Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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In this paper I attempt to dissolve two confused ideas inherent in scientific studies of learning: That the locus of learning processes lies hidden inside the mind/brain, and also that this putatively hidden phenomenon causes learned actions. I attempt this dissolution through conceptual argument and data analysis, first by contrasting the use of the concept ‘learning’ in ordinary and scientific interaction, followed by a Wittgenstein-inspired conversation analysis of a micro-longitudinal case of learning interaction — a biochemist teaching lab techniques to a technician — in order to demonstrate that learning processes are inherently social. I conclude that the scientific view of learning processes as hidden is misconceived through its misuse of the concept “learning”. The empirical results demonstrate that learning processes are indeed public and manifest in an indefinite number of forms, and whatever may be found in the brain associated with learning are concomitant factors, not learning itself.


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