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Re: [xmca] Dialogue on Concepts Part 1 Released!

Paula, David, Mike [and Andy & others developing the Vimeo site]

What a powerful medium for clarifying and extending the CHAT dialogues.
A few quick comments that are more impressionistic on this very educational
video presentation and elaboration of concept formation.

David, your historically situating the shift from chapter 5's account to the
chapter 6 account as embedded in Stalin's draconian approach to education
and the radical shift in the way  pedagogy was required to be presented
gives a deeper context to the evolving theory.  The metaphor of the globe
-moving from concrete to abstract- as a process of increasing
"distanciation" as a more "general" way of discussing heaps, complexes,
psuedoconcepts, true concepts, and scientific concepts is very helpful to
orient my understanding of these ideas.

Mike, your elaborating the notion of "scientific systems of concept
formation" as not universal but evloving from INSTRUCTION within SCHOOL
settings and questioning if there are other ways of formulating systematic
theories that are cultural but not situated within schooling links up with
hermeneutical conceptions of "traditions" as formations of systematic
concept development [and also social representations from Moscovici].
Schooling develops traditions of increasing "distanciation" but still leaves
open the central question of "layering" As we coordinate and move within the
latitude and longitude of the concrete-abstract configuration is it a linear
progression of transcendence "over" the concrete [mastery & control] or is
it more a formation of increasing coordination of complexity on "the globe"
and the volitional capacity to engage various "perspectives of
distanciation" from the immediate concrete moment to the most "abstract" -
distanciated from the concrete - systematic concepts.

Chapter 5 p.133 "transition from UNMEDIATED intellectual processes to
operations mediated by signs" [Mead's significant SHARED symbols]  I think
this concept is a central notion to be elaborated and critiqued. My
understanding of "mediation" would include David Kellogg's "2nd  moment" of
development of the concept.  The nonvolitional affective "movement between
actual persons" IS "mediational"  [mediated by OTHERS] and seems to be
foundational for developing concepts. This affective realm, which in some
accounts would be theorized as "unmediated by signs", seems to be a critical
MOMENT in development. The reason I like the term "distanciated" as a way of
understanding the coordination of concrete-abstract perspectives is it does
not bias the "scientific concepts" over everyday concepts or cognition as
separation of affect from thought.  Distanciation "as a tool" which comes
increasingly under volitional control as perspectives are developing
increasing complexity recognizes the centrality of mediating the development
of a "communal self" that can NEGOTIATE and COORDINATE subjective and
INTERSUBJECTIVE perspectives which are experienced as more or less concrete
or abstract but does not privilege one perspective as more "true".

Last point.  "scientific concepts" as a particular "system of distanciation"
which exists within a particular hermeneutical "tradition" and expands our
"horizon of understanding" is maybe the most powerful tool we have yet
developed for coordinating and systematizing our concepts but it is still a
particular historically developed tradition [which develops particular kinds
of persons] Schools, as institutions, structure and systematize the
development of this tool for distanciating from the immediate visual field
BUT it is within historical  circumstances that  "hermeneutical
traditions" as  systems of social relations and systematized scientific
concepts evolve. Ontological development "and systematic conceptions of
"self" and "subjectivity" emerge within these horizons of understanding
[which must be systematic and regulated in order to exist as particular
perspectives on "reality" [perspectival realism].  These "tradititions" are
mediated by significant symbols [concepts] which are systems of concepts.
These systems may be more or less "distanciated" from the concrete immediate
moment BUT even in the most "advanced" scientifically informed
societies experience is a dynamic process of movement between the
"coordinates on the globe"

Once again, thank you for producing this very informative video [which in
combination with the conversation on CHAT has been successful in helping me
coordinate multiple perspectives to deepen my understanding of
"developmental psychology" as a "system  of thinking and concept formation".


On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 2:26 AM, Paula M Towsey <paulat@johnwtowsey.co.za>wrote:

> Part One of the *Dialogue on Concepts*, a collaborative presentation
> initiated by Andy Blunden, has now been released and is open for
> discussion.
> XMCAers are invited to view it at:
> http://vimeo.com/groups/39473/videos/13550409
> _________________________________
> Paula M Towsey
> PhD Candidate: Universiteit Leiden
> Faculty of Social Sciences
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
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