Steve et al--
I have not been a real part of this discussion because I have been
up-close deadines and trying to read very carefully through Anna
book.*Thinks as Communicating. *I also find Ilyenkov very difficult
have, thus far, only "cherry picked" ideas that seemed to give
voice to intuitions I have had during years of teaching, but could
relevant formulations for. So I cannot respond adequately here,
your question, although taken in its present context, I find it very
difficult to believe that " ideality (roughly, the social meanings of
things) is independent of human will and consciousness as well."
is because I assume the artificial to be the embodiment to prior
achieving actions that have
survived to be present in our current activities.
Recently Jay published a review of Anna's book in MCA which is well
as i work my way through it, her ideas reverberate with the traces
I am able to grok in passing, or feel like I am "getting."
One of these is her suggestion that a concept is " a word or other
WITH ITS DISCURSIVE USE (my emphasis). That complicates identifying
and concepts and moves us toward a Wittgensteinian notion of word
I also think that reading the Davydov materials posted by Andy is
was quite critical of Vygotsky's notion of concept.
I am also trying to think about how to extended the into-image-making
"level" of consciousness, which occurs, "behind our backs" (or
notice) and other forms of
imagination which are clearly linguistically mediated and quite
-- A book on
I sure wish there was a way to allign our temporally and
and wonderings. For now, getting the XMCA archive fixed up and
stable is the
next best step
I can manage.
Thanks to you and David and the others who are doing close readings
summaries, evaluations, and extrapolations. Keeps the golden ring just
almost within reach.
On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:38 PM, Steve Gabosch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mike, David, all: I have a question about the how some of
on thinking and consciousness align with the comments on
you make, Mike, in your 2006 article, which you linked us to the
(see post below). Keeping in mind that this article had a more
purpose, to make the case for the intertwining of phylogeny and
human mental life, it nevertheless makes a brief but very
about consciousness itself.
I find myself agreeing with both Ilyenkov, and the observations in
article. But there seem to be some links missing between the two
which I am puzzling over.
Ilyenkov, for his part, makes it clear that he believes the world of
objects is independent of human will and consciousness. In my
interpretation of the passages from Problems of Dialectical Logic
and I have been discussing, Ilyenkov also believes that the
between human thought and the world of objects are independent of
and consciousness. Furthermore, in Chapter 8 of his book Problems of
Dialectical Logic (1974/1977), and in his essay The Concept of the
(1962/1977), Ilyenkov argues that the ideal, that is, ideality
social meanings of things) is independent of human will and
My question is: How do Ilyenkov's claims - or perhaps put another
**do** his claims - align with Mike's thoughts on consciousness?
Here are Mike's comments about human consciousness in this 2006
which seem very reasonable to me:
"A provocative way to think about phylogeny–culture–cognition
among humans is to consider the combination of processes that
appears to be
necessary for an adult human to experience a visual image of the
same processes presumably apply to images in other sensory
the relevant data are lacking)." p 237
After a very helpful description of human vision processes, (which,
reading this, could be said to be discontinuously continuous and
continuously discontinuous!), Mike concludes:
"Following the logic of this line of research on what might be
components of the visual image” we can conclude that one component
speciﬁed by factors arising from human beings’ phylogenetic
history and one
part from the individual’s culturally organized experience, which
the residue of the cultural history of the individual’s social
However, these two sources of experience are not suﬃcient to
coherent image of the object before one’s eyes. Rather, it
‘‘third component,” the active reconciliation or ﬁlling-in
by active humans
seeking to make sense of their experience for an integrated,
of the world to arise and be maintained.
"In addition to its value as a reminder of the tripartite nature of
conscious experience, the stabilized image experiment is valuable in
underlining the fact that the causal relations between the brain
are bi-directional and that neither constituent of psychological
is suﬃcient; the active resolving activity of the human being
make sense of the world is a necessary component of normal
well." p 239.
On Sep 3, 2009, at 4:18 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
Your multi-lingualism, as always, David, is very helpful, along
broad and close readings.
I am a very late comer to the issues of consciousness, having been
the era when the term
was exorcized by American psychology. You can find my first
coming to grips with
the idea in *Cultural Psychology, *in the chapter where I describe
analysis of question-asking reading that Peg Griffin invented and
still work with as a teaching tool. There we replace the solid
with a triangle that is "open at the front end" putting time along
bottom line and having a gap
between the mediated and direct connections between subject and
process of filling that
gap is the process of consciousness. This idea appears in a
nascent form in analysis of
fixed images on the retina that can be found at
The fixed image data make clear that tripartate nature of HUMAN
consiousness, where discoordination is constituitive of
elsewhere i have written about taking the russian term,
voobrazhenie into-image-making as THE fundamental cognitive act.
All of these involve, I believe,
d) potential anticipation
But there are so many more and many different ways of thinking of
matter. False consciousness is a term I worry about a lot.
Color me self conscious.
On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 4:03 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com
We translated Piaget's "prise de conscience" as "seizure of
except that in Korean the verbal noun has the more psychological
"grasping" as when you grasp a meaning that you didn't really
a phrase that you have heard many times. So, to nominalize, the
conscience" is the "graspture of awareness" or the "rapture of
Every child is an awareness raptor.
I think that one important thing to grasp here is that
French is not really the homuncular "consciousness" we have in
more than it is the obvious false friend, the meaning of a moral
"conscience" that we find in English writings on ethics. It has a
OTHER meanings that attracted Vygotsky to Piaget, to wit:
d) potential anticipation
It seems to me that all of these can be conceptualized as moments
passing of the child from a relatively passive, reactive state to
more voluntary, volitional one.
Last night, I was re-reading Engestrom's old book "Learning by
which some of our teachers are busy translating into Korean. In
he does try to tackle the question that I think gives the "prise de
conscience" its real importance, which is the question of whether
what point learning is REVERSIBLE--at what point the laying down of
socioculturally accumulated experience becomes the creation of new
for the next phase of sociocultural progress.
I think Engestrom sees Vygotsky's preliminary considerations of
(which he describes, it seems to me incorrectly, as
laboratory experiments (what Paula and Carol replicated), his
classroom observations (Chapter Six of T&S) and his theorizing as
a single process which can be REVERSED in order to yield the
phase of expansion. The first process works from outside in, and
from inside out.
The problem, it seems to me, is the crisis. the "prise de
really a crisis par excellence, and a crisis is by definition NOT
reversible. For example, awareness is not simply the end point of
done backwards, nor is noticing the endpoint of attentional
reverse. Obviously, active anticipation requires awareness,
and attentional selection, but not vice versa.
So the crisis obeys different laws, and we can also expect post-
development to be different from precritical development in
In physics, a shock wave cannot, by definition, be understood
mathematics we use to describe continuous phenomenon. And the shock
reverberates: if a crisis is generally restructuring, we have to
the laws of the next phase of social progress are going to be in
Seoul National University of Education
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