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Re: [xmca] The Missing Part


This indeed is an important passage in understanding LSV's developmental 
theories.  But I believe cross-cultural research speerheaded by Cole and 
others has discounted 'primitive' cultures as being less developed in 
thought and practice when compared to 'western' culture.  Or am I 
misunderstanding your point?


From:   David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
To:     xmca <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date:   07/12/2010 02:38 AM
Subject:        [xmca] The Missing Part
Sent by:        xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu

This is the beginning of Chapter Two of Thinking and Speech that was not 
translated into English. I posted it once several years ago, and Anton 
thought it didn't add very much.
I think it does: it structures the whole chapter, because it makes it 
clear that Freud, Levy-Bruhl, and Blondel share a common idealist basis as 
well as a common canonical stature.
≪Мы полагаем, . говорит он, . что настанет день, когда мысль ребенка по 
отношению к мысли нормального цивилизованного взрослого будет помещена в 
ту же плоскость, в какой находится ≪примитивное мышление≫, 
охарактеризованное Леви-Брюлем, или аутистическая и символическая мысль, 
описанная Фрейдом и его учениками, или ≪болезненное сознание≫, если 
только это понятие, введенное Блонделем, не сольется в один прекрасный 
день с предыдущим понятием≫ (1, с.408).1 Действительно, появление его 
первых работ по историческому значению
 этого факта для дальнейшего развития психологической мысли должно быть по 
справедливости сопоставлено и сравнено с датами выхода в свет ≪Les 
fonctions mentales dans les societes inferieures≫ Леви-Брюля, ≪Т
олкования сновидений≫ Фрейда или ≪La conscience morbide≫ Блонделя. 
Больше того, между этими явлениями в различнейших областях научной 
психологии есть не только внешнее сходство, определяемое уровнем их 
исторического значения, но глубокое, кровное, внутреннее родство . связь 
по самой сути заключенных и воплощенных в них философских и
 психологических тенденций. Недаром сам Пиаже в огромной мере опирался в 
своих исследованиях и построениях на эти три 
работы и на их авторов. 

 “It is therefore our belief", says (Piaget), "that the day will come when 
child thought will be placed on the same level in relation to adult, 
normal, and civilized thought as ‘primitive mentality’, as defined by 
Lévy-Bruhl, as autistic and symbolical thought as described by Freud and 
his disciples and as ‘morbid consciousness,’ assuming that this last 
concept, which we owe to M. Ch. Blondel, is not simply fused with the 
former.” (p. 201-202). In reality, the appearance of this first works, in 
regard to the historic importance as a fact for future reference in the 
development of psychological thought must be on the compared with the 
appearance of “Les fonctions mentales dans les societes inferieures” of 
Levi- Bruhl, Freud’s “The interpretation of dreams’, or Blondel’s “La 
conscience morbide”. It is not simply that between these phenomena in the 
development of the field of scientific psychology there is a formal
 resemblance, determined by their level of historic importance, but that 
there is a deep, internal kinship, a connection in essence which is 
visible in their philosophical and psychological tendencies. Not without 
reason does Piaget himself base in enormous measure his own studies and 
constructions on these three works and on their authors. 
Last night I was re-reading Bleuler's criticisms of Freud in "Autistic 
Thinking" and I also came upon these words, which Vygotsky quotes 
"Examining the more grown-up child, I also do not much observe that he 
would prefer the imaginary apple to the real. The imbecile and the savage 
are alike practitioners of Realpolitik and the latter, (exactly like us, 
who stand at the apex of cognitive ability) makes his autistic stupidities 
only in such cases when reason and experience prove insufficient: in his 
ideas about the universe, about the phenomena of nature, in his 
understanding of diseases and other blows of destiny, in adopting measures 
to shield himself from them, and in other relationships which are too 
complex for him.”
It seems to me that here and elsewhere in this chapter Bleuler is arguing 
for, and Vygotsky is agreeing with, a position that is simultaneously 
universalist, relativist, and developmentalist. It is universalist in the 
sense that it argues for a universal human autistic response to areas of 
experience of which we are ignorant. It is relativist in the sense that it 
argues for the independence of an "autistic" response from rationality and 
an autonomous art and autonomous humanities based on that independence 
that is in no way subordinate to rationality. It is developmentalist in 
the sense that it argues for an autistic response which develops out of a 
narrow, immediately realistic (perception based?) reality function rather 
than vice versa (as in Freud, Janet, and Levy-Bruhl).
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education 

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