Fwd: RE: [xmca] Vygotsky and Problems

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at mira.net>
Date: Sat Dec 08 2007 - 23:38:55 PST

Sorry, I forgot to reset "Send Plain Text Only"

>That's a very interesting observation Hunter.
>All I can say is that I clearly remember the impact that the title of
>"Problems of Dialectical Materialism" (with ANL's article in it) had on
>me. This immediately said to me that this was a work which offered an
>original and daring approach to Marxism rather than the usual Soviet
>material written according to a formula. For the majority of Stalinist or
>Trotskyist literature of the time, it would be oxymoronic and a
>provocation to talk of "problems of diamat" because diamat was supposed to
>be free of internal contradictions or "problems." It also indicated a
>serious attitude to theory by using what I took to be a more reflective
>rather than expository title.
>That's just how I recall the impact on me, a young Marxist at the time.
>At 10:26 PM 8/12/2007 -0600, you wrote:
>>As a graduate student, I was fortunate enough to work with Steve Witte
>>and Bob Bracewell on a couple of projects centered around Vygotskian
>>psychology and the study of writing. I've pasted below a footnote from
>>one of these projects that may have some bearing on the question at hand.
>>We should note that Soviet-Russian writers frequently appear to use
>>problemy ("problems of/in") and also, to a lesser extent, etjudy
>>("studies in/on") in their titles as a means of indicating that a work
>>will cover a rather broad range of specific topics related to a larger,
>>more global topic. That usage appears to contrast with that of voprosy
>>("problems of/in"), which seems to be reserved to designate problems of
>>concern to a disciplinary community rather than problems subsumed under a
>>particular global topic such as "development of the mind." Our sense is
>>that problemy ("problems of/in") and etjudy ("studies in/on") often
>>appear in the titles of works whose authors rely rather heavily on what
>>James Kinneavy labels and discusses as "exploratory discourse"
>>(1971/1980, esp. pp. 96-106), discourse whose principal aim is to
>>establish the grounds for an hypothesis or set of related hypotheses
>>rather than to demonstrate or argue for a particular thesis. For us, an
>>example of exploratory discourse is Vygotsky and Luria's Etjudy po
>>istorii povedenija: obez'jana. primitiv. rebenok (Studies on the History
>>of Behavior: Ape, Primitive, and Child) (1930-b).
>>Hunter Stephenson
>>From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Lois Holzman
>>Sent: Sat 12/8/2007 2:04 PM
>>To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>Subject: [xmca] Vygotsky and Problems
>>I'm turning to this group for some help in understanding what
>>Vygotsky means by the word problem. I may be asking a translation
>>question or something broader about the Russian way of framing issues
>>or themes in science/philosophy/psychology. In English "problem" has
>>come to imply "solution" (e.g., the "problem-solution syndrome"). I
>>also like Wittgenstein's view on problems, which is that his method
>>makes them "vanish" (as opposed to fixing or removing them). How
>>should I be thinking about how Vygotsky thought of what a problem is
>>in light of its common use in English as something to be fixed or
>>solved? And its use in traditional psychotherapy (e.g., presenting
>>problem)? All thought will be greatly appreciated!
>>Lois Holzman, Director
>>East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy
>>920 Broadway, 14th floor
>>New York NY 10010
>>tel. 212.941.8906 ext. 324
>>fax 212.941.0511

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Received on Sat Dec 8 23:40 PST 2007

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