Posts Tagged ‘Teoría de la conciencia’

“The Psychology of Culture. Making Oppression Appear Normal” L. Richard Della Fave

01/02/2013 Deja un comentario
Carl Ratner, Macro Cultural Psychology: A Political Philosophy of Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 544 pages, $69.95, hardcover.

To understand properly Carl Ratner’s Macro Cultural Psychology: A Political Philosophy of Mind, one must keep in mind the fact that any logical system of knowledge must be grounded in a set of non-testable assumptions or first principles. These are truly a priori.

It is also true that all theories in the behavioral sciences are grounded in assumptions about human nature, social structure, and culture. Ratner’s assumptions follow closely from those of Marx. All adult humans are capable of making rational, informed choices about how to conduct their lives; we are all endowed roughly equally in this way; we naturally strive for autonomy yet we are also inherently social, that is, cooperative. Society—especially capitalist societies, but also some earlier types such as feudalism—is divided by class, with a minority constituting a ruling class that lives by exploiting the direct producers. Thus, the majority is exploited and hence oppressed. Culture, far from being democratically created by the countless interactions of the population as a whole (sort of like Adam Smith’s mythical marketplace composed of innumerable buyers and sellers), is overwhelmingly shaped and manipulated by the ruling class in ways favorable to its continued rule and people seeing that rule as legitimate, natural, and inevitable.

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“Origins on CHAT: German Philosophy and Marx”: Andy Blunden

25/01/2013 Deja un comentario

Talk given at the Monash Education Research Community, within the Department of Education at Monash University, by Andy Blunden on 20 April 2010.

The talk is the first of a two-part seminar for the International Course on Cultural Historical Activity Theory. It covers the contributions to this current of thought derived from Descartes, J G Herder, Goethe and Hegel. Part Two, deals with Marx. See for readings, for text of this talk and for a diagram of the historical sources of CHAT more widely.

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“The Ideal in Human Activity”: Reviewed by Alex Levant

16/01/2013 1 comentario

E.V. Ilyenkov
The Ideal in Human Activity
Marxist Internet Archive Publications (, Pacifica CA, 2009. 396pp. $25 pb
ISBN 9780980542875

The Ideal in Human Activity by E. V. Ilyenkov is a substantial tome consisting of two complete books and three articles, which offers for the first time in the form of a single volume the majority of this renowned Soviet philosopher’s work currently available in English translation. This publication constitutes an important intervention in the problem of consciousness, which has figured prominently in the canon of Western social and political thought from Plato to the present. Theories about the origin and nature of human thought have fundamentally shaped our notions of politics, taking a substantial turn in the nineteenth century in light of the critical significance that Marx ascribed to the role of consciousness in the process of revolution (Lowy 2005, p. 10). Consequently, the key debates on political organization in classical Marxism turned on the question of how to displace the hegemony of ruling ideas produced by false consciousness with the objectively correct perspective articulated by the class-conscious vanguard of the proletariat in the form of the communist party (Lukacs 1971; 2000; Second Congress of the Comintern 1977). But when the organizational innovations ascribed to Lenin (Lih 2005) did not yield in Central and Western Europe the same results ‘as in Russia’, the principal figures of a tradition retrospectively known as Western Marxism (Anderson 1976), set out in the early 1920s to re-examine some of the most foundational concepts on which the problem of consciousness rests in an effort ‘to rescue Marxism from positivism and crude materialism’ (Jacoby 1983, p. 524).

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“Working With Cultural-Historical Activity Theory”: Wolff-Michael Roth, Luis Radford & Lionel LaCroix

14/01/2013 Deja un comentario

Abstract: This article focuses on the experiences of two researchers, Wolff-Michael ROTH and Luis RADFORD, using cultural-historical activity theory in mathematics education. The aim is to provide insights into the ways these researchers see and engage with activity theory, how they have come to adopt and expand it, and some of the challenges and concerns that they have had using it. These questions are not usually addressed within typical scientific papers. Yet, they are important for understanding both the dynamics of research and the practical use of cultural-historical activity theory. Since the format of research report papers is not necessarily well suited to convey personal experiences and thinking, the present article takes the form of a conversation, which provides an effective vehicle for exploring and articulating these matters. This provides a basis for understanding more deeply the underlying assumptions of this theory; its dynamics and how it is applied in research of mathematics practice, thinking, and learning; and insights into the manner in which experienced researchers grapple with the theoretical dimensions of their research.

Key words: cultural-historical activity theory; dialectical thinking; Leont’ev; Vygotsky; mathematics education; objectification; subjectification

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“Non-linear Processes and the dialectic”: Andy Blunden

11/01/2013 Deja un comentario

Most writers and researchers in the humanities speak of something like “dialectical processes” or “dialectical thinking” and use a number of metaphors to characterise the complex and nuanced processes of reality in contrast to what may be called “linear” or “mechanical” processes or thinking.

In his exposition of dialectics in the Logic, Hegel dealt with this problem in great length and detail from a conceptual point of view. Six distinct forms of the dialectic can be abstracted from Hegel’s work.

I shall briefly review the metaphors and forms of words used in popular and scientific discourse and then outline the concepts Hegel introduced for these same problems.

Popular conceptions of linear and non-linear processes

The idea of characterising processes or someone’s conception of a process as ‘linear’ has its origin in mathematical representations of processes in natural science. Here there is a dependent and an independent variable (possibly time), and this relation may be represented by a line on a graph; given appropriate measures for each variable or combination of variables, this graph may take the form of a straight line. In this case, the same change in the independent variable produces the same change in the dependent variable (add an extra kg to the pan and the spring always extends by one cm.), and the change is reversible (remove one kg from the scales and the spring retracts by one cm.)

This is the archetype of the ‘linear process’: a cause always has the same effect and is reversible. The ‘linear effect’ is thus independent of how many times it is applied, and in this specific sense is independent of previous history and context. A process can still be ‘linear’ in the strict sense while being context- and repetition-dependent, but this dependence on context and history is usually taken as one of the characteristics of ‘non-linear’ processes: a certain stimulus always produces a certain response, but suddenly one more stimulus produces a different response – the straw that broke the camel’s back. Irreversibility is also taken as a characteristic of ‘non-linear’ processes: “you can’t unscramble an egg.”

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“De ídolos e ideales” E. V. Ilyenkov

19/12/2012 Deja un comentario

El problema del ideal es complejo y polifacético. En primer lugar, naturalmente, surge la pregunta sobre el lugar que ocupa el concepto del “ideal” en la teoría del reflejo: cómo aquél puede ser interpretado desde el punto de vista de esta teoría. En todo caso, la teoría del reflejo nos enseña que es correcto y verdadero sólo aquel conocimiento que refleja lo que hay en la realidad. Y en el ideal se expresa no lo que es, sino lo que debe ser, o lo que el hombre quiere ver. ¿Se puede, acaso, interpretar lo deseado o lo debido, desde las posiciones de la teoría del reflejo? En otras palabras, ¿puede, acaso, ser “verdadero” el ideal?.

La filosofía hace mucho vio aquí una dificultad y también hace mucho que trató de resolverla.

Los materialistas de épocas pasadas insistieron sobre este problema en el curso de su lucha contra las doctrinas idealistas de la iglesia, contra el ideal religioso, y pretendieron resolverlo de acuerdo, por un lado, a la teoría del reflejo y, por otro, a las exigencias de la vida real. Pero, lograr esto, sólo pudieron Carlos Marx y Federico Engels: y, precisamente, porque ellos fueron no sólo materialistas, sino materialistas dialécticos.

Veamos cómo ocurrió.

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“Elementos de una teoría cultural de la objetivación”: Luis Radford

19/12/2012 Deja un comentario

En este artículo se presentan los lineamientos generales de una teoría cultural de la objetivación –una teoría de la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de las matemáticas que se inspira de escuelas antropológicas e histórico-culturales del conocimiento. Dicha teoría se apoya en una epistemología y una ontología no racionalistas que dan lugar, por un lado, a una concepción antropológica del pensamiento y, por el otro, a una concepción esencialmente social del aprendizaje. De acuerdo con la teoría, lo que caracteriza al pensamiento no es solamente su naturaleza semióticamente mediatizada sino sobre todo su modo de ser en tanto que praxis reflexiva. El aprendizaje de las matemáticas es tematizado como la adquisición comunitaria de una forma de reflexión del mundo guiada por modos epistémico-culturales históricamente formados.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Objetivación, pensamiento matemático, semiótica, sentido, significado, significación cultural, signos.

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“¿El sujeto de la psicologia sociocomputacional?”: Juan Antonio Vera

17/12/2012 1 comentario

Permítanme que me sume a este “coloquio” impulsado por la revista Anuario de Psicologia dando un titulo a mi comentario con perceptibles ecos del trabajo del profesor Angel Rivière. Efectivamente, como nos recuerdan nuestros compañeros de Anuario (vol. 32 (3), 2001) en la presentación del libro que ahora vamos a comentar, si en la psicologia española contemporánea alguien se ha preocupado por analizar las raices conceptuales de la psicologia cognitiva en todas sus manifestaciones, incluida la vygotskiana, ése ha sido el profesor Rivière (p. ej., 1984, 1986, 1991a, 1991b). Estoy perfectamente de acuerdo con esta apreciación, e igualmente estoy convencido de que sus pertinentes observaciones sobre el objeto y método de la psicologia contemporánea han contribuido de manera decisiva a elevar el nivel de nuestros debates académicos y profesionales. Es completamente comprensible, por consiguiente, que se imponga su presencia en esta discusión que nos ocupa relativa al (tan trabajado y valiente) libro Vygotsky y la Ciencia Cognitiva de William Frawley.

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“A Cultural-Historial View of Human Nature” Michael Cole and Karl Levitin

14/12/2012 Deja un comentario

For more than 20 years the authors have been seeking to understand and extend an approach to human nature that takes as its starting point the mediation of human experience through culture as a way to supersede the long-standing dichotomy betwen “natura” and “nurture” which continues to bedevil the human sciences. A crucial point of intersection in our respective inquiries was the Soviet psychologist, Alexander Luria, one of the originators of cultural-historical psychology in what was the USSR. Although currently remembered largely for pioneering the discipline of neuropsychology, which might make it appear that culture was perhaps peripheral to his theory of brain fuctioning, Luria was steadfast in his insistence that “in order to explain the highly complex forms of human consciousness one must go beyond the human organism” to include the the “external conditions of life” particularly human beings’ life society (Luria 1981,25). In effect, Luria arged, the circuits of the brain are completed trough the culturally organized environment, a position perfectly in line which current neuroscientific thinking (Edelman 1992).

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“Wittgenstein”: Andy Blunden

12/12/2012 Deja un comentario

No theory of human action, which necessarily includes the study of language and concepts within its scope, can go past the (later) work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, a renegade from Logical Positivism, who has provided an insider’s critique of the analytical approach to language and meaning. It is not so much that Wittgenstein provides any foundation or resource for a theory of action – he doesn’t – but to be viable a theory has to withstand a Wittgensteinian criticism. The aim of this reflection is to identify the questions which Wittgenstein swept under the carpet and to see what is needed to address these questions without transgressing the limits set by Wittgenstein.

What motivates this reflection is the need to ground a critique of the whole spectrum of interactionist approaches to the human science. By ‘interactionist’, I mean those approaches which eschew recourse to metaphysical claims, but aim to reconstruct the phenomena of human life on the basis of analysis of person-to-person interactions, generally without the aid of any substantial psychology or theory of ‘human nature’.

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“Play Revisited: Lessons from Vygotsky”: Natalia Gajdamaschko

10/12/2012 Deja un comentario

3d International Conference on Imagination and Education, Vancouver, Canada, 2005.

Invited Speaker: Natalia Gajdamaschko, Simon Fraser University.

Despite the obvious interest of educators in the nature of play and its role in development of imagination, theoretical approaches to the analysis of play are so different that at times the picture becomes confusing for teachers.

As educators, we all seem to agree that play is important and that we would like to utilize it in our educational settings. Still, as is the case with most things in educational affairs, not everyone agrees on the answers to two main questions: what is the role of play in a child’s development overall and what is the role of teachers in organizing play? With regard to the second question, the proper role of adults in organizing or manipulating children’s play still creates heated discussions in educational circles.

Lev Vygotsky, a world famous Russian psychologist who viewed play as the most important activity of early childhood, provided valuable advice on how to analyze play and its role in overall child development. Vygotsky also helped us to understand how we, as teachers, can promote the development of imagination through play.

My presentation will examine Vygotsky’s theory of play as the leading activity of childhood.

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“Vygotsky, Bakhtin, Goethe: Consciousness and the dynamics of voice”: John Shotter

01/12/2012 Deja un comentario All our higher mental functions are mediated processes, says Vygotsky (1986), and signs are the basic means used to master and direct them. But how can this be if our words and other signs work only in a purely representational, ‘picturing’ fashion, for they still need interpreting as to their meaning? The ‘inner observation’ problem remains unsolved. Our significant expressions must also work on us in another way: by the living expressions of others producing spontaneous bodily reactions from us. Thus the relation between thought and language is not to be found in patterns discoverable in transcripts of already spoken words, but in the dynamic influences exerted by our words in their speaking. Vygotsky (1986) speaks of our utterances as having an affective-volitional intonation in their voicing, while Bakhtin (1993) talks of them as having an emotional-volitional tone. This means, as I will elaborate in my talk, that not only it is possible to possess a transitional understanding of ‘where’ at any one moment we are placed in relation to another person’s expressions, but to possess also at that moment an action guiding anticipation of the range of next ‘moves’ they may make. Thus, as I see it then, thinking and consciousness is a socially responsive elaboration of our animal sensitivities to, and awareness of, events occurring in our relations to the others and othernesses in our surroundings. Thus, far from it being a special, private, inner theater or workshop of the mind, its emergence depends completely on the dynamical intertwining or intermingling of our ‘inner lives’ with the ‘inner’ lives of those around us. This view of thinking chimes in with Goethe’s [1749-1832] views quoted below, as well as with his account of a special kind of thinking he calls exact sensorial imagination. In this view, our thinking and consciousness becomes no more strange to us than the fact of our ‘livingness’ – a fact that is at once both ordinary, in the sense of being very familiar to us in our daily practical lives, as well as being quite extraordinary to us in our intellectual lives, due to the current inappropriateness of our academic modes of thought and talk. My talk, then, will be just as much concerned with an exploration of the move away from mechanical modes of thought to those appropriate to living processes, as it will be about thinking and consciousness.

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“Los orígenes sociales de la conciencia: un marco teórico para la salud mental”: Antonio Crego Díaz

27/11/2012 Deja un comentario


Argumentamos que la conciencia tiene un carácter esencialmente social. Revisamos las aportaciones de cuatro enfoques sociopsicológicos –la psicología vygotskiana, el Interaccionismo Simbólico, el Construccionismo Social y el modelo socioecológico de Bronfenbrennery sus implicaciones en Salud Mental. Se plantea la necesidad de que el profesional de la Salud Mental tome conciencia de su importante rol social.

Palabras clave: conciencia, sociopsicología, Vygotsky, Mead, Gergen, Bronfenbrener.


El abordaje del tema de lo mental ha sido realizado hasta el momento desde una perspectiva predominantemente individualista, internalista, y dualista, heredera de la concepción cartesiana de la cognición. Recordemos que es Descartes quien apunta –allá en el s. XVII- a la res cogitans -al hecho de que el sujeto es un sujeto pensante- como la única entidad de la que se deriva no sólo el criterio de verdad de todo conocimiento –las ideas ‘claras y distintas’- sino que garantiza la misma posibilidad de existencia del individuo –su famoso cogito, ergo sum-. La psicología edificada a partir de estos pilares, consiguientemente, ha arrastrado las contradicciones de esta filosofía: el punto de partida es el individuo, que se nos presenta atrapado en su propio pensamiento, tornándose cualquier intento de trascender el límite de lo subjetivo en una empresa problemática. El sujeto pensante es incapaz de acceder de forma segura al conocimiento de lo intersubjetivo –surge así el problema, objeto de debate incluso en tiempos contemporáneos, de las «otras mentes»- y de lo externo a su conciencia, quedando separados e incomunicados los territorios de lo mental y lo corporal, lo cognitivo y lo conductual –viéndonos enfrentados en este punto a la cuestión del dualismo y los más diversos tipos de soluciones reduccionistas-.

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“Un pensamiento para el futuro: a propósito de Vigotsky”: Vincent Charbonnier

16/11/2012 1 comentario

A propósito del libro de Lev S. Vigotky, Conscience, inconscient, émotions precedido de Vygostki, la conscience comme liaison de Yves Clot. (París: La Dispute, 2003).

Texto aparecido en ContreTemps, 2006, nº 17, p. 136-135, constituye una versión desarrollada y revisada de una nota crítica aparecida en Revue française de pédagogie: recherches en éducation, 2005, n° 150, p. 151-155.

La publicación de este volumen de tres textos de Lev S. Vigotsky es una admirable iniciativa de la editorial La Dispute. Debe saludarse la tenacidad en brindar al público francófono1 la obra del gran psicólogo ruso, prematuramente desaparecido a la edad de 38 años (1896-1934). Gracias a este volumen, vuelven a estar disponibles dos textos anteriormente publicados en francés en la revista Société française, en 1994 y 1995, pero desde entonces inaccesibles, de los cuales uno, el primero, muchas veces comentado, es considerado actualmente como un clásico. “La conciencia como problema de la psicología del comportamiento”, publicado en 1925 es el texto de una conferencia impartida en octubre de 1924 en el Instituto de Psicología de Moscú. “La psique, la conciencia, el inconsciente” fue publicado en 1930. “Las emociones y su desarrollo en la edad infantil”, que data de 1932 y aparece por primera vez en francés, es una de sus conferencias sobre psicología pronunciadas en el Instituto Pedagógico Superior de Leningrado.

La calidad de este volumen radica en el hecho de que todos estos textos constituyen hitos en el desarrollo vigotskyano, ofreciendo así la oportunidad de comprender in concreto la construcción de su pensamiento. Porqué lo que sorprende de inmediato al lector es su coherencia y su precisión o, mejor dicho, el movimiento de un pensamiento alejado de toda tentativa especulativa y/o reduccionista, que se basa en la riqueza y la complejidad del ser humano en sus dimensiones psíquicas, afín de construir la ciencia sin caer en el reduccionismo. Se exprime la singularidad de un enfoque, en psicología primero, que Vigotsky, aunque sea a título esencialmente póstumo, ha contribuido profundamente en transformar, pero también dentro del marxismo donde destaca como un pensador perspicaz y fecundo. Se puede así comprender la ocultación de la que fue víctima durante un largo periodo, que excede ampliamente el periodo stalinista, sin contar su (tardío) redescubrimiento.

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“Talk of sayin, showing, gesturing, and feeling in Wittgenestein and Vygotsky”: John Shotter

15/11/2012 Deja un comentario

There is a strongly musical element in verbal language. (A sigh, the intonation of voice
in a question, in an announcement, in longing; all the innumerable gestures made with
the voice.)’ (Wittgenstein, 1981, no.161).

‘The child’s self-motion, his own gestures, are what assign the function of sign to the
object and give it meaning‘ (Vygotsky, 1978, p.108).

Traditionally in the social and behavioral sciences, seeking a single, unified, orderly account of things, we have spoken and written about ourselves as disembodied, isolated, self-contained individuals. We think of ourselves as existing in a fixed world of objects that we come to know, primarily, in a visual-intellectual manner, through our observations of them. As such, we have assumed that we can only come to know our own true nature in such a world by our empirical testing of our possible representations of it for their accuracy. However, unlike computers and other machines, as living, embodied beings, we cannot be wholly indifferent to the world around us. We must, to an extent, continuously react and respond to it, spontaneously, whether we like it or not, and in so doing, we must of necessity, relate and connect ourselves to our surroundings in one way or another.

Below, influenced both by Wittgenstein and Vygotsky (as well as Volosinov and Bakhtin), I want to explore the consequences of us talking of human activity from within a new vocabulary that takes our living, embodied nature seriously, from within what I shall call a relational rather than an individualistic way of talking. For, just as the child, ‘with the help of the indicative function of words,… begins to master his (sic) attention, creating new structural centers in the perceived situation (Vygotsky, 1978, p.35), so we also, as investigators, can draw our own attention to otherwise unnoticed features of our own conduct, through the introduction of a new vocabulary, a new way of talking.

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