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Re: [xmca] Temporal Confusions in our Discussion

A friend who shares my interest in collaboration and was the only person to thoroughly check my book before publication, objected to my claim that conflict is an essential and productive part of collaboration. I held my ground on this question, but conceded that there is a limit, beyond which cognitive dissonance becomes a fight.

I can see Martin's point, but I also think that if one reading of Vygotsky, which works more or less consistently, is not accepted, then one is obliged to offer a counter-reading which also makes sense, and in a way of which Gadamer would approve, or if you like, obeys the Principle of Charity. That is, a reading of Vygotsky which allows us to understand why he would say such things. Vygotsky himself says at one point that taking a concept to be the sum of its attributes (something he usually rejects) is "absolutely essential for science," but obviously, only up to a point. Likewise, we all believe in and live in a Cartesian Dualism, but only up to a point. We are all born realists and reify almost everything we think of, but we also know better.


mike cole wrote:
I have just been reading back through the thread in which Martin suggested
working to
keep as straight as we can what so and so (in this case, Vygotsky) wrote and
what we currently find plausible. I fully agree with the ideal and the need
for self critical awareness of the complexities of keeping "the news" and
"editorializing" sealed off from each other; systems do in fact leak, human
ones especially.

This line of thought was reinforced by the discussion around re-considering
the history surrounding ( but perhaps rarely touching?) Vygotsky as a once
upon a time someone.
I got genuinely confused between different temporal points of view in the
discussion, and tracking them down, while illuminating the difficulties, did
not erase them.

So I was struck by Martin writing in a note in this thread which I had only
skimmed that
"I have never said that I find LSV's treatment of word meaning to be
plausible, because I've not yet fully figured it out! Perhaps we will
eventually decide that his account of words and concepts doesn't make sense.
But we shouldn't turn this process around and try to decide first what is a
plausible account of concepts and words, and then attribute this to
Vygotsky. I'm not saying that this is what you are doing, Tony. But
somewhere in the gaps between messages this seems to me to be what has been

I think Martin was expressing a sense of confusion. The heterochrony of the
"events themselves" and our discussion of them, is a real invitation to

Its an important discussion and should be a source of productive new (for
this group qua group) ideas. But its slippery. Kategoria are like that!

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*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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