


At 09:16 AM 18/11/2007 -0600, ERIC wrote:
>Andy, your second point was regarding parallel paths of development.
>Because I only know how I think I will use myself as an example. Many
>times I have thought what I had to contribute on this listserv is relevant
>to the thread and then when I read my posts before I hit "send" I am
>stunned at my own stupididty so I delete the garbledygook. Perhaps it is
>because thoughts are not well formulated sentences but rather chunks and
>hunks of meaning that run parallel to speech (writing being a form of
>speech) the only way to know what thoughts make sense and what thoughts
>don't is to speak them or write them. When Vygotsky writes about this he
>mentions the experiments that have people speak about the problem they are
>solving and compare the solution to when people do not have to speak about
>the problem they are solving. What Vygotsky found was that people solve
>problems differently if they are speaking about it rather then only
>thinking about it. What is the mediator? In both instances language is
>the medium, Luria's mnemonist of course being an exception to this.
>P.S. is this one of those posts I should have deleted rather than sent?

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Received on Sun Nov 18 15:28 PST 2007

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