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Re: [xmca] Living metaphor and conventionalized language


I want to vote for your "reading" of Vygotsky pointing to "sublation", not
"internalization". As you say, it is a very tough ontology to shake.  I
suspect similar to not believing in God during the middle ages in Europe.
The central theme I've struggled to come to grips with is the place of
"other" in self development.  How central  is "other" to our concepts
of  development as historical AND emergent  I've just read Ingol's 1999
paper on education "as attention" not "transmission". As I read Ingold he
is "showing" us a similar perspective. [I would recommend going to the
"papers for discussion" section of XMCA to read the article.] John Shotter's
writings emphasize "noticing" as central to development.  Merleau-Ponty's
notion of "expression" also points in this direction.  What all these
perspectives share [in my readings] is the centrality of movement TOWARDS
others as fundamental for development.  However, this movement toward others
REQUIRES a response by other in order for development to occur.  But this
response must be of a particular quality. It MUST BE A MARKED RESPONSE and
registered as both recognizing AND SHOWING the person moving towards the
other ways to move in the world. [As Ingold says SHOW how to navigate

Martin, you highlight the moment when the child shifts from "other-directed"
to "self-directed" at the stage of egocentric speech. This movement you
emphasize is transformative.
I want to suggest another transformative moment and that is in the first
year of life when the infant's gestures become purposeful [meaningful??] as
a way to ENGAGE or ATTUNE to the attachment figure and generating in other
what I call an intersubjective response.  My grand daughter may have
randomly pointed in my direction in the first few months of life. However by
10 months of age WE had developed a purposeful ritual where every time I
enter a room she points in my direction, I respond with a return pointing
[and great delight] and WE have MADE A CONNECTION which I believe IS
KNOWLEDGE [but not information]  This KNOWLEDGE is "other-directed" but I
think it is a momentous trnasformation and a central developmental "turning
point"  [see Rod Parker's comments in this post]

Now I'm biased to think becoming "other-directed" continues to be a central
aspect of development.  "self-mastery may also be central as an aspect  of
agency but I'm biased to believe self-mastery continues to be intertwined
with being other directed.  The term "complementary" may capture this
intertwining. It is only in our pre-occupation with the encapsulated self
that we loose sight of the centrality of other for development.

Martin, your exploring sublation as a concept that explores moving from
being "in itself" to being "for itself" THROUGH OTHERS is I believe the key
to understanding this particular aspect of consciousness.  This is NOT a
linquistic movement [IN language].  It is IN our SHOWING [Merleau-Ponty]
NOTICING [John Shotter] developing SKILL [Ingold] as INTRA-ACTIVITY [Karen
Barad]. Development   IS "the movement" of intra-activity, Development
IS the relational dance as the source FROM which subjectivity and identity
emerge .

Bradford Keeney [who studied with Bateson] used the metaphor of a chamelion
which looks AS IF it is THE SAME colour as its surroundings, but in actual
fact is DYNAMICALLY STABLE through constantly "reading" the environment and
adjusting its colour "movement" as an INTRA-active structuring.  The
chamelion is using PAST moments of the colour environment to GUIDE its
ANTICIPATION of potential colour arrangements creating colour stability and
structure [through its "monitoring its context]. Where is the BOUNDARY of
this  activity.  The chamelions "brain" and "knowledge" is withIN the
INTRA-activity and FROM THAT MOVEMENT "fuzzy" [not distinct] boundaries
EMERGE and allow us to "perceive" the chamelions colour AS IF it was stable.

Now a chamelion is an organism-environment metaphor but does capture the
centrality of MOVEMENT TOWARD the environment as INTRA-activity.
[Merleau-Ponty]  When an infant's movements are MARKED [by other] THAT is
the possible moment of  human consciousness [or at least a "type" of
consciousness which John Shotter calls con-scientia as KNOWING with].

What happens to con-scientia in the movement FROM "in itself" TO
"for-itself" THROUGH others. What happens to con-scientia when inner speech
develops.  What happens to  con-scientia when speech becomes ABBREVIATED.
John Shotter's article in the "papers for discussion, 2011]" takes Bakhtin's
insights of utterances as being used TO MOVE others as an answer to deepen
our understanding of knowledge and cognition  withIN intra-activity AS
FUNDAMENTALLY continuing to be con-scientia.  How particularly con-scientia
is sublated is an open question?


On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:

> David,
> I've got lost in your metaphors, I fear. Inside and outside a country, yes.
> But how does that support the notion that development is internalization?
> I will vote with Vera here, at least insofar as LSV himself explains that
> speech first 'goes inward'  psychologically and second physiologically, and
> I've argued here before that the latter must be a matter of brain changes.
> But that's me reluctantly following LSV's use of the terms 'inner' and
> 'outer.' Reluctantly because, as Tony points out, 'internalization' suggests
> mental representation. When I teach I'm constantly struggling against the
> common sense dualism of my students - their thoughts, they tell me, are 'in'
> their minds, and their minds are, well, kinda, 'in' their heads, right? It's
> a tough ontology to shake, and terms like 'internalization' don't make it
> any easier.
> Martin
> On Aug 12, 2011, at 5:23 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
> > Imagine that I am an immigrant in a foreign country, say, Korea, or
> Columbia, or some even more savage place like the USA (this will be easy for
> Martin and myself to imagine, but perhaps not too difficult for others on
> the list too')
> >
> > I am "inside" the foreign country. When I go home to visit my family, I
> am outside the foreign country. This is true in an objective sense, although
> I would be hard put to call it a material sense, because the borders I cross
> are not natural ones.
> >
> > Now, is the same thing true of the IDEALIZED forms of that foreign
> country, that is, its culture and its language? Not at all. When I go home
> to visit my family, I take those idealized forms with me, because by living
> in this country I have interiorized them (that is, mastered their ideal
> forms and incorporated them into my consciousness):
> >
> > I continue to know the Korean language, and think of Korean words to
> describe kinship relations, and to invidiously compare my now strange
> breakfast of Kellogg's corn flakes with a proper Korean breakfast of rice
> and kim. So there is, as Martin says, some inside in the outside.
> >
> > But that doesn't prevent the terms "inside Korea" and "outside Korea"
> from having an objective sense. They are quite objective, because while I am
> inside Korea I am surrounded by material artefacts of Korean culture, but
> when I am outside Korea I can take only a few of these with me and I must
> take my Korean culture in a mainly ideal form (the language and culture).
> >
> > My learned Korean consciousness is in no way a barrier to reality (on the
> contrary, while I am inside the country, it is my immediate contact with
> reality, and it continues to function that way when I am outside the
> country). But it is no less internal for all that.
> >
> > I think that a lot of Vygotskyan metaphors (e.g. "interiorization", and
> also "development") make no sense at all when we apply them, as we are wont
> to do, to human bodies, or even brains (if we take brains to be the sort of
> thing we buy in the butcher shop).
> >
> > But they make absolutely perfect sense when we apply them to social
> entities and talk about the "inside" and "outside" of a "developing"
> country, city, or community (and even some individual fragment thereof, so
> long as we do not thing of this fragment as made of meat).
> >
> > The farmer who leaves the countryside for the city is acutely conscious
> of now being "inside" something more developed, having once been "outside"
> it. The same is true of the child leaving home, and of me living here in
> Korea (which is in very many obvious ways a more cultured and developed
> society than the one I was born into).
> >
> > Of course, it is a very different sense of "inside" and "outside" then
> the sense of putting Kellogg's corn flakes or kim and rice in one's belly.
> But it is no less objective and also no less interiorized for all that.
> >
> > David Kellogg
> >
> > --- On Fri, 8/12/11, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu> wrote:
> >
> >
> > From: David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu>
> > Subject: RE: [xmca] Living metaphor and conventionalized language
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> > Date: Friday, August 12, 2011, 12:54 PM
> >
> >
> > Are these different material processes, or different perspectives on the
> > same process, or is it pointless to ask?
> >
> > David
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
> > On Behalf Of Martin Packer
> > Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 1:08 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Living metaphor and conventionalized language
> >
> > Larry, David...
> >
> > I don't like the word "internalization" because I can't see that
> > anything internal is involved! As LSV put it:
> >
> > "Consciousness does not occur as a specific category, as a specific mode
> > of being. It proves to be a very complex structure of behaviour"
> >
> > David Bakhurst describes well the 'radical realism' those guys were
> > developing:
> >
> > "Thought is conceived not as a barrier or interface between the self and
> > the world beyond the mind, but as the means by which the individual
> > enters into immediate cognitive contact with the material world.
> > Thought, the mode of activity of the socially defined subject, reaches
> > right out to reality itself" (1991, p. 261)
> >
> > If the "inner" is out there in the "outer," we've got the metaphors
> > wrong, IMHO.
> >
> > Martin
> >
> > On Aug 11, 2011, at 12:27 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
> >
> >> Of course, BOTH "internalization" and "appropriation" are metaphors. I
> > don't flee from the "internalization" metaphor the way that Martin does,
> > partly because I think of it as referring not to a body but as to a
> > nation, a country, a city, a community, a family...or some particle
> > thereof. In this sense (a sense which I suppose is better captured by
> > "interiorization" than by "internalization", just as "reflection" is
> > better captured by "refraction") there is no duality; when you move from
> > one nation to another you do not change worlds, nor do you change
> > nations when you move from one city to another.
> >>
> >
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