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RE: [xmca] Types of Generalization: concepts and pseudoconcepts

Dear Andy

I've been plugging away at the Davydov you posted for us, and I believe that
thanks times three are due to you: for posting the Davydov, for writing the
concept-really-concept doc, and for the notes you made about Carol and me in
this posting.  You've given me lots more to read and to think about - and
I'm really looking so forward to reading your four thousand very exact
really concept words!

Best and hava lekka weekend

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: 11 September 2009 02:52 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [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

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: 

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