[xmca] Sawchuk and Stetsenko: Questions

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Sat Dec 06 2008 - 15:13:18 PST

Apropos of Jennifer's early post and some subsequent discussion, I hope
people will not take it
amiss if I ask a couple of questions of the authors which I have been
wrestling with just as a preamble
for trying to get systematically in mind Figure 1 and all its ramifications
(I have little background in
classical sociology, so, as other question askers on XMCA will appreciate, I
am loathe to profer opinions).
But answers to a couple of questions earlier in the article would help me
work my way through.
Both come from sections where there are no concrete references, so I do not
know how to trace things
further back.
First, on p.340 :

We currently see mainstream psychology succumbing to eliminative
neurological reductionism, *in part, as a backlash, to the flourishing of
cultural approaches through the 1970's to the 1990's. (my italics). *I have
some idea of the idea of eliminative reductionism from the work of the
Churchlands who have been at UCSD for many years now but rather than it
being in the ascendency, it seems to be struggling in competition with views
which are starting to take culture seriously, such as Sejnowski's "cultural
biology." But more importantly, where did this flourishing of
cultural approaches in the 1970's-1990's show itself? Not here at UCSD. The
Churchlands were not reacting to that. Culture via experimental social
psychology has gotten kind of popular in mainstream journals recently (a
different kind of reductionism). But what are Peter and Anna referring to?

My second question comes from p. 344. toward then end of the long section
summarizing ideas about the founders of cultural-historical psychology and
at least one brand of activity theory in the USSR. It concerns the idea that
*"transformative* collaborative practice used to be the central principle of
LSV and colleagues. My reading of these
authors is spotty and it would help a lot to have a couple of references
where this idea is shown to play a central
role in their work that then disappears. This may relate to someone else
asking if collaborative practice =
joint mediated activity. I am not sure. The term seems to work well for
Mescheryakov's work but that happened in the
post-non-canonical period.

Assistance would be much appreciated.
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Received on Sat Dec 6 15:13:54 2008

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