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Re: [xmca] Word Meaning and Action

On March 27, 2010, at


Andy wrote:

mike cole wrote:

Perhaps I am agreeing with Andy about the linkages between institutions and concepts, which is also a linkage between activities and concepts.

Mike, I would like to mention the following semantic connections which I think CHAT needs to pay attention to if we are to talk to the numerous other currents who share our domain of enquiry.

Institution = Discourse  (Foucault)
            = Practico-intert (Sartre)
            = Object (Hegel)
            = Activity (ANL, def. by object)
            = Genre (Bakhtin)
            = Frame (Goffman)
            = Tradition (Gadamer)
            = Figured world (D Holland)
            = Activity System (Engestrom?)
            = Social formation (Marx)
            = Field (Bourdieu)
which is a dead or solidified ...?
Project     for Schmit
            for Hegelians like Pinkard and Andy
            for Existentialists (Sartre, Heidegger?)
Gestalt des consciousness for Hegel
momentary   = context
            = situation

Projects & Institutions have as Units ... ?
            = Concept
	    = Action (ANL)
	    = Text?

obviously none of the = are really =, because they involve different conceptual frames. Which is my point, I guess.


I thought that was very helpful. Andy, have you done more with this/

In a reply, I added:

Thanks, Andy; this is extremely useful.

I would add this:

Stephen Toulmin: Concepts as micro-institutions (according to my memory, which is less reliable at this hour)

I have something on this in my chapter in the Kirshner & Whitson (eds) book on Situated Cognition. See


On Thu, 16 Jun 2011, Andy Blunden wrote:

Apologies! On further reflection, I can now see that what you want me to clarify, Martin, is the claim that by "word meaning," Vygotsky means an "artefact-mediated action," rather than a property (be it psychological or linguistic) of an artefact.

I will get busy on that,

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