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Re: [xmca] Kharkov school of psychology?
I want to reply to your frustration on the CHAT format lacking focus and coherence.
I agree with your description but want to say that for me personally it has been one of the richest frames for introducing novelty, tension, and therefore self-REFLECTION on topics I didn't know anything about. I then become curious and go off to google to search out more about some fragment of information to find out what the person is talking about.
For instance this thread is something I know almost nothing about but I have just read an article Martin Packer posted on Germany in the 1920's and the influence of Kant and neo-Kantians. It is discussing a historical time period that is relevant to the current post on Russian politics and pedagogy. If the CHAT format was more focused then this novelty would be reduced as we focused more on coherence.
CHAT at time becomes very focused as evidenced by the extended discussion on "consciousness" that evolved over weeks with Andy continually returning to a particular point and the discussion became focused and extended.
Anton, your response to David today I'm sure is going to open up a lively debate (I will be a bystander because I lack the background to participate) I will follow the debate and may read articles that are attached. I also joined the livejournal "circle" to follow a more focused history of Russian psychology.
What is so interesting on a more general level is the recognition that history and politics are always intimately embedded in all theory. Reading about the particular historical events in Russia, Ukraine, Germany etc. when philosophy and the social sciences were evolving new theories gives me a deeper awareness of the centrality of situated practices to all theoretical frameworks.
Anton, this format definitely can be frustrating and does lack focus but maybe there is a place for serendipity in learning and REFLECTION. It takes some practice to learn how to use the CHAT format to expand my HORIZON OF UNDERSTANDING, but I can say for myself it is the richest format I've encountered for extending myself into places of UNCERTAINTY and FALLIBILITY.
----- Original Message -----
From: Anton Yasnitsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sunday, March 28, 2010 10:30 pm
Subject: Re: [xmca] Kharkov school of psychology?
To: email@example.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> OK. Here are my two cents: a couple of remarks and mainly
> references, fyi...
> Imho, too many topics are discussed here at the same time, which
> makes it highly problematic for us to resolve any of the
> specific problems at stake. Thus, I suggest minimizing the input
> and focusing on specific question at a time. I can not refrain
> from an observation that I was flattered to come across an
> acknowledgment of my contribution to David's discussion in his
> recent paper on Chukovsky, yet, I fully agree with the author
> that his argument in this paper,--as well as, in fact, in his
> other discussions of the history of Soviet psychoneurology (i.e.
> human and behavioural sciences, in other nomenclature)--like,
> for instance, his present discussion--on many occasions looks
> ungrounded, flawed and immature to me. Instead of discussing all
> and nothing, talking about an issue at a time--just for a change-
> -might be a better way to deal with these problems
> scientifically (whatever this means).
> So, for the background of the early 1930s education- and
> paedology-related decrees of the authorities of USSR and RSFSR
> please see two recent discussions at the already announced at
> xmca online bilingual community on the history of world and
> Soviet/Russian psychology:
> #1: http://community.livejournal.com/psyhistorik/52683.html
> #2: http://community.livejournal.com/psyhistorik/54008.html
> If one wants to join these discussions there, please feel free
> to, but first make sure you open an account at livejournal.com
> and, ideally, join the community; for instructions see
> http://community.livejournal.com/psyhistorik/profile . Btw,
> other discussions and postings are available here:
> Then, on Kharkov school: to the best of my knowledge, the most
> recent stuff was published a couple of years ago, both papers
> are mine, both are freely available at my university web-page.
> Also, one can find there a couple of more recent papers on
> roughly the same topic, but unfortunately both are in Russian
> only, at least at this point.
> As to the expression "Kharkov school", I would just remark that
> I am getting increasingly suspicious of the notion of
> "scientific school" itself and its applicability in
> historiographical research--as opposed to the marketing of
> science, the area where the Great Men and Founding Fathers,
> their Best Students and Scientific Schools, etc. mythology works
> perfectly well and does a great job of helping to sell the
> product--to whoever would want to buy the stuff. In this sense,
> I keep avoiding talking about the schools in the history of
> science these days.
> Instead, I prefer the terminology of "groups", "networks", and
> "circles". The benefit of such terms is that they are way better
> operationalizable than "schools". Thus, for instance, my
> relatively recent major work that I completed a year ago was on
> "Vygotsky Circle". According to google search, there are
> only 49 references to "Vygotsky Circle" as of today, but I
> really believe the situation will change pretty soon...
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: mike cole <email@example.com>
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Sun, March 28, 2010 10:35:20 PM
> Subject: [xmca] Kharkov school of psychology?
> hi david and anton--
> I hope that anton is looking into the sequence of events which
> precipitatedthe move of lsv and his colleagues to Kharkov.
> I was not aware that Anton denied the existence of a "Kharkov
> school" of
> Are you asserting there was, David? I am unclear. A lot of what
> you have
> been writing
> about the "micro" politics of the era and place indicate you
> know a lot
> about it. My
> knowledge comes from an earlier time and different place, so its
> reallyinteresting to hear
> about the matters you are writing about and trying to consider their
> implications for our
> own understandings of culture, development, activity. etc.
> To my limited knowledge, it seems that the people in Kharkov distanced
> themselves from
> LSV as much as possible. I am judging only from the materials in
> Ukrainianthat I obtained
> from Zinchenko the younger. And they were interestingly critical
> of his
> ideas about natural
> and cultural memory (Zinchenko the older), as well as ideas
> about activity.
> But what was
> indigenously Kharkovian and what was a moscow import? Hard for
> me to sort
> Non-coincidentally (I assume) there was a horrible famine in
> Uzbekistan and
> Kirghizia (as it was then referred to) - A circumstance entirely
> missingfrom Luria's account of his work there or any
> accounts I have seen from LSV's visit to the region. I assume
> both famines
> were orchestrated by the Georgian god father?
> Disturbing questions. Perhaps you have the answers? This kind of
> relating of
> ideas to their socio-
> historical context seems important to me. But separating fact
> from fiction
> through the fogs of time and wars and blood and time seems a
> daunting task.
> I am still trying to sort out the pre-pseudo-complex-concept
> issues. Slow
> but unreliable as usual!
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