vigotsky 'memorial www' (crosspost)

Tibor Benke (benke@SFU.CA)
Sat, 7 Oct 1995 09:05:10 -0700

Hi Gang,

Now that we have dealt with my problems, maybe you will be interested in
the following bit:


Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 14:11:39 --100
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Vigotsky
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Comment: Hungarian Cognitive Science List

Date: Fri, 06 Oct 1995 14:01:43 +1200
From: Andrew Lock <>
Sender: Andrew Lock <>
Reply-To: Andrew Lock <>
Subject: Vygotsky's Centennial

The following is abstracted from a webpage that can be located at:

Please feel free to cross-post to any relevant groups you wish.


1996 marks the Centenary of Vygotsky's birth in Belorussia. There will be
number of events occuring in celebration of this. We are initiating one
here that we hope will mark the start of a continuing resource for anyone
interested in exploring his work.

Within Vygotsky's conceptualisation of human psychology, a basic notion is
that of mediation:

'the central fact about our psychology is the fact of mediation' (1982:166)

The point being made is that humans in their history have invented cultural

tools, both material and and psychological, that constitute a 'cognitive
technology' whereby we have restructured our abilities and reconfigured our


And it is at this point in our histories that we are beginning to explore a

new 'technology', one which unites the material with the psychological, an
'informational technology' that in the emerging community of the
WorldWideWeb is providing a new means of mediating our activities.

It thus seems appropriate to convene a celebration that may make a lasting
contribution as a resource for teaching and research in this medium, in
celebration of an individual whose thinking and research has contributed so

much to our conceptualisation of education and development.

The proposal is to mark the centenary of Vygotsky's birth by setting up the

equivalent of a web-conference on Vygotsky's opus. We are inviting people
to 'submit' a piece of around 1000 words in the first instance as comments
on, or in exegesis of, central concepts and themes in the Vygotskyean

What are these central concepts? It is not our intention to establish an
orthodoxy, but among them are the distinction between higher and lower
mental functions; the planes of intra- versus intermental psychological
abilities; the zone of proximal development; psychological tools; and the
principle of the decontextualization of mediational means; at least.

It is quite possible that these 'vignettes' could be done as 'class
projects' in a number of different honours or graduate courses, for
Or they may be individually 'submitted'. The possibilities noted here
should not be taken as definitive.

Procedures for submissions

There are no closing dates! This is intended as an on-going project. Our
preference is that we act as a 'link site', cataloguing resources as they
become available via their addresses at independent, local sites, so as not

to swamp our own capacity to store and redistribute material. However,
where that is not possible, we will provide 'library' facilities, and
material can be sent here if there are no alternatives available. Queries,

offers, etc., can be mailed to the e-mail address in this header, or via
webpage address at the top.

Michael Cole, University of California, San Diego
Andrew Lock, Massey University, New Zealand
James Wertsch, Washington University, St. Louis


Note that there is a second project running from this site in which
participation is also invited, focussing on the social construction of
emotionality. This can be accessed at:

Both these projects exist in under the umbrella of an even wider one,
'The Virtual Faculty', which can be accessed at the following URL, and
will lead you to either of the above projects:

Anyone interested in reviews of the phylogeny and ontogeny of symbolic
abilities might also want to look at:

Andy Lock Phone (+64) 6 356-9099 Ext 4115
Department of Psychology Fax (+64) 6 350-5673
Massey University Email
Palmerston North TimeZone GMT+12

End of crosspost.

I never heard of the fellow. But I am definitely looking him up, he seems
to be onto what I have been trying to get at. It is nice to see, that no
matter how weird everything seems in this brave new (pomo ?) world, some
of my perceptions seem to be corroborated from the most unexpected sources.
The part that really impresses me is that I got this from somebody in
Hungary, who got it from somebody in the U.K. who got it from New Zealand.
Note the other places that are already represented. Is the world growing
a "nervous system", or what?

Laborfalvi Benke Tibor Tibor Benke
6198 Kathleen Avenue, apt. 117 Graduate Student (MA program)
Burnaby, B.C., Canada Department of Sociology
(604) 434-0822 and Anthropology Simon Fraser University

Heraclitus was right: change is constant!
Heraclitus was wrong: change is variable!