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Re: [xmca] concepts

Well, my response woulod be to echo something Jay said when he explained the meaning of various terms to do with meaning, which Jay doesn't call concepts of course, but he said that the various distinctions connotation/denotation, literal/metaphorical, etc., "index major debates about the nature of language, meaning, or both", i.e., as Vygotsky puts it, represent the solution of problems that have arisen in the past. I think if we say that a concept is a problem-solution that has been worked out by the community in the past, then that explains why they are useful for solving future problems, why we need language and concepts to get them, and why they are so elsuive for cognitive psychology. It shows us where concepts come from, their genesis.

Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
To me, the so what is pretty big. I never discussed plankton as having the capacity to develop concepts, only humans. Plankton do not become teachers, which is the context in which I developed this understanding. If teachers can instruct in ways in which outcomes can be anticipated, they'll be more effective than if what they believe will happen does not. If the alternative is trial-and-error (which is what I have seen in teachers without conceptual grounding), then a good bit of instruction will be a flop, and kids will come away meeting fewer instructional goals. So that's what.
-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Blunden [mailto:ablunden@mira.net] Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2011 9:37 AM
To: Peter Smagorinsky
Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] concepts

I accept that Peter. But really, so what? :) A food gradient allows plankton to anticipate the presence of food. What does it tell us about concepts?


Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
Note that I said nothing about seeing into The Future. Rather, I said that having a concept enables one to ANTICIPATE future events. I would describe the capacities you refer to below as elements of a concept, and agree that they help both adaptivity and the anticipation of events.

*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
MIA: http://www.marxists.org

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