Books

etcetera

Cleeremans et al. – Implicit learning

70 Whittlesea, B.W.A. and Dorken, M.D. (1993) Incidentally, things in general are particularly determined: an episodic-processing account of implicit learning J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 122, 227–248 71 Whittlesea, B.W.A. and Wright, R. (1997) Implicit (and explicit) learning: acting adaptively without knowing the consequences J. Exp. Psychol. Learn. Mem. Cognit. 23, 181–200 72 Barsalou, L.W. (1990) On the indistinguishability of examplar memory and abstraction in category representation, in Content and Process Specificity in the Effects on Prior Experiences (Srull, T.K. and Wyer, R.S.,

eds), pp. 61–88, Erlbaum 73 Cleeremans, A. (1997) Principles for implicit learning, in How Implicit is Implicit Learning? (Berry, D.C., ed.), pp. 195–234, Oxford University Press 74 Dulany, D.E. (1997) Consciousness in the explicit (deliberative) and implicit (evocative), in Scientific Approaches to Consciousness (Cohen, J.D. and Schooler, J.W., eds), pp. 179–212, Erlbaum 75 Becker, S. et al. (1997) Long-term semantic priming: a computational account and empirical evidence J. Exp. Psychol. Learn. Mem. Cognit. 23, 1059–1082

Mind as Action
by James V. Wertsch, Oxford University Press, 1998. £22.95 (xii + 203 pages) ISBN 0 19 511753 0
Mind as Action is the latest refinement of Wertsch’s theory of socially mediated mind1,2. With his usual clear prose and effective balance of theory and experimental evidence, Wertsch argues that neither social nor biological reductionism is the proper methodological stance (Chapter 1), since both lead to essentialism (for a similar, more detailed argument, see Chapters 1 and 2 in Ref. 3). The unit of psychological study is ‘mediated action’ – the agent and sociohistorical means in mutual determination – a proposal that directly takes on the often-defaulted promissory note in cultural psychology of a unit of analysis that can be identified by someone other than the believer. Wertsch follows through with an important catalogue of properties of mediated action (Chapter 2), the use of which can lead sociocultural research programs in new directions. For example, mediation constrains as much as it facilitates, and so even well-intentioned mediational contexts can restrict inquiry by reproducing their limiting conditions while claiming otherwise. Moreover, mediation can be accidental, with some sociocultural affordances the inadvertent consequence of other cultural means. I take this as evidence that culture is both sub-optimal and open (with contextual mind operating as a kind of social exaptation4 or characteristic that arose in a way unrelated to its present function; for a good discussion of how social facts originate and change semiotic function, see Ref. 5). Importantly, this view yields leeway for individual action and productive error in the development of mediated mind. One of the most powerful and prevalent cultural mediations of mental action is narrative. Wertsch describes how this form of discourse both facilitates and limits access to historical knowledge in schools (Chapter 3). The linguistic structure of American students’ historical narratives suggests that they move from a dispersed understanding of their own history in fragmented narrative form (fostered by textbooks that fail to promote the coherence of the historical story) to an overcoherent understanding guided by a quest-for-freedom narrative that excludes alternatives. The educational problem is how to engender coherence without exclusion. This kind of analysis of emergent historical mind might be advanced in two ways. One is by using the work of Kieran Egan6, who has identified five kinds of understanding that guide the development and instruction of historical knowledge – somatic, mythic, romantic, philosophic, and ironic. These might provide a framework for examining the student-produced historical narratives that drive Wertsch’s analysis. For example, the quest-for-freedom narrative appears to be one at the transition between romantic knowing (literate, personal narrative) and philosophic knowing (abstract, truth-driven narrative); the satirical narratives of college students are clearly at the level of ironic knowing (self-critical metanarrative); fifth- and eighth-grade narratives appear to be mythic knowing (oral, binarily structured narrative). A second enhancement of Wertsch’s narrative analysis might come from using the notion of ‘illocutionary point’: the ultimate pragmatic goal of speech action. When students, and official historians, produce narratives in which the constituent propositions are factually correct but which, together, make a text that is pragmatically skewed (as in the reporting of correct American settlement facts in the service of a dubious quest for freedom), then the consumers of such historical narratives must deploy elaborate inference chains to plug the gap between truth and appropriateness. It would be worthwhile studying the strategies of reasoning from textbased speech acts to try to locate the ways that illocutionary point in historical narratives is coded and used. In looking at how linguistic mediation generally works in forming the educated mind (Chapter 4), Wertsch nicely shows how many school failures result from mismatches in speech genre7 between the child and the school. The solution involves appropri-

ation of the actual speech of school exchange in the service of a learner’s selfregulation. The larger lesson, as I see it, is that educational progress comes from changing the participatory structure of educational intersubjectivity and from manipulating mediation in its material forms (actual speech) – in short, a change in the mediated action of schooling. Lest this suggest a happily-everafter scenario for schools, we should recall the lesson of Chapter 5: resistance and appropriation are two sides of the same coin. The narrative choices of school-based knowledge give voice to some ideas at the expense of others – either by quiet approval or by deliberate silencing. The more institutionalized the unvoiced narratives become, the more dialectical tension there will be in the mediated mental action of school. Can this tension between the said and the unsaid be a productive force in education? I recall my three-and-a-half-yearold daughter working on a preschool book in which she had to identify all the things that ‘belong together.’ On one page, there was a picture of a boy, a girl, a school, and a clown. She put them all together, saying that the boy and girl belong in the school, and the clown does also because ‘a clown is a people, too.’ Think of the hard work needed to legitimate – that is, not exclude – that insight in her school performance, to use it as a way to push her knowledge forward, rather than to bracket it out as unspeakable in the official narrative of logic. Think especially of how the relationship between her and her teachers, her family, her classmates (i.e. she and other people) would all have to be involved for

416
Trends in Cognitive Sciences – Vol. 2, No. 10, October 1998

(1997) Vygotsky and Cognitive Science: Language and the Unification of the Social and Computational Mind. Veloso (eds) Symbolic Visual Learning Oxford University Press. M.edu References 1 Wertsch.00 (xx + 764 pages) ISBN 0 262 08262 4 J. Frawley Department of Linguistics.) will be considered as well. Osherson (ed. (1986) Speech Genres and Other Late Esssays. A. Bickle Psychoneural Reduction: The New Wave MIT Press.99 (308 pages) ISBN 0 19 852380 7 J. 0 19 511 5333 C. Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition MIT Press. and Vrba.V. 10. $30. Evans (eds) Cultural Clinical Psychology: Theory.50 (xi + 176 pages) ISBN 90 5702 203 6 J.50 (xviii + 255 pages) ISBN 0 262 07186 X R. £75. £55. Send any ideas or proposals for reviews to the Editor.95 (xi + 434 pages) ISBN 0 262 01167 0 R. films. CD-ROMs. 4 MIT Press. USA. 1998. Katsushi and M. William J. 1998. Kazarian and D. £26.Q. 4–15 5 Searle. 1998. 1998. W. 1998.W.R.R. £20. This. £19. £45.S. 1998. J. Readers: would you like to review a particular book for the journal? Contact the Editor to discuss the project. 0 521 58360 8 M.R. Hameroff. McDowell Mind. Harvard University Press 3 Frawley. October 1998 . Gross Brain.R. 1998. $35. E. Graham (eds) A Companion to Cognitive Science Blackwell.) Computational Approaches to Language Acquisition MIT Press. 1998.00 (199 pages) ISBN 0 262 52229 2 W. Harvard University Press 2 Wertsch.00 (xi + 240 pages) ISBN 9 780 262 024 327 M. Newark. 1998. 1998. £19.R. Meddis (eds) Psychophysical and Physiological Advances in Hearing Wuhrr Publishers. University of Texas Press Books Received Review copies of the following books have been received. Bechtel and G. 1998.P.F. 1997.00 (xii + 340 pages) ISBN 0 415 13042 5 W.95 (xii + 410 pages) ISBN 0 19 510946 5 W. £22. Summerfield and R. No. Sutherland Breakdown: A Personal Crisis and a Medical Dilemma Oxford University Press. art exhibitions. Value & Reality Harvard University Press. £50.50 (292 pages) ISBN 0 19 509298 8 S. Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience MIT Press. £25.M. Kintsch Comprehension: A Paradigm For Cognition Cambridge University Press. £19.) An Invitation to Cognitive Science: Methods. (1997) The Educated Mind: How Cognitive Tools Shape our Understanding. etc. $35. Models.00 (xiv + 950 pages) ISBN 9 780262 65046 5 A. Haligin and S. (1991) Voices of the Mind. Audi Epistemology. Books that have been reviewed in Trends in Cognitive Sciences are not included. 1998.C. (1985) Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. A. 1997. 1998.00 (vi + 355 pages) ISBN 0 19 509870 6 S. Koslowsky (ed. 417 Trends in Cognitive Sciences – Vol. is the ultimate lesson of Wertsch’s book. Port and T. DE 19716. 1998. Frawley Vygotsky and Cognitive Science. Kaszniak and A. The Free Press 6 Egan.00 (221 pages) ISBN 0 415 15320 4 J. The appearance of a book in the list does not preclude the possibility of it being reviewed in the future. Palmer.V. 1998. J. 1997. 2.S. Haugeland Having Thought: Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind Harvard University Press. 1998. University of Delaware. Scott (eds) Toward a Science of Consciousness II: The Second Tucson Discussions and Debates MIT Press. Rees. tel: +1 302 831 6706 fax: +1 302 831 6896 e-mail: billf@udel.) The Inheritance and Innateness of Grammars Oxford University Press.00 (xvii + 791 pages) ISBN 1 55786 542 6 M. £70. Language and the Unification of the Social and Computational Mind Harvard University Press.00 BOOK REVIEWS Publishers: send copies of books you would like to be reviewed in TICS to the Editor.G. £25.00.) Modeling the Stress–Strain Relationship in Work Settings Routledge. £22. S. £23. A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge Routledge.Books etcetera her to learn productively.J.A.95 (390 pages) ISBN 0 674 38233 1 I.N. Whitbourne (eds) A Casebook in Abnormal Psychology: From the Files of Experts Oxford University Press (USA).95. 1998. and Conceptual Issues Vol. £40. I think.K. Brent (ed. University of Chicago Press 7 Bakhtin. A. £31.50 (ix + 333 pages) ISBN 0 674 94347 3 M. (1982) Exaptation: a missing term in the science of form Paleobiology 8. Research and Practice Oxford University Press.00 (x + 590 pages) ISBN 0 262 66110 1 S. Gopnik (ed. 1997. Other types of publications (software. £50.50 (ix + 400 pages) ISBN 0 674 57613 6 D. Van Gelder (eds) Mind as Motion. K. Vision. Harvard University Press 4 Gould. Rosenfeld (eds) Talking Nets: An Oral History of Neural Networks MIT Press. (xvi + 461 pages) ISBN 0 521 62986 1.00 (232 pages) ISBN 0 19 511 5341. Bennett The Idea of Consciousness Harwood Academic Publishers. £55.00 (iii + 614 pages) ISBN 1 86156 069 9 R. J. £14. Anderson and E. (1995) The Construction of Social Reality.