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[xmca] Types of Generalization: concepts and pseudoconcepts

I have prepared a response to Davydov's book, but it is 4,000 words, so I have attached it in a Word document. But here is a synopsis.

Davydov claims that in his analysis of the Sakharov experiments, Vygotsky fails to demonstrate any real distinction between a true concept and an abstract general notion (what is usually and mistakenly taken for a concept in non-Marxist thought).

I claim that he has a point, but Vygotsky is guilty only of some unclarity and inconsistency in his language, and makes the distinction very clear. And Davydov should pay more attention to what Vygotsky says about the relationship.

Davydov works with a mistaken contrast between scientific concepts and the general notions derived from everyday life. Scientific concepts are by no means the only type of true concepts and everyday life is full of concepts.

Nonetheless, Davydov has a point. It is evident that Sakharov, the author of the orignal, oft-cited report evidently is guilty exactly as charged by Davydov. And no-one seems to have noticed!

Although Paula and Carol are consistent and correct in everything they say in their paper, they err on one occasion only when they cite Kozulin citing Hanfmann. It is as if people equate logical use of generalized empirical notions with conceptual thought, never in their own words, but only by means of citing someone else's words.

I think this is the legacy of a lack of clarity in Vygotsky's brilliance.

4,000 words attached. And apologies for not entering the discussion of Paula and Carol's paper earlier, but I was not clear in my own mind on these problems, and Davydov helped me get clear. Better late than never!

Andy Blunden (Erythrós Press and Media) Orders: http://www.erythrospress.com/store/main.html#books

Attachment: concept-really-concept.doc
Description: MS-Word document

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