I appreciate both of you taking the time to guide me in my attempt to
go deeper into the materiality and ideality of words. I am not in a
position to form my own opinion on this theme but I seem to be filling
out my ZPD a little on this complex subject.
At this point the distinction between
inner form as the *psychological* aspect of an action
inner form as gesture [or enactment] that is always embodied and
displayed as a particular *style*
Both these perspectives on inner form view a word *as* an action BUT
where they locate the action is open for further reflection.
Andy, the article Martin suggested I read by Elena Cuffari I found
very helpful in clarifying the centrality of gesture as profoundly
implicated in the formation of meaning. Meaning as formed within
multiple modalities. Gesture, not as *romantic* and *natural* but
rather gesture as socioculturally and conventionally forming meaning
as a dynamic process between Merleau-Ponty's notions of sedimentation
Elena is exploring another aspect of intersubjectivity and challenging
our canonical versions of what is assumed to be natural [and
romantic] and what is sociohistorical in our notions of language and
gesture. Elena is suggesting her style of HOW she perceives gesture
and language as multi-modal *ensembles* of meaningful action need to
be viewed as ambiguously interrelated and not as antithesis or
I hope this topic will continue to be playfully and reciprocally
explored and will put in play the various cognitive paradigms as
contrasted with the more enactive, gestural, stylistic embodied
notions of meaning formation.
Inner form as it is understood and interpreted and debated
dialogically seems to be an excellent entry point to further
interpretation and possible fusion of horizons in our understanding
the centrality of language in human becoming.
P.S Martin, I emailed Elena Cuffari and asked if her dissertation
[completed in 2011]is in the public domain as I do appreciate the
wonderful way she explores the various traditions and deepening
theconversation between the traditions. [I recognize Gadamer's notion
of hermeneutical reciprocal play in her style]
XMCA is such a wonderful community for *thinking out loud* and I want
to acknowledge my appreciation for the spirit of inquiry incorporated
on this site. It incarnates another modality of meaning making in a
reciprocal conversation and generating meaning.
On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com
Larry, I formed the view that for Vygotsky a word (i.e., a spoken
word) was an action, and only thanks to people speaking words
could words, as ideal types of material artefacts, acquire
dictionary definitions, and become "objectified" in that sense. So
my take on that discussion was that "inner form" referred to the
inner or psychological aspect of an action (as in "inner speech"),
which is both subjective and objective. This distinction is not
found in the ideal typical "words" listed in dictionaries. As
objectified or reified ideals they have only an outer form.
But there are as many ways of reading Vygotsky as readers I am sure.
Martin Packer wrote:
I wasn't trying to take the discussion in any specific
direction, but Greg expressed curiosity about Merleau-Ponty's
views on language. M-P wrote quite a bit about language
acquisition: he held the Chair in Child Psychology and
Pedagogy at the Sorbonne from 1949 to 1952.
I find it interesting that M-P, like LSV, drew from Humboldt's
writing on language. Specifically, and again like LSV, he
employs the notion of the "inner form" of speech. When this
topic has been discussed here on xmca we have had a tendency
to say that the inner form, what LSV terms 'meaning' as
distinct from 'sense,' is fixed and objective, rather like the
dictionary definition of a word.
But dictionary definitions are written, and children don't
hear the definitions of words as they learn their first
language. (If they do, I imagine they ignore them.) M-P
describes the inner form instead as a "style of speaking," an
organization prior to representation, an "immanent meaning" to
which the speaker has a "corporeal intentionality," a texture
which is grasped.
It helps to know that M-P articulated an account of perception
as in general a practical involvement in the world, in which
each object is always given only partially, incompletely and
from a perspective, while at the same time other perspectives
are tacitly adumbrated, as are the other things around the
object. Each object mirrors all others. We are always in a
situation, a nexus of interrelationships into which our body
too is entangled. What he says about the word, then, is what
he says about any material entity. "Style" is the way an
object invites, demands, a response from us.
A child learns language in the here and now of concrete
objects. As LSV pointed out, words seem first to be taken by a
young child as aspects, features of the objects they name. A
"gesture" is a movement, an action, something understood not
intellectually but as outlining a structure in and of the
world. Gesture requires taking up a position in the world, and
sharing that position with another. Gesture has style. To say
that the 'inner form' of a word is a gesture is to say that
its meaning owes everything to its corporeality - there is no
word that is not being spoken and heard. As spoken, a word is
always a figure against an unspoken ground, an island in a sea
of activity. Dictionary definitions, in contrast, are merely
speech about speech, in which there can only be an external
and conventional relationship between word and meaning.
Consequently, I'm not sure about the centrality of reflection
that you emphasize. Notice that M-P writes:
"On the condition that I do not reflect expressly upon it, my
consciousness of my body immediately signifies a certain
landscape about me..."
In other words, we have consciousness in/of the world *prior*
to reflection, and the most important task is to grasp that.
This is not to say that reflection is unimportant, but by
definition it is something secondary, and derivative.
p.s.: worth a look:
Cuffari, E. (2011). Gestural sense-making: Hand gestures as
intersubjective linguistic enactments. Phenomenology and the
Cognitive Sciences. doi:10.1007/s11097-011-9244-9
On Apr 28, 2012, at 6:16 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
Andy, Mike, Martin
Thanks for this lead. I have been reading Gadamer's
response to Habermas
and the interplay between his notion of *traditions* and
Habermas notion of
*emancipation* within social theory.
The two chapter's of Martin's book will help further the
Martin, your conversation with David on the interplay of
instantiation and the centrality of the *relation between*
seems central to this discussion.
I also wonder about the interplay between realization and
Gadamer's notion of multiple TYPES of reflection.
thematic reflection, and what Gadamer names as *effective
where one engages with developing the skills to enter and
effectively in playing the games without holding back and
at playing the game. Effective playing as having its
*own* being and *we*
enter this play and get *taken up* and *carried* along
within the play. Not
privleging either *subjective* consciousness or
but rather privileging the play in which subjectivity and
their *ground* [metaphorically]
Martin, I'm not sure if this was the direction you were taking
theconversation, but it what I interpreted you saying.
On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 3:51 PM, mike Cole
<firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
Hi Andy et al -
Martin's book, the science of qualitative research has
a chapter that
Schutz - BergerLuckman that we r reading at Lchc. It
helped me a lot to
sort out this branch
of thought. It is followed by a chapter that traces
Heidegger - Merleau
I have heard there is an electronic version, but do
not know how to get
it. Working from actual hard copy!
On Apr 28, 2012, at 10:19 AM, Andrew Babson
<firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
He was very influential to Garfinkel, and so from
historical perspective, the development of
conversation analysis and modern sociolinguistics.
On 4/28/12, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd just like to share the attached article,
written in 1945 by Alfred
Schuetz, a refugee from the Frankfurt School
living in New York, like so
many others. In the article he appropriates Wm
James, GH Mead and J
Dewey, whilst coming from the Pheneomenology
of Husserl, to adapt the
concepts of Pheneomenology to social theory.
It is quite interesting. He
remains, in my view within the orbit of
Phenomenology, but readers will
recognise significant points of agreement with
AN Leontyev's Activity
Theory. What he calls "Conduct" comes close to
"Activity," and he
introduces the concept of Action which is
certainly the same as it is
for CHAT, and instead of "an activity" (the
3rd level in ANL's system)
he has "Project." But although this project
has the same relation to
Action, it is a subjectively derived project
posited on the world,
rather than project discovered in the world,
and having a basically
societal origin. This is the point at which I
think he confines himself
to Phenomenology, and fails to reach a real
social theory. The whole
business about "multiple realities" which
gives the article its title is
very tedious, but actually is valid in its
basics I think.
Some of us on this list may appreciate him.
He's a recent discovery for
Joint Editor MCA:
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
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