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Re: [xmca] Activity and interpsychological aspects of CHAT

Well, this is all very hopeful, Larry!

Larry Purss wrote:
Yes, the "ideas" are like horse drawn carriages but the intensity of the motivations and relational dynamics generated within these various debates on the "force" of these various "genres" is what I still see being replayed through re-collections that loose sight of being re-collections not "truth" Also psychodynamics must move beyond 2 person plus genre debates but this is happening in some arenas. Larry Larry On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 6:56 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    Sure, there is a relational turn in psychoanalysis, and Donald
    Winnicott's "transitional object" explicitly introduces mediation,
    but to me, these are a bit like horse drawn carriages, if you get
    my meaning.


    Larry Purss wrote:

        Hi Andy
        I want to give a concrete idea of mediation in contrast to
        billiard balls [from psycoanalysis]
        Freud was commited to a "scientific" billiard ball version of
        psychology. His ediface was HIS having discovered THE truth
        with a topological map of id ego and superego.  He was totally
        invested in this particular "genre" or "text" and took the
        position of being an "expert" [having knowledge OF] that he
        USED to GIVE insight to others [in the form of the genre.
         Ferenzci, who is often seen as a source of the "relational"
        turn in psychoanalysis, in contrast had a different
        relationship TO psychoanalysis [as a genre].  He saw the
        person [client] and the [genre] in mutual relationship and he
        was in a position to "mediate" between the genre or text and
        the person. A mediational triangle [2 person and one genre]
        You can imagine the tensions that were generated between Freud
        and Ferenzci with this different relationship to "truth" and
         My question is if there are various relations that can be
        operationalized in relation to dialectical materialism as
        "truth" or as a "genre" with a developmental/historical
        geneology?  Mike C. mentioned he believes we are currently
        re-collecting the various genres or texts that were previously
        played out in the last few centuries.  I agree, and we loose
        sight of the historical sources of these contrasting genres
        [that were formed within particular social organizations]  We
        can start with the genres or we can start with the social
        organization or we start with the way persons mediate between
        the social relations & genres [spaces of ????] Mediation as
        KNOWLEDGEABILITY [in contrast to knowledge]
         On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 11:54 PM, Andy Blunden
        <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:

           Haydi, when the Frankfurt School began in 1923, and set up
           "Communist University," their aim was to have all the different
           disciplines working together, in particular philosophers,
           sociologists and psychologists. Things in Germany didn't
        work out
           so well, and that program never really got going. Having
           philosophers and sociologists and psychologists
        appropriating each
           others' work remained a goal though. However, the Frankfurters
           were philosophers, and never got beyond Freud and Mead in
           psychology. The current generation of Critical Theorists are
           absorbed in using scraps of Mead and Freud together with a
           Hegel-without-mediation (build on the master-servant
        relation). As
           a result, they see social life as a kind of billiard table,
           like liberals do, and in fact Habermas is now in 100% agreement
           with John Rawls.

           Hegel and Vygotsky have in common many things but in particular
           they share an understanding of the importance of mediation.
        It is
           mediation which provides mechanism of how social theory can and
           must be based in psychology and vice versa. But the thing
        is that
           it is not enough to operate with generalisations like this. The
           original program of the Frankfurt School mean that critical
           has to draw on the /real practical and empirical knowledge of
           psychologists/, not just specualtive theory. So it is vitally
           important for us who are interested in social change,
        politics and
           revolution to listen to what the real, hand-on, practical,
           psychologists are talking about.



           Haydi Zulfei wrote:

               Andy ! Thank you for the short lead . Flattering aside
        , I've
               always seen you do your best to put things on right
        track if
               deviated . This way principles are secured rather than
               compromised . I do know I need more and more readings .
               However , one at times feels we're moving along two
        extremes .
               However , I'm almost known to your investigation of
               . I'm sure others , too , are expecting more to come .

               *From:* Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
               <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>>

               *To:* "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
        <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
               <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>>

               *Sent:* Tuesday, 11 October 2011, 3:45:25
               *Subject:* Re: [xmca] Activity and interpsychological
               of CHAT

               Hajdi, I will limit my comments to why I praise
        Vygotsky as a
               great Marxist, and at the same time I claim that my main
               interest is in social
               change, and not learning or psychological problems as such.

               It is true that Vygotsky never ventured into the domain of
               social theory
               as such. I think the problems facing anyone wanting to
        do that in
               Stalin's USSR were very great, whether they were loyal
        to the
               Party or
               not. But he laid the foundations. He showed how
               is formed
               in a person's interactions. The wider society participates
               directly in
               an individual's interactions because we must use
        products of
               the culture
               in everything we do, we do not invent a language when
        we meet
               we use the existing language, and everything else the
               Vygotsky lacked one thing, in my view, that is the
        source of
               for actions, which, as AN Leontyev correctly showed,
        lies in the
               activity of which our action is a part. But in
        following ANL
               in studying
               activities, I prefer to retain the methodological core of
               work (which ANL did not, in my view) and take the
        activity as
               a unit of
               analysis. This is of course exactly what ANL claimed to
               but I think he did not really understand this concept
        of unit of
               analysis, and his analysis suffered from problems as a
               set out to address these problems. Some of them he
               but I think
               in other ways, he moved further away from a solution. These
               are all open
               questions. But my aim is to reconstruct an Activity Theory
               which is more
               true to the foundations laid by Vygotsky. The purpose
        of such an
               activity theory is to fight capitalism and make a better
               world, that's all.



               Haydi Zulfei wrote:
               > ________________________________
               > From: Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com
        <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com

               > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
        <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
        <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>> <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu

               <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>>>>

               > Sent: Sunday, 9 October 2011, 16:16:53
               > Subject: [xmca] Activity and interpsychological
        aspects of CHAT
               > Hi Haydi
               > I'm responding to your concern that activity and the
               macro level is
               > being overshadowed by the more personal and
               interpsychological aspects of
               > CHAT.
               > **1.
               > a. Andy , besides his other activities is the editor
        of the
               MCA . He said in his view Vygotsky was a GREAT marxist .
               > b. I repeat the Activity Theory , to all evidence ,
        has its
               roots in Marxism .
               > c. I emphasized on distinguishing between
        "individual" and
               "personal" in discussing  CHAT .
               > d. Yes , I believe [[...I believe activity (proper)
        and the
               larger macro level is being overshadowed by the more
               (individual)and interpsychological aspects of CHAT . ]]
               > You should have heard about the "leading activity"
        and the
               corresponding hiararchy of motives . Usually , discussion
               focuses on "any" activity ; leaving the macro-social
        aside ,
               discussing what happens within the sphere of hygiene ,
               say , while every pollution and
               > corruption is downstreaming from the top in a global
               > formation .
               >  Leontyev himself ansers no need to quote Wertsch : "  A
               division of the function of sense formation
               > and simple stimulation between motives of one and the
               activity makes it
               > possible to understand the principal relationships
               characterizing the
               > motivational sphere of personality: the relationships
        of the
               hierarchy of motives.This hierarchy is not in the least
               constructed on a
               > scale of their proximity to the vital (biological)
        needs in
               a way similar to
               > that which Maslow, for
               > example, imagines: [1.The
               > necessity for maintaining physiological homeostasis
        is the
               basis for the
               > hierarchy; the motives for self-preservation are higher,
               next, 3.confidence and prestige; finally, at the top of
               > the hierarchy, motives of 4.cognition
               > and aesthetics]. The principal problem that arises
        here is
               not to what
               > extent the given scale (or another similar to it) is
               but how proper the
               > principle of such scaling is in itself. The fact is that
               neither the degree of
               > proximity to biological needs nor the degree of
        capacity to
               stimulate nor the
               > affectiveness of one motive or another determines the
               hierarchical relationship
               > between them. These
               > relationships are determined by the connections that the
               activity of the
               > subject brings about, by their mediations, and for this
               reason, they are
               > relative. This refers also to the principal
        correlation - to the
               > correlation between sense-forming
               > motives and motive-stimuli." **
               > I must accept my part in turning the conversations in
               > as my curiosity does orient more to the
               aspects of
               > cultural historical theory.
               > **2. Yes , quite true ! You're quite free to forget about
               all principles of the ideology of Vygotsky and the
        TROIKA AND
               THE PYATERKA , Davydov , etc. down to V.P.Zinchndo
        Junior who
               has begun to repudiate His father's findings and whom
        Mike ,
               as Guest  Editor of JREEP , has talked about and
        brought forth
               some of His writings . But one thing is crucial : By
               on "interpsychological" , you jump then to
               and "agency" and begin to discuss in a way as if agency is
               determined within intersubjectivity . Just plz answer
        how in
               what way within intersubjectivity in the absence of any
               activity and action . an agentive element rises up ; in
               words just at the level of "semiotics" and without
               up to the all interactions and upheavals and incidences ,
               events , if one can reach the powerfulness of beginning
        to act
               which satisfies an urgent or distant need . Dialogue
         could be
               most effective while in the direction of a goal
               >  chosen for the action and in the direction of an
               most important at any moment which the social relations
               dictates . **
               >  Wertsch writing about Leontiev suggests his
               > focus was on how it is possible to assimilate the
               "experience of mankind" as
               > a foundation for building activity theory grounded in
               ideas about
               > subject-object interaction.
               > **In my last message , I referred to this point and
        there is
               enough in the quote above about this matter . The passage I
               sent which was confirmed as related to the perezhivanie
               has enough to say about that . Then no more discussion . **
               >  Wertsch suggests that Leontiev's notion of
               > activity does extend Vygotsky's focus on the
               inteprsychological to the macro
               > account of social interaction.
               > **No , Let's never forget that the title of Vygotsky's
               MAGNUM OPUS is "Thinking and Speech" . And if he was
        and is a
               great marxist , he knows that speech is born withing the
               process of Labour requiring a tool . And I said about the
               hiararchy of MOTIVES and that even this same hiararchy is
               bound to subordinate itself to the requirements of
        ACTIVITY .
               Activity is Molar and non-divisible in regard to its
        MOMENTS . **
               >  Wertsch acknowledges this extension is
               > necessary to give a more complete account of cultural
               historical processes.
               > However, Wertsch suggests in the move to this macro level
               Leontiev did not
               > incorporate many of Vygotsky's insights about
               interpsychological functioning
               > and semiotic mediation. In other words Vygotsky did not
               produce a complete
               > account of how INTRApsychological and INTERpsychological
               planes of
               > functioning are tied to social INSTITUTIONAL factors.
               extension to
               > social institutional processes is required to go beyond
               > and interpsychological functioning to become a
               analysis of mind
               > in society.
               > **To give the MOST complete account of
               processes , you should , first of all , give  the most
               comprehensive account of man's life on the Earth . Man is
               material not semiotic and leads a material life not a
               one ; he uses semiotics because he has stored tons of
               and events and operations behind them . Then his best
        and most
               effective accounts consist of enumerating the actions and
               activities he has gone through . And these were to
        produce His
               history and his culture ; when no history and no
        culture were
               on , activities and actions were and were for man to
        survive .
               Yes to history and culture but on a final count , and
        with all
               the results emanating from them , they have a material
        BASE :
               MATERIAL ACTIVITY .
               > I prefer to script SOCIAL institutional factors . You
               invulantarily and repeatedly get back to Micro-Social .
               Marxism has Classes and Division of Classes . And their
               Struggle for Power . In  a not developed society in which
               Classes have not come to have distinct boundaries ,
               , layers , guilds , communities of practice , maybe
               come to the surface and begin maneuvering . And we
        judge about
               a revolution be the Nature of the State . Leontyev has a
               discussion about if internals act through the externals or
               vice versa . He gives his example with S.L. Rubinstein who
               believes externals act through the internals . L asks what
               these internals are and how they act on the externals .
        In my
               last message I noted : TRANSFORMATIONS WITHIN , MUST OF
               NECESSITY HAVE THEIR LOOKS WITHOUT . Do you have anything
               other than Heredity and Lived Experience in the Internal ?
               These have been discussed by Leontyev . And I gave you my
               coloured / marked
               >  version of A.C.P . It is a gist of lots and lots of
               . And I don't know if Mind comes with the Birth ; What
        is it ?
               If it is fixed or liable to change . And where do
        Marxists put
               Mind in their structure of Philosophy or Psychology .
        And if
               we act in such a way to take some blocks of heredity and
               others of our lived experience and try to build our VITAL
               EXPERIENCE upon them like putting stones upon stones ; then
               what about sublimation : TO RETAIN AND RESOLVE THE OLD
        IN THE
               NEW . **
               > More than for one message .
               > Cheers
               > Haydi
               > Haydi, I wanted to open with Wertsch's comments to
               acknowledge the
               > centrality of these macro levels on the formation of
               However, in my
               > work and in my personal life I'm pulled to focus more
        on the
               > interpsychological explorations of social
        organization. The
               notion of
               > extending the concept of "psychological tools" to the
               broader notion of
               > "tool KITS' points to the recognition of multiple
        genres or
               "texts" as
               > various tools to be used in the tool kit to understand
               social organization.
               > These tool kits offer a variety of options about what is
               permissible or
               > appropriate to include in our accounts and bias our
               narratives towards
               > different planes of social organization.  Selecting a
               particular genre from
               > the tool kit places CONSTRAINTS on what can be said
        and how
               it can be
               > expressed.  From a cultural historical perspective the
               particular genre
               > chosen is itself open for exploration and critique.
               > The issue of these genres or texts and how they are
               or selected as
               > mediational means is itself an object for analysis within
               CHAT. Also these
               > various tools in the tool kit are themselves constantly
               evolving and
               > interacting. Activity theory at the macro level is
        influenced by
               > explorations of texts written with an interpsychological
               focus.  Vladimir
               > Zinchenko is exploring phenomena at the
        microstructural and
               > level where perception and action are related below the
               level of awareness
               > outside accessibility to introspection. But he suggests
               these microgenetic
               > processes follow phases, stages, of genetic development.
                This is at a level
               > of the intrapsychological.
               > My mentioning "active experience" was at the
               interpsychological level of
               > analysis.  Active experience contrasted with "habits" in
               Dewey's language of
               > social organization. Active experience is when RUPTURES
               occur in the
               > habitual ways of responding within interpsychological
               socially organized
               > spaces.  How we account for these ruptures depends on the
               tools in our tool
               > kit that we use as explanations and interpretations and
               > Different tools lead to different accounts.
               > The question of how we come to share collective
        memories of
               > experiences at the interpsychological and activity levels
               BUT also how we
               > incorporate "active experience" as RUPTURING
        experiences of
               > memory is also requiring consideration.
               > Haydi. as Andy mentioned, I'm one of those hesitant to
               express my opinions
               > at the political level. My positions on social
        justice tool
               kits [genres]
               > such as discussions of "dominant" and "nondominant"
               is tentative. The
               > book Vygotsky in the 21st Century suggests the authors in
               that book are
               > taking an "outlier" position on CHAT genres. They are
               exploring the
               > interpsychological genres of CHAT.  They are engaging
               themes of
               > dominant and nondominant genres and the constraints
               by various tools
               > in the tool kit. I think my exploring "alterity" is
               exploring similar themes
               > and has its own biases, constraints, and blind spots.
               > Haydi, your thoughts have made me reflective on the
               issues I may be
               > neglecting in my exploring the interpsychological.
               > Larry
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               *Andy Blunden*
               Joint Editor MCA:
               Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/


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-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
           *Andy Blunden*
           Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
           Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
        <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
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-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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*Andy Blunden*
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Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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