PSYC 300W Lecture Notes - Ontogeny, Baldwin Effect, Coevolution
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A NEO-MEDIAN APPROACH TO HUMAN AGENCY: RELATING THE SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IN THE ONTOGENESIS
OF PERSPECTIVE-CORRDINATING PERSONS
1) Free will and determinism as compatible in saying free will is self-determination and consistent with biophysical
determinism and sociocultural constraints. Their ability to choose is based on their experiences and genetic makeup
(biophysical/sociocultureal). “Ppl are determining and determined based on events and origins.
2) There are interactions with the rest of the world. “There are things we can change and things we can‟t change, and some
of the later are deplorable”
3) “determinism doesn‟t imply inevitability for agents whose evolved nature (language, culture, reasoning, moral) is to be self
– consciously reactive to their circumstances” – “self-determining with subjectively open futures and constantly emerging
nature” KEY POINT NO FIXED NATURE.
4) Rational agency of the person….acting based on reasons
5) No higher reasoning simply determining for one‟s self
6) Ppl are “social developmental emergents” ppl represent each other and what their society is doing.
7) Agree that personal freedom comes from a deterministic background of society, how does this occur is the question. A
possible theory is neo-median and based on social-psychological theorizing of George Herbert Mead. Emergence of
selfhood/agency and a developmental trajectory (participation in social acts/practices = abstract perspective
taking/consideration and reasoning which = agentive, self-determining persons).
9) MEAD‟S PERSPECTIVAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF SELFHOOD AND HUMAN AGENCY
a. Holistic: biophysical/sociocultural world
b. Development is specifically based on interactions/activities with the world
c. “throughout our lives, we act towards, and in relation to objects and other persons based on our cumulative
history of direct, practical experience with them”
i. This could be similar to saving face or when communicating with others
the backstage and front
d. Cumulative history
10) “organisms are perspectival relation to environment” cow sees grass as good, places and smells for dogs, wood for
woodworm = food and can not see it any other way BUT HUMANS are special and can see more perspectives at any one
time which is why there is human agency
11) “despite always being located in a here-and-now context, humans are often aware of other spaces and times. Spaces
beyond the immediate zone of perception are real for us and can motivate action…beings can be motivated by the
perspectives of others.” Only within such an extended environment that self – determining choices become possible”
a. But what about ppl who have tunnel visision…maybe it is they don’t want to see other aspects. But at work for
example, we all want certain shifts and most ppl will only take someone else’s shift if it is convenient for them. If
not they generally won’t take the shift.
12) EMERGENCE – two perspectives can merge ex. Coffee: mental stimulation and paper weight. (genuine and not simply
based on essential qualities but new thinking). From interactions farmers don‟t want their potatoes but no throw away
and desire from others = money
13) Self emerges through interaction: relevancy of actions from perspective of others; perspective of self and other into a
single meaning.” Humans therefore base their information on others to reflect on themselves and how they would want to
be treated etc.
14) “Thinking through a problem see all the possible options that we know of or past/future and alternative social
perspectives; thinking involves generate new idea from past ideas” INTEGRATE AND COODINATE (PAST
EXPERIENCES) SO THAT NEW RELEVANCIES EMERGE
15) So far we know what agency is based on Mead.
a. Holistic in it looks at biophysical with sociocultural, perspectival relations (humans diverse views not just one
like a cow and its grass), interactions with others makes our perspectives/who we are, emergence of two
perspectives at a time (coffee = mental stimulant and paper weight), the accumulation of the past can emerge
16) Acting toward self (see our reactions) we recognize and understand ourselves as objects/authors own activity
17) “mind, selfhood and agency are not initially there at birth but arise in the process of social experience and activity”
mechanism for development of self-consciousness and selfhood – individual becoming an object to himself by taking
attitudes of other individuals toward himself within an organized setting of relationships”
18) Others clarify self-consciousness and self-determination (GILLESPIE AND MARTIN)
19) THE EMERGENCE OF SELFHOOD, PERSPECTIVE COORDINATION AND AGENCY
a. Position and interaction, gradual, not an ability but understanding of the world (social, interactional, institutional
scaffolding) and guide gradual emergence (not stages but cumulate)
20) PHYSICAL AND PERCEPTUAL INTERACTION WITH ASSISTED TACTILE EXCHANGE (TACTILE EXPERIENCE AND
a. Ever since the beginning (birth) humans interact with their word based on touch and what we can see. So for
example infants act based on internal hunger or the presentation of a breast. The mother reacts to the child‟s
facial expressions and grunting. So everything is very implicite and learnt over continuous presentation.
“initiate the infant into a world that both supports and resists her actions, and offers an immediate, concrete
basis for connecting her movements to the actions of others and the realities of objects”
21) “through perceptual recovery of others/objects” one learns to differentiate btw what can come back and what won‟t. May
even be able to know before hand eventually if one will be able to recover. Learns to position based on all of these
interactions that are physical and tactile.
22) ASSISTED POSITION EXCHANGE WITH OTHERS AND OBJECTS WITHIN ROUTINE INTERACTIONS (SITUATED
REMEMBERANCE AND ANTICIPATION; BASIC POSITION RECOVERY)
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