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Re: [xmca] Re: Play and the Owl of Minerva

Big topic, Andy, and I can't afford to get distracted from trying to figure out LSV on concepts! But it has to be said that science is hermeneutic too. There is not a single science that is not concerned with understanding traces, signs, indices, even symbols. That's to say, science is all about "taking something *as* something" (as Heidegger put it) and so "saying something of something," (as Aristotle had it, in his On Interpretation).

On Mar 20, 2010, at 9:11 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

> A while ago I was obliged to deal with the work of Roy Bhaskar. What Bhaskar does is insist on the ontology of natural science in every aspect of life, including for example, literary criticism and cultural anthropology. The editor makes a nice point with an anecdote: he is at a seminar on J-P Sartre. A student in the audience calls out "Do you really think that someone called J-P Sartre existed?" Obivously an inappropriate application of relativism, which then opens the way for his own dogmatism.
> I was drawn to the conclusion that it is dogmatism to insist on one true ontology (here I mean ontology the general, classical, not the Sartrean sense) for all activities at all times. Natural science is an activity which by its very nature must assume that there is a natural world out there whose properties and forms can be known. This is not true of any activity where reality is in a significant degree formed by and interconnected with, human activity and in the case of the natural sciences breaks down in certain circumstances at certain times.
> So I don't accept that naturalistic ontology is a *myth* of the natural sciences. It is an essential part of natural science. But it is not universal. It is just as dogmatic to insist on hermeneutic relativism in natural science as it is to insist on naturalistic realism in hermeneutics, etc.
> Andy
> Martin Packer wrote:
>> Larry,
>> Yes, it has for a long time been part of the myth of modern science that it discloses things as they 'really are,' not as they 'appear' to be. LSV falls into this way of speaking (or at least his translators do). The most powerful analyses of science, philosophical, historical and sociological, in my opinion, show that it is thoroughly enchanted. Science involves seeing (and thinking of) things 'as if.' So Kuhn explained paradigms in terms of 'seeing as' - a duck or a rabbit. So every introduction I have seen of gravity in relativity theory uses the image of space sagging like a rubber sheet around masses, even though this image is inadequate once one gets deeper into the math. Seeing space 'as if' it were rubber is a necessary step into this branch of science. Each science has/is its own imaginary.
>> Martin
>> On Mar 20, 2010, at 10:20 AM, Larry Purss wrote:
>>> Luiz
>>> That was an interesting thread you sent on play and games and the tension between the concepts.
>>> It is a fascinating topic.
>>> I want to bring into the conversation a fascinating perspective on the place of the fictional and imaginary in play (and other activity).
>>> First for some context.
>>> I've always been curious about the antinomy often reflected in the tension between imagination/reality and the literature on modernity as the disenchantment of the world and the reaction to this privleging the as-IS reality over the as-IF reality.  There is a counter literature on finding ways to re-enchant the world.
>>> Often science is seen as the villan who is responsible for the loss of the as-IF reality, as children move beyond playful imagination into the real world.
>>> Piaget's notions of animism as indicating immature thinking.
>>> INGRID E. JOSEPHS takes a radically different perspective on the tension between the imaginary as-IF constructions and the figure-ground type relation to as-IS reality.
>>> She wrote an article in HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 1198, Volume 41, pages 180-195  which explains very clearly this alternative interpretation of the as-IS and as-IF dialectic and how it infuses meaning with e-motion and explains the process of Vygotsky's internalization and Mead's I-ME dialectic.
>>> Following is a quick summary of Ingrid's perspective on the imaginary in our devlopment.
>>> Symbol formation implies a TRANSCENDENCE of the here-and-now as-IS world by construction of the imaginary as-IF world. Ingrid's standpoint is an extension of Hans Vaihinger's [1911-1986] "philosophy of the "AS-IF" as his notion of FICTIONALISM as an independent version of PRAGMATISM. (as an aside Alfred Adler said this book transformed his life).
>>> Vaihinger believed as-If thinking was foundational for scientific reasoning.
>>> Ingrid makes a further distinction between static nondevelopmental and dynamic/developmental accounts of as-IF.  "BEING as-if" is static, whereas "BEING-AS-IF-COULD-BE" is dynamic. She points out this is similar to Bretherton's distinction of AS-IF and WHAT-IF. In dynamic notions, the as-IF is a step in the process of forward oriented preadaptation to the next MOMENTARY context. Development is based on as-IF types of apperception as each person participates in their own development. Rather than being MORE adaptive or BETTER Ingrid's position is that developmental transformations cannot be prejudged before the act. Whether it is better or worse is an evaluative question.
>>> In summary imagination always begins in the known world of present and past and then one's horizon of understanding is stretched into the realm of the as-IF.. Ingrid points out this notion of as-IF is close to Cole's [1992, 1995] notions of personal duration. Ingrid states, "In imagination, not only do present, past, and future become MUTUALLY RELATED (and constructed), but both the person and world are transformed." p.184
>>> Now to the more specific topic of SYMBOLIC PLAY that is being explored on this thread. Piaget understood play as pure assimilation that is necessary until developmentally the child can transcend this immature level of reality and with development SUBORDINATE the as-IF reality by the rational logical, and DECENTERED modes of entering reality.  The as-If is not ascribed any PRODUCTIVE future oriented function in development. In contrast the position Ingrid (and Cole, Vygotsky, Mead,) are elaborating is that the AS-IF-COULD-BE operates throughout the lifespan.
>>> [Note] I'm emailing this section because my software sometimes crashes
>>> Larry
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: Wagner Luiz Schmit <mcfion@gmail.com>
>>> Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010 8:11 pm
>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: Play and the Owl of Minerva
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> I even didn't had time to read all e-mails (lots and lots of work to
>>>> do), but games and development is exactly what i want to study in my
>>>> doctorship.
>>>> Do you heard about narratology David? this was used to study and analisegames for a while, and them other thing called ludology emerged...
>>>> Take a look at this article:
>>>> Similitude and differences between (video)games and narrative.
>>>> http://www.ludology.org/articles/ludology.htm
>>>> this is my two cents contribution to the discussion... and i'm very very
>>>> interested too in this rational/irrational discussion too... but i don't
>>>> have much to contribute now... Only that William James already was
>>>> debating this =P (being a teacher of history of Psychology is very
>>>> usefull)
>>>> Wagner Luiz Schmit
>>>> INESUL - Brazil
>>>> Em Ter, 2010-03-16 às 18:13 -0700, David Kellogg escreveu:
>>>>> Sorry, everybody!
>>>>> I wrote:
>>>>>> One of my grads tried to find the point at which a 
>>>> story definitively passes over into a game, and I said it was a little like trying to find the point where talk definitively passes over into talk. It is there, but we always find texts in talk, and talk in texts, no matter which side of the divide we may find ourselves on. 
>>>>> I meant to write "it's a little like trying to find the point 
>>>> where talk passes over into TEXT". Halliday remarks somewhere that scientific linguistics didn't really start until the invention of the tape recorder. 
>>>>> I was always puzzled by that remark until I realized that 
>>>> until the invention of the tape recorder, TEXT was synonymous with writing and TALK was synonymous with speech, and only people like Bakhtin and Vygotsky knew that there was a much deeper, underlying difference having to do with pastness and presentness, finalizeability and unfinalizedness. 
>>>>> (When we look at Piaget's work on conservation it is quite a 
>>>> while before we realize how dependent on VISUALS it is. For the child, sound is not conserved at all, and of course neither is time. It is only with the discovery of language that the child can imagine the conservation of sound at all.)
>>>>> I think that the distinction between text and discourse is 
>>>> really the fast moving line between stories and games that we want: the story is past and the game is present, the story is finalizedness and the game is unfinalized and inherently unpredictable. So the story is a text, and the game is an ongoing discourse.
>>>>> I think, Andy, that in a game the problem is not autnomy per 
>>>> se. It's autonomy for a purpose, and purposes are almost by definition not only beyond the self but even beyond the present moment (and this is why Mike is so right to point out that EVERY act of culture or even private imagination has an implicit notion of "the good life" in it). 
>>>>> Similarly, I don't think Vygotsky ever prizes volition for its 
>>>> own sake; it's always the freedom to produce and to create and to imagine "the good life" and to master the irrational forces which deprive life of that meaning, including those found within the self. It is in that sense that, yes, life is a game: it is meaningful through and through and to the very end. Not, I think, what the existentialists had in mind!
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> Seoul National University of Education
>>>>> Wittgenstein claimed that there is no overt over-arching 
>>>> and external trait between games (e.g. a common functional "motive" or a "goal"). When we read Vygotsky's play lectures, we find TWO common points: viz. gratuitous difficulty and guile-
>>>> less deceit, the abstract rule and the imaginary situation.
>>>>>> But one is always hidden when the other is abroad. 
>>>> After all, Wittgenstein's argument was only that there is no CLEARLY VISIBLE over-arching trait. And Vygotsky's reply is that if the essence of things were visible on the surface, as overt motive, or aim, or goal, why then no scientific explanation would ever be required for anything. His explanation of play is not an empiricist-functionalist but a historical, genetically, deterministic one, and the owl of Minerva flies only at nightfall.
>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>> Seoul National University of Education   
>>>>>> --- On *Mon, 3/15/10, Andy Blunden /<ablunden@mira.net>/* 
>>>> wrote:> > 
>>>>>>   From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>>   Subject: Re: [xmca] Dialects of 
>>>> Development- Sameroff
>>>>>>   To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, 
>>>> Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>   Date: Monday, March 15, 2010, 5:33 PM
>>>>>>   Way out of my depth in discussing 
>>>> play, but here is my take
>>>>>>   on "what is the motivation for play?"
>>>>>>   I don't think we can or want to 
>>>> ascribe a motivation for
>>>>>>   participating in play *in general*. 
>>>> I.e., the question of
>>>>>>   "why does a child play?" cannot 
>>>> sensibly be answered by the
>>>>>>   child. But this still leaves the 
>>>> question of the motivation
>>>>>>   for any particular play activity: 
>>>> what is it that is
>>>>>>   motivating a child when they play?
>>>>>>   It seems to me that every action a 
>>>> child takes can be
>>>>>>   explicable in terms of its being 
>>>> part of a project, and the
>>>>>>   "Why are you doing that?" question 
>>>> gets the same kind of
>>>>>>   answer as it would for an adult at work.
>>>>>>   A different kind of explanation is 
>>>> required for why a child
>>>>>>   is drawn to participate in what is 
>>>> after all an "imaginary"
>>>>>>   project, then gun does not fire 
>>>> bullets, the money is not
>>>>>>   coin of the realm, etc. I think in 
>>>> answering the question at
>>>>>>   that level we look at problems the 
>>>> child faces in being
>>>>>>   exlcuded from the real world and 
>>>> their attempts to overcome
>>>>>>   that. I don't know. But from the 
>>>> beginning a child it trying
>>>>>>   to extricate themselves from the 
>>>> trap of childishness.
>>>>>>   Andy
>>>>>>   mike cole wrote:
>>>>>>> Your helixes/helices seemed 
>>>> appropriate to the discussion, Martin.
>>>>>>> XXX-history is cultural-
>>>> historical genesis. And, as Steve suggested,
>>>>>>> the twisted rope of many 
>>>> strands may be at the end of the rainbow of
>>>>>>> promises.
>>>>>>> I have been pondering David 
>>>> Ke's question about the
>>>>>>> object/objective/motivation 
>>>> for play. It came together in my
>>>>>>   thinking with
>>>>>>> Yrjo's metaphor of being 
>>>> always "just over the horizon" and its dual
>>>>>>> material and ideal nature, 
>>>> most recently mentioned by
>>>>>>   Wolf-Michael. Might it
>>>>>>> be the dream of being 
>>>> coordinated with a world entirely
>>>>>>   consistent with
>>>>>>> one's own dreams? A world, 
>>>> extending, as Leslie White put it,
>>>>>>   that extends
>>>>>>> from infinity to infinity, 
>>>> in both directions?
>>>>>>> probably not, just wondering.
>>>>>>> mike
>>>>>>> On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 2:55 
>>>> PM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu
>>>> <http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=packer@duq.edu>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> Larry,
>>>>>>>> I didn't mean to detract 
>>>> from the discussion with my playful
>>>>>>   helices. I
>>>>>>>> haven't found time yet to 
>>>> read Sameroff's article, so I don't
>>>>>>   know if he is
>>>>>>>> proposing that there is an 
>>>> antimony between nature and nurture
>>>>>>   in human
>>>>>>>> development, or in our 
>>>> *conceptions* of development. I took Mike
>>>>>>   to be
>>>>>>>> suggesting, in his recent 
>>>> message, that when we pay attention to
>>>>>>   culture we
>>>>>>>> can transcend that 
>>>> antimony, since culture is a 'second nature' that
>>>>>>>> provides nurture, and since 
>>>> culture is the medium in which human
>>>>>>   brains and
>>>>>>>> bodies grow, and since all 
>>>> nurture offered to the growing child
>>>>>>   is mediated
>>>>>>>> by culture, and since 
>>>> culture has been transforming human nature
>>>>>>   throughout
>>>>>>>> anthropogenesis through its 
>>>> selective evolutionary pressures.
>>>>>>>> Eric, yes, I should have 
>>>> added phylogenesis, not just biological
>>>>>>   evolution.
>>>>>>>> What then is the "XX-
>>>> genesis" term for history?
>>>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>>> On Mar 14, 2010, at 9:55 
>>>> PM, Larry Purss wrote:
>>>>>>>>> It seems the double or 
>>>> triple helix is a significant way of
>>>>>>   trying to
>>>>>>>> configure dynamic 
>>>> processes.  However, what the particular
>>>>>>   specific double
>>>>>>>> helix referred to in the 
>>>> article is pointing to is a very
>>>>>>   specific tension
>>>>>>>> BETWEEN two specific 
>>>> constructs "Nature" and "nurture".  The
>>>>>>   current debates
>>>>>>>> raging about neuroscience 
>>>> on the one side and the tension with
>>>>>>   relational
>>>>>>>> notions of development on 
>>>> the other hand (ie the
>>>>>>>> self-other-
>>>> object/representation triangle) suggest a dialectical
>>>>>>   tension
>>>>>>>> which the article says may 
>>>> be INHERENT to development.  To me
>>>>>>   this is asking
>>>>>>>> a question about how the 
>>>> mind constructs significant social
>>>>>>   representations.
>>>>>>>> What is specific 
>>>> about this particular double helix is the
>>>>>>>> salience of this SPECIFIC 
>>>> ANTIMONY through centuries of dialogue
>>>>>>   and theory.
>>>>>>>> My question is "Is there 
>>>> significance to the extended duration
>>>>>>   of this
>>>>>>>> specific antimony through 
>>>> centuries. Does this historical
>>>>>>   engagement with
>>>>>>>> the specific notions of 
>>>> nature and nurture have relevance for CHAT
>>>>>>>> discussions.  This is 
>>>> not to say other double or triple helix
>>>>>>   models may not
>>>>>>>> have more explanatory power 
>>>> but that is not the specific
>>>>>>   question asked in
>>>>>>>> the article. The question 
>>>> being asked specifically is if this
>>>>>>   specific
>>>>>>>> nature/nurture antinomy is 
>>>> inherent to the notion of
>>>>>>   development? Other
>>>>>>>> double or triple helix's 
>>>> could be conceptualized within the
>>>>>>   nature/nurture
>>>>>>>> antinomy but the question I 
>>>> believe is being asked is how relevant a
>>>>>>>> dialectical (or 
>>>> alternatively dialogically) nature/nurture
>>>>>>   antinomy is to
>>>>>>>> our primary (ontological??) 
>>>> notions of Development as a social
>>>>>>>> representation.
>>>>>>>>> When I read the article, 
>>>> it seemed to capture the tension we are
>>>>>>>> exploring about the place 
>>>> of neuroscience in our theories of
>>>>>>   development.
>>>>>>>> For some scholars one side 
>>>> or the other side is in ascendence and
>>>>>>>> historically one side or 
>>>> the other is in ascendence. What the
>>>>>>   article is
>>>>>>>> asking is if we must 
>>>> "INTEGRATE" what is often seen as in
>>>>>>   opposition and
>>>>>>>> realize nature/nurture is 
>>>> in a figure/ground type of relational
>>>>>>   pattern
>>>>>>>> (like the ying/yang visual 
>>>> representation) and the movement
>>>>>>   BETWEEN the two
>>>>>>>> positions is basic to 
>>>> development.> >      >>> Do others have thoughts on the specific question Arnie has
>>>>>>   asked in his
>>>>>>>> article about the 
>>>> historical dynamic of the nature/nurture
>>>>>>   antinomy in
>>>>>>>> developmental theories as 
>>>> well as in ontological and cultural
>>>>>>   historical
>>>>>>>> development. This question 
>>>> speaks to me about the possible
>>>>>>   relevance of
>>>>>>>> Moscovici's theory of 
>>>> social representations.
>>>>>>>>> One alternative answer is 
>>>> to generate other double or triple
>>>>>>   helix models
>>>>>>>> which may become social 
>>>> representations over time as they are
>>>>>>   debated in a
>>>>>>>> community of inquiry but 
>>>> the article as written is pointing to a
>>>>>>   very
>>>>>>>> salient social 
>>>> representation within our Western tradition. Does
>>>>>>   that
>>>>>>>> recognition of its 
>>>> historical roots change how we view this
>>>>>>   particular
>>>>>>>> antinomy?
>>>>>>>>> Larry
>>>>>>>>> ----- Original Message ----
>>>> -
>>>>>>>>> From: Martin Packer 
>>>> <packer@duq.edu> >     <http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=packer@duq.edu>>> >      >>> Date: Sunday, March 14, 2010 4:59 pm
>>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] 
>>>> Dialects of Development- Sameroff
>>>>>>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, 
>>>> Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>> <http://us.mc1103.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>> >      >>>
>>>>>>>>>> That's right, Steve, 
>>>> though I'm pretty sure I didn't see this
>>>>>>>>>> title until after I made 
>>>> the diagram. And of course Lewontin is
>>>>>>>>>> referring to different 
>>>> factors. And, also, of course, collagen
>>>>>>>>>> actually does have a 
>>>> triple-helix structure, which Francis Crick
>>>>>>>>>> thought was more 
>>>> interesting than the double helix of DNA, but
>>>>>>>>>> which got very little 
>>>> attention.> >      >>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>>>>>> On Mar 14, 2010, at 7:53 
>>>> PM, Steve Gabosch wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> On the triple helix 
>>>> metaphor:  Richard Lewontin used it
>>>>>>>>>> in the title of his 
>>>> 1998/2000 collection of essays _The Triple
>>>>>>>>>> Helix: Gene, Organism and 
>>>> Environment_.  His core theme
>>>>>>>>>> regarding biological 
>>>> development is that solely considering the
>>>>>>>>>> interaction between gene 
>>>> and organism makes for bad
>>>>>>>>>> biology.   The 
>>>> environment has decisive influence as well.
>>>>>>>>>>> - Steve
>>>>>>>>>>> On Mar 14, 2010, at 
>>>> 10:20 AM, Martin Packer wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> On Mar 14, 2010, at 
>>>> 1:04 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> What do others think 
>>>> of the double helix (and/or the other
>>>>>>>>>> visual images in the 
>>>> article). How central is the double helix
>>>>>>>>>> (either as an "is Like" 
>>>> or "IS" objectification) to your notions
>>>>>>>>>> of the human sciences?
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Larry
>>>>>>>>>>>> ...and I am pretty sure 
>>>> I stole, I mean appropriated, this
>>>>>>>>>> from someone; I've 
>>>> forgotten who...
>>>>>>>>>>>> <PastedGraphic-2.pdf>
>>>> _______________________________________________> 
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>>>> --------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>   Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
>>>>>>   Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, 
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>>>>>>   Ilyenkov $20 ea
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