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Re: [xmca] Interpreting Leontiev: functionalism and Anglo Finnish Insufficiences

David, I am going to restrict myself to just one of the numerous issues you raise, and that is the general question as to whether there can be a universal, interdisciplinary unit of analysis. Obviously there cannot be such a universal unit of analysis because that would imply a "science of everything" and at least at this stage in the development of the human species that is ruled out.

What is raised by this question is the relation between a science and a field of phenomena. A field of science (e.g. world politics, economics, psychology, ...) can be loosely defined as all those phenomena sharing some given attribute in common, but this is not the way of Romantic science or of dialectics. The aim of a holistic sacience is to conceive and define a whole field of science as a Gestalt. This results in phenomena which would initially be seen to be part of the field, to be excluded, whilst what was at first seen as extraneous, being included. But the science is defined then by being all those phenomena constituted by the Gestalt. The Gestalt for its part must then (for the dialectician) be conceived of by means of a unit of analysis, which (as you correctly observe) expresses just one, the simplest possible, problem and its solution. The contradiction is that an entire field of phenomena then comes to be conceived under a limited unit of analysis. But that field is not (cannot be) conceived in advance. To do so inevitably leads to an empty abstraction. Thus we have units of analysis that turn out to be keys to entire sciences. The key then when confronted with a vast array of problem is to penetrate to that one problem which is the key to it all, and crack that one.

I have been collecting units of analysis. Hegel had hundreds of them in his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Modern writers generally make their name for their insights into just one field of phenomena which virtually carries their name as a result, so in their cases it is enough to mention the name of the writer and the unit. So ...

   * For Hegel, Being was the unit of analysis for Logic, a concept was
     the unit of a formation of consicousness, Space was a unit of
     analysis for Nature, a Soul was the unit of analysis for Spirit
     (ie human life), private property was the unit of analysis for
     Right - which includes the whole of world history, international
     law. &c.
   * For Marx the commodity relation was the unit for bourgeois society
     (ie the economy in the broadest sense, but not family or political
   * For Thomas Kuhn a solved problem was a unit of scientific achievement.
   * For Frege, the unit is the smallest expression to which pragmatic
     force can be attached
   * For Wittgenstein, the unit is the smallest expression whose
     utterance makes a move in a language game
   * For Robert Brandom, the unit is the proposition,
   * A cell, is the basic unit of a biological organism,

There are others, such as Vygotsky and Bakhtin/Voloshinov but let's leave them for the moment...

So in a way, the unit of analysis is primary. Given the unit, the solution to some very finite problem, one has thereby an entire science and the definition of the field of phenomena *flows from that*.

Hope that helps.
About the rest I cannot comment.,


David Kellogg wrote:
I gather that what we are doing is discussing the review of Andy's book in the latest MCA. I'm not really sure why we are doing this, because it doesn't actually seem immediately and obviously related to the topic of Leontiev and Stalinism, it was not chosen by vote, and it is also rather scandalously long and more than usually poorly written. On p. 374, Nissen says that CHAT is in search of a kind of universal unit of analysis. I was not aware that this was considered possible, much less that it was considered a central point in CHAT. Nissen strongly implies that Andy's book really does claim the "collaborative project" as a kind of God particle, a universal, interdisciplinary unit of analysis. Is this true? Vygotsky never implied that there was any universal, interdisciplinary unit of analysis to be had. Quite the contrary. He explicitly puts forward very different units of analysis for different problems. For example, he argues that perizhvanie is the U of A for the emotional life of the child, and that word meaning is for the problem of Thinking and Speech. Molecules and molecular movement are for understanding quite specific problems in hydrology, not for discussing water generally. If Andy really does disagree with this, I'd like to know about why, but I rather suspect he does not. On p. 375, Nissen writes: "What is immanence? A colleague whom I much respect declared recently that Blunden is so much of a newcomer to CHAT that he shouldn't be taken seriously at all." I cannot understand how the answer answers the question. Can someone explain this? "More specifically he (Andy) exhibits Hegel so meticulously that at some points the relevance escapes me, whereas Marx is rendered in such a simplifying way that it at once stirred my nostalgia for pre-post-modern Marxism and my urge to let us, finally, get beyond it--as Marxists, that is! Speaking of legacy..." No, let's not speak of legacy. I can't understand a word of this. Will somebody please translate? "Frankly, it seems Blunden has not worked enough on this to make it worth the while for us to go into it any further, so let's just leave it there." I rather he would have left it there, but unfortunately, the review goes on for another eight (!) equally incoherent pages. I gather that a special exception to the normal 2000 word limit was made for this review, and I would really like to hear why, particularly since Andy is so very proud of the high rejection rate of the journal! I must put in a good word for the p. 375 footnote though: "For a price of 99 pounds, one would expect some careful editing to be done, an at least not quite so many typos." Well put. But I think the same thing holds true for my MCA subscription. David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
--- On *Sun, 12/25/11, Andy Blunden /<ablunden@mira.net>/* wrote:

    From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
    Subject: Re: [xmca] Interpreting Leontiev: functionalism and Anglo
    Finnish Insufficiences
    To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
    Date: Sunday, December 25, 2011, 6:23 PM

    Good point, Arturo.

    One of the most difficult things to work out is what Hegel is talking
    about, the subject matter of his writing. The concept of Recognition
    arises not in the Philosophy of Right (which is surely just about
    communities) but in the Subjective Spirit, and here the topic is
    ambiguous. It is about human beings emerging from what Hegel took
    to be
    a state of nature towards the modern state. But what sense do we
    give to
    "emerging"? Hegel did not believe in the evolution of species. He
    believed that only history changed; nothing new ever happened in
    So he saw human beings as intelligent animals who only came into
    themselves as they built languages, customs, forms of production,
    "raised" children, and so on. But the immediate section before the
    Subjective Spirit is the Philosophy of Nature, about animals, the
    immediate section following Subjective Spirit is about private
    So Subjective Spirit is about how human animals (organically exactly
    what they are now) became modern citizens. But it reads less as a
    of history than as a theory of human anatomy and physiology. The
    on recognition comes in the section on self-consciousness, prior
    to the
    section on language. It is about history as much as it is about
    Hegel is making a logical exposition of how human beings must be.
    Anyway, recognition not only "predates" the modern state, it
    even language, for Hegel. The struggle to the death for recognition
    makes abundant sense so long as one situates it in the struggle of a
    social movement or emergent nation, not as the struggle of an
    individual. But how far do we take such a reading of the subjective
    spirit. Given that the Zusatze for the Subjective Spirit were not
    translated into English till 1971 and since 1830 only two books in
    English have been written on the Subjective Spirit, there is a lot of
    puzzles to untangle yet.


    Arturo Escandon wrote:
    > I think Greg is referring to the quest for recognition and its
    link to identity. When the commonwealth is born, there are more
    clear loci of recognition. At least one can argue that the state
    helps selecting and reproducing identities that are treated as
    official. See segments of Hegel's Philosophy of Right on person
    and subject.
    > How does chat deal with ascertaining the positioning of the
    subject for that is the locus of power and control.
    > Best
    > Arturo
    > Sent from my iPod
    > On 26 Dec 2011, at 07:33, mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com
> >> Greg -- mediation through culture begins only after emergence
    of the state?
    >> Mike
    >> On Dec 25, 2011, at 7:40 AM, Victor Friedlander
>> >>> On 25 December 2011 10:10, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>> >>>> I don't know Markell, but I read Williams as what I call
    billiard table
    >>>> recognition. As you correctly say, individuals in the modern
    state get
    >>>> recognition first of all through Right, and then on top of
    all that
    >>>> through participation in a whole variety of mediating projects.
    >>>> Mediation is the alpha and omega of Hegel and I don't see a
    >>>> glimmer of understanding of this in the writers I mentioned.
    Why? They
    >>>> express the spirit of their age, in which individuals bang
    around like
    >>>> billiard balls on a level playing field. They want to do away
    >>>> religion, but all they have to replace it with is individualism.
    >>>> There is a lot of be said for Mead and his rendering of the
    >>>> narrative, but I think he remained unclear, and his subjects
    seem to be
    >>>> able to generate the means of mediation from within
    themselves. OK up to
    >>>> a point, but as Hegel says ...
    >>>> Also, what is overlooked is that the subjects of Hegel's
    narratives are
    >>>> not first of all individuals, but are social subjects, and only
    >>>> derivatively from that, persons.
    >>>> Andy
    >>>> Greg Thompson wrote:
>>>> >>>>> Yes, Andy, your quote from Hegel makes clear that Hegel is
    tracing out
    >>>>> subjective spirit as it emerges through recognition in
    >>>>> history. But this is not to say that the process of
    recognition is all
    >>>>> said and done once human social life has developed past this
    >>>>> What does follow from this historical transformation, imho,
    is that
    >>>>> recognition will take on a new quality with the emergence of
    >>>>> society and the State - recognition becomes mediated in a
    whole new
    >>>>> way; recognition becomes mediated through culture. This is
    not your
    >>>>> father's recognition. It is not about struggle and battle,
    but it is
    >>>>> about gaining rich individuality through the complex
    macrosocial array
    >>>>> of identities that are on offer in society (and which are
    >>>>> with respect to the complex metapragmatics of exhibiting and,
    >>>>> critically, being recognized as having had exhibited, the
    signs and
    >>>>> symbols of having had been such and such type of person in a
    >>>>> moment). To put it in a slightly different idiom, identity
    is like a
    >>>>> right - it exists consequentially only through the
    recognition of
    >>>>> others (writ large, i.e. recognition via thirdness (Peirce)
    or, if you
    >>>>> prefer, a generalized other (Mead), in short, through
    >>>>> through culture). And just as property creates possibilities for
    >>>>> agentive action, e.g. raising cattle or raising capital, so
    too do
    >>>>> various identities create possibilities for agentive action
    >>>>> that the con-man is well aware of, but which most of the
    rest of us
    >>>>> seem too stuck in our "own" skin to realize).
    >>>>> I also happen to think that this importance of culture to
    >>>>> comes through in both Markell's and Williams' readings of Hegel,
    >>>>> although I think it is more clearly articulated in the
    former than in
    >>>>> the latter (though I do have some issues with both). And I
    will need
    >>>>> to go back through my notes and through your writings on
    >>>>> Andy, to see where I think that you've got Williams wrong
    (but I'm not
    >>>>> about to make a similar claim about your reading of Hegel -
    you're way
    >>>>> out of my league in that regard!).
    >>>>> But that will have to wait as there are more pressing
    matters right
    >>>>> now (presents to wrap and cookies to eat and notes to leave!).
    >>>>> And a very merry Christmas to you Andy.
    >>>>> And to all a good night.
    >>>>> -greg
    >>>>> p.s., to mike I'm not sure at all how to connect this to
    >>>>> Have much work to do in that connection... Motivation maybe?
    >>>>> On Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 6:24 PM, Andy Blunden
>>>>> >>>>>> To let Hegel speak for himself. In The Subjective Spirit,
    after the
    >>>>>> "master-servant" narrative, he says:
    >>>>>> "To prevent any possible misunderstandings with regard to the
    >>>>>> standpoint just outlined, we must here remark that the
    fight for
    >>>>>> recognition pushed to the extreme here indicated can only
    occur in
    >>>>>> the natural state, where men exist only as single, separate
    >>>>>> individuals; but it is absent in civil society and the
    State because
    >>>>>> here the recognition for which the combatants fight already
    >>>>>> For although the State may originate in violence, it does
    not rest
    >>>>>> on it" (1830/1971 ��432n).
    >>>>>> Andy
    >>>>>> Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>>>> >>>>>>> I have written/spoken eslewhere and at length on R R
    Williams (as well
    >>>>>>> as
    >>>>>>> Robert Brandom, Axel Honneth and others) and I regard
    their postmodern
    >>>>>>> interpretation of recognition-without-culture. I regard it
    as the main
    >>>>>>> barrier to an understanding of CHAT or Hegel of our times.
    >>>>>>> Functionalism is interesting in the way you mentioned, in
    that it
>>>>>>> prefigured more contemporary currents which also do away with any
    >>>>>>> centre of
    >>>>>>> power but cast power as flowing through "capillaries" - a
    more radical
    >>>>>>> conception of power-wthout-a-centre actually.
    >>>>>>> Andy
    >>>>>>> mike cole wrote:
>>>>>>> >>>>>>>> Thanks for providing a link back to the
    >>>>>>>> discussion, Andy.
    >>>>>>>> The links appear to go right through your home hegelian
    territory and
    >>>>>>>> link us up
    >>>>>>>> to current discussions of "recognition." They also link
    up with ideas
    >>>>>>>> linked to
    >>>>>>>> Zygmund Bauman's "Liquid Modernity." And to the many
    other people whose
    >>>>>>>> work
    >>>>>>>> I know too little of.
    >>>>>>>> With respect to functionalism, casting national
    aspersions aside  :-))
    >>>>>>>> , it never occurred to me during my years getting trained
    to be a
    >>>>>>>> learning
    >>>>>>>> theorist in the
    >>>>>>>> Skinnerian tradition, to consider the question of "where
    does the
    >>>>>>>> function come from" or "who is exerting power here?"  We
    starved the
    >>>>>>>> rats
    >>>>>>>> and they ran or died. Or coerced sophomores using grades
    as "part of
    >>>>>>>> their
    >>>>>>>> education."
    >>>>>>>> Then I went to Moscow. Where the caste of characters
    under discussion
    >>>>>>>> were my hosts. Like I said. I am a slow learner on all these
    >>>>>>>> complicated
    >>>>>>>> matters. At the rate I am going I am never going to
    figure it all out!
    >>>>>>>> :-)
    >>>>>>>> mike
    >>>>>>>> On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 9:05 PM, Andy Blunden
    >>>>>>>> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
    >>>>>>>> In my view, Mike, there were some basic questions asked and
    >>>>>>>> answered by A N Leontyev in launching the enquiry we know as
    >>>>>>>> "Activity Theory" are uneliminable, that is, he took a
    step which
    >>>>>>>> has to be valued and continued. But it was a step at an
    >>>>>>>> fundamental level. It absolutely left open
    >>>>>>>> directions and well as emancipatory directions. Personally, I
    >>>>>>>> think the impact of the "planned economy" and the
    >>>>>>>> which understood "the laws of history" and the state which
    >>>>>>>> represented a "higher stage of society" and so on, left a
    mark on
    >>>>>>>> the whole current. But its basics, its fundamentals
    remain intact.
    >>>>>>>> It only remains to agree on what those were.
    >>>>>>>> By-the-by, the home of "functionalism" is the USA.
    >>>>>>>> By-the-by again, in the early 80s I was a member of a
    >>>>>>>> party which put Ilyenkov on a pedastal, and published new
    >>>>>>>> translations of his work in English, which also came very
    close to
    >>>>>>>> endorsing Lamarkism. It debated it, but the Party
    perished before
    >>>>>>>> the debate was resolved.
    >>>>>>>> Andy
    >>>>>>>> mike cole wrote:
    >>>>>>>>     I am being very slow  here. How does this discussion
    >>>>>>>>     or help me to
    >>>>>>>>     think more clearly about the issues in the subject
    line? the
    >>>>>>>>     issues over
    >>>>>>>>     different interpretations of Leontiev, their relation to
    >>>>>>>>     functionalism,
    >>>>>>>>     stalinism, fascism, etc?
    >>>>>>>>     mike
    >>>>>>>>     On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 3:34 PM, Greg Thompson
    >>>>>>>>     <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>     <mailto:greg.a.thompson@gmail.**com
>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>> wrote: >>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>> Larry,
    >>>>>>>>         IMHO, you're hitting the heart of the matter with
    >>>>>>>>         recognition and
    >>>>>>>>         agency - self-assertion vs. self-emptying seems a
    nice way
    >>>>>>>>         to think
    >>>>>>>>         about the central problematic (and I agree with your
    >>>>>>>>         preference for
    >>>>>>>>         the latter). If you are interested in developing
    a more more
    >>>>>>>>         self-emptying Kyoto-like notion of recognition,
    I've got a
    >>>>>>>>         couple of
    >>>>>>>>         suggestions (and I'm sure I've made these
    suggestions in a
    >>>>>>>>         different
    >>>>>>>>         context before, so apologies for redundancy).
    >>>>>>>>         First, I'd strongly encourage a read of Robert
    >>>>>>>>         Ethics of
    >>>>>>>>         Recognition. In Williams' read of Hegel, you find an
    >>>>>>>>         articulation of
    >>>>>>>>         recognition that is much more like the Kyoto
    understanding of
    >>>>>>>>         recognition and which is against the crass
    version you get
    >>>>>>>>         from the
    >>>>>>>>         existentialists where recognition always about a
    fight or
    >>>>>>>>         struggle for
    >>>>>>>>         recognition. As evidence of the cultural tendency
    >>>>>>>>         self-assertion, it is very telling that one small
    >>>>>>>>         paragraph in Hegel's
    >>>>>>>>         oeuvre would get picked up as the thing that most
    >>>>>>>>         for most of
    >>>>>>>>         the 20th century would equate with Hegel's notion of
    >>>>>>>>         "recognition."
    >>>>>>>>         But that approach is shortsighted and Williams really
    >>>>>>>>         nails this
    >>>>>>>>         point. (although I am persuaded by Willaims'
    >>>>>>>>         interpretation, I don't
    >>>>>>>>         have any skin in the game of whether or not this
    is a more
    >>>>>>>>         or less
    >>>>>>>>         "authentic" interpretation of Hegel - I just
    happen to
    >>>>>>>>         believe that
    >>>>>>>>         the position Williams articulates is far more
    >>>>>>>>         than the
    >>>>>>>>         struggle-for-recognition model that has been on
    offer from
    >>>>>>>> the
    >>>>>>>>         existentialists).
    >>>>>>>>         Second, to provide some further support for this
    >>>>>>>>         I'd also
    >>>>>>>>         suggest checking out Johann Georg Hamann, who is
    said to
    >>>>>>>>         have been a
    >>>>>>>>         significant influence on Hegel (but don't read Isaiah
    >>>>>>>>         Berlin's stuff
    >>>>>>>>         on Hamann, he misses the point). Hamann didn't really
    >>>>>>>>         publish much. He
    >>>>>>>>         was most noted for his letters to his friend,
    >>>>>>>>         Kant and in
    >>>>>>>>         which he repeatedly tells Kant that he's got it
    all wrong
    >>>>>>>>         (and does it
    >>>>>>>>         in a style that makes the point through medium as
    well as,
    >>>>>>>>         if not more
    >>>>>>>>         than, message - a point which itself speaks to
    one of his
    >>>>>>>>         central
    >>>>>>>>         points about the importance of poetics). In these
    >>>>>>>>         Hamann has
    >>>>>>>>         a wonderful sense of the intractability of human
    life, and
    >>>>>>>> the
    >>>>>>>>         fundamental wrong-headedness of the desire for
    >>>>>>>>         agency. I'd
    >>>>>>>>         be happy to share more if there is any interest.
    >>>>>>>>         Oh, and I forgot there is a third author of
    interest in
    >>>>>>>>         this regard,
    >>>>>>>>         Patchen Markell's Bound by Recognition gives a
    >>>>>>>>         portrait of
    >>>>>>>>         what he calls "the impropriety of action" - the
    sense in
    >>>>>>>>         which our
    >>>>>>>>         actions are not our property alone. Markell's
    book argues
    >>>>>>>>         that tragedy
    >>>>>>>>         (and its twin, comedy) derives from this very human
    >>>>>>>>         problem. Also
    >>>>>>>>         great stuff.
    >>>>>>>>         All three of these readings I suggest as a way of
    >>>>>>>>         out that
    >>>>>>>>         within Western traditions there is a trope that
    is closer to
    >>>>>>>>         self-emptying than self-asserting. Unfortunately it
    >>>>>>>>         doesn't articulate
    >>>>>>>>         as well with Enlightenment perspectives because it is
    >>>>>>>>         often, as with
    >>>>>>>>         Hamann, articulated through Christianity. This
    >>>>>>>>         something of a
    >>>>>>>>         marketing problem since the Enlightenment put
    >>>>>>>>         as a thing
    >>>>>>>>         of the past and as the kind of believing that
    small minded
    >>>>>>>>         people do
    >>>>>>>>         (the kind that tote guns and don't believe in
    >>>>>>>>         and thus a
    >>>>>>>>         not very appealing thing for most Westerner's
    "natural" (i.e.
    >>>>>>>>         "cultural") inclination to self-assertion. So I
    think that
    >>>>>>>>         as a matter
    >>>>>>>>         of packaging, Buddhism, with its stripped down
    >>>>>>>>         ideology,
    >>>>>>>>         probably has more appeal to most post-Enlightenment
    >>>>>>>>         Western thinkers.
    >>>>>>>>         And I wanted to add that I feel like your posts are
    >>>>>>>>         speaking directly
    >>>>>>>>         to me and maybe we can carry on this conversation
    in more
    >>>>>>>>         detail
    >>>>>>>>         somewhere down the road (in a different thread, I
    >>>>>>>>         suspect). So many
    >>>>>>>>         thanks for your words (even if they weren't
    "intended" for
    >>>>>>>>         me - a
    >>>>>>>>         fortuitous impropriety to be sure!).
    >>>>>>>>         Anyway, hope all is well,
    >>>>>>>>         greg
    >>>>>>>>         On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM, Larry Purss
    >>>>>>>>         <lpscholar2@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                           I'm enjoying this line [circle?
    spiral?] of
    >>>>>>>> inquiry.
    >>>>>>>>             David,  you wrote
    >>>>>>>>             The mind is a highly parsimonious thing; it
    is very
    >>>>>>>>             tiring to believe one
    >>>>>>>>             thing and say another. Vygotsky's genetic law
    >>>>>>>>             that eventually it
    >>>>>>>>             is the former that shall cede to the latter.
    >>>>>>>>             I want to go out on a speculative limb that
    tries to
    >>>>>>>>             weave together some
    >>>>>>>>                             of
    >>>>>>>>                           Wittgenstein's notions that are
    >>>>>>>> expressed in John
    >>>>>>>>             Shotter's
    >>>>>>>>             exploration of conversation.
    >>>>>>>>             The question of the relation and distinction
    >>>>>>>>             "taking a position"
    >>>>>>>>             and "developing dispositions"  In David's
    quote above
    >>>>>>>>             "believing" one
    >>>>>>>>                             thing
    >>>>>>>>                           [a position] and "saying"
    >>>>>>>> another]  will
    >>>>>>>>             over time eventually
    >>>>>>>>             lead to the practice winning out over the belief.
    >>>>>>>>             Their are a group of scholars in Japan
    referred to as
    >>>>>>>>             "the kyoto school"
    >>>>>>>>             who are engaged in the project of having an
    >>>>>>>>             conversation between
    >>>>>>>>             Buddhism and German Continental philosophy.
    >>>>>>>>             A central difference the authors of the Kyoto
    >>>>>>>>             are articulating is
    >>>>>>>>             different notions [and values] of
    >>>>>>>>             as epressed in the
    >>>>>>>>             contrasting concepts
    >>>>>>>>             "self-assertion" and "self-emptying".
    >>>>>>>>             They suggest many Western notions of
    >>>>>>>>             and recognition
    >>>>>>>>                             are
    >>>>>>>>                           in pursuit of recognizing our
    >>>>>>>> stance or
    >>>>>>>>             position towards
    >>>>>>>>                             words,
    >>>>>>>>                           self, other, & world. This
    >>>>>>>> position can be
    >>>>>>>>             expressed in
    >>>>>>>>             emancipatory notions of "finding one's VOICE" and
    >>>>>>>>             overcoming being
    >>>>>>>>             "silenced".  Anger and conflict leading to
    >>>>>>>>             resistance from
    >>>>>>>>             within classes, races, genders. Through
    >>>>>>>>             [being seen and
    >>>>>>>>             listened to develops the capacity to move from a
    >>>>>>>>             silenced "voice" to an
    >>>>>>>>             assertive "voice"] one stands up and speaks
    back to
    >>>>>>>>             the dominating
    >>>>>>>>             constraints and the shame and humiliation that
    >>>>>>>>             silences voices.
    >>>>>>>>             As Shotter [in Christine's quotes above
    shows] the
    >>>>>>>>             assertoric position of
    >>>>>>>>             challenging dominant structures and power can
    be seen
    >>>>>>>>             as expressing a
    >>>>>>>>             particular "attitude" or "style" or "posture".
    >>>>>>>>             This style or attitude valorizes "the assertoric
    >>>>>>>>             stance" in the world"
    >>>>>>>>             which develops into an enduring "disposition"
    if we
    >>>>>>>>             keep "saying" this
    >>>>>>>>                             form
    >>>>>>>>                           of recognition and emancipation.
    >>>>>>>>             However, the Kyoto School, in deep
    conversation with
    >>>>>>>>             this assertoric
    >>>>>>>>             "position" and "disposition" suggests or gestures
    >>>>>>>>             toward an "alternative"
    >>>>>>>>             [not truer, more real, but an alternative]
    >>>>>>>>             They suggest Buddhist practice and "saying"
    can guide
    >>>>>>>>             or mediate another
    >>>>>>>>             in*formation of "self" that they express in the
    >>>>>>>>             concept of "self-emptying
    >>>>>>>>             This is NOT a passive or resigned form of
    agency but
    >>>>>>>>             rather an active
    >>>>>>>>             intentional positioning of self that attempts to
    >>>>>>>>             foreground the
    >>>>>>>>             "fallibility" and "uncertainty" of ALL
    positioning and
    >>>>>>>>             assertoric
    >>>>>>>>                             stances.
    >>>>>>>>                           This is a deeply
    intersubjective practice
    >>>>>>>> of
    >>>>>>>> valuing
    >>>>>>>>             "emergence" and
    >>>>>>>>             "openning spaces" in which to INVITE the other to
    >>>>>>>>             exist by the practice
    >>>>>>>>                             of
    >>>>>>>>                           mving our self from center
    stage.  Finding
    >>>>>>>> one's
    >>>>>>>>             "voice" from this
    >>>>>>>>                             position
    >>>>>>>>                           of ACTIVE INTENTIONAL
    self-emptying [and
    >>>>>>>> creating the
    >>>>>>>>             openning space for
    >>>>>>>>             the other's "voice" to emerge] is a very
    >>>>>>>>             "attitude" or "stance"
    >>>>>>>>             or "posture" to take leading to a very different
    >>>>>>>>             "disposition" from
    >>>>>>>>                             within
    >>>>>>>>                           a very different form of
    "saying" and
    >>>>>>>> "practice".
    >>>>>>>>             I "read" scholars such as Wittgenstein, Shotter,
    >>>>>>>>             Gadamer, Buber, Levinas,
    >>>>>>>>             as exploring this alternative in*formation of
    >>>>>>>>             that is less
    >>>>>>>>             assertoric in finding one's "voice" and
    moving towards
    >>>>>>>>             a posture of
    >>>>>>>>             self-emptying that embraces FALLIBILITY,
    >>>>>>>>             AMBIVALENCE, NOT
    >>>>>>>>             KNOWING, at the heart of this particular way of
    >>>>>>>>             becoming human.
    >>>>>>>>             I do believe this is an historically guided
    >>>>>>>>             perspective that embraces
    >>>>>>>>             multiple perspectives and multiple practices.
    >>>>>>>>             Intersubjectivity and dialogical hermeneutical
    >>>>>>>>             perspectives and the
    >>>>>>>>             multiple formations this conversation can take
    >>>>>>>>              [expressing alternative
    >>>>>>>>             moral committments] is the concept at the
    center of
    >>>>>>>>             this possible
    >>>>>>>>                             inquiry.
    >>>>>>>>                           I'm not sure how "possible" it
    is for
    >>>>>>>> persons in North
    >>>>>>>>             America to
    >>>>>>>>                             consider
    >>>>>>>>                           such alternative moral compasses as
    >>>>>>>> explored
    >>>>>>>> by the
    >>>>>>>>             Kyoto School. [it may
    >>>>>>>>             be beyond our horizon of understanding to
    envision as
    >>>>>>>>             a possibility].
    >>>>>>>>             It is also difficult to grasp Wittgenstein's
    >>>>>>>>             to "see through"
    >>>>>>>>             theoretical positions as a practice and
    >>>>>>>>             Self-asserion is often viewed as the only path to
    >>>>>>>>             intentional stances and
    >>>>>>>>             postures in finding one's voice to participate in
    >>>>>>>>             GENERATIVE
    >>>>>>>>             conversations.  Is there merit in engaging with
    >>>>>>>>             another tradition
    >>>>>>>>                             exploring
    >>>>>>>>                           agentic ACTORS actively practising
    >>>>>>>> "self-emptying"
    >>>>>>>>             motivated by the deep
    >>>>>>>>             disposition and committment to generative
    >>>>>>>>             ways of practice.??
    >>>>>>>>             As I said in my opening remarks, this is
    going "out on
    >>>>>>>>             a limb". Is
    >>>>>>>>                             conflict
    >>>>>>>>                           and anger the ONLY motivators
    that can be
    >>>>>>>> harnessed to
    >>>>>>>>             transform the
    >>>>>>>>             world??
    >>>>>>>>             I'm also aware that my position as a "white
    male" with
    >>>>>>>>             a secure job may
    >>>>>>>>                             be
    >>>>>>>>                           calling me to take a naive
    >>>>>>>> perspective.
    >>>>>>>>             At the minimum I want to suggest that it is
    these types
    >>>>>>>> of
    >>>>>>>>                             "conversations"
    >>>>>>>>                           across "traditions" such as the
    >>>>>>>> School
    >>>>>>>> scholars
    >>>>>>>>             are engaged in
    >>>>>>>>                              which
    >>>>>>>>                           invite us into a world
    conversation which
    >>>>>>>> puts into
    >>>>>>>>             play the monolithic
    >>>>>>>>             bias towards the assertoric stance in the world.
    >>>>>>>>             I'm preparing for "challenges" to this
    >>>>>>>>             "attitude" but am
    >>>>>>>>             putting it out there in a spirit of the
    holiday season
    >>>>>>>>             to think outside
    >>>>>>>>                             our
    >>>>>>>>                           Western notions of
    "self-assertion" and
    >>>>>>>> finding one's
    >>>>>>>>             voice.
    >>>>>>>>             Larry
    >>>>>>>>             On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 12:04 AM, David Kellogg <
    >>>>>>>>                             vaughndogblack@yahoo.com
>>>>>>>> <mailto:vaughndogblack@yahoo.**com<vaughndogblack@yahoo.com
>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>> wrote: >>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>> Ivan:
    >>>>>>>>                 At the beginning of  the Philosophical
    >>>>>>>>                 Investigations, Wittgenstein
    >>>>>>>>                                   quotes
    >>>>>>>>                               Augustine, who describes the
    >>>>>>>> indescribable
    >>>>>>>>                 experience of learning a
    >>>>>>>>                                   first
    >>>>>>>>                               language in Latin, and
    remarks that his
    >>>>>>>> model of
    >>>>>>>>                 language (a big bag of
    >>>>>>>>                 names) is OK, but only for a very restricted
    >>>>>>>>                 application; there are many
    >>>>>>>>                 things we call language for which it is not
    >>>>>>>>                 appropriate. And thence to
    >>>>>>>>                                   his
    >>>>>>>>                               famous discussion of
    complexes, in the
    >>>>>>>> form of
    >>>>>>>>                 games and language games.
    >>>>>>>>                 I think what I said was that Wittgenstein's
    >>>>>>>>                 account of language is
    >>>>>>>>                 pragmatic in a linguistic sense.
    Pragmatics is
    >>>>>>>>                 about the use of
    >>>>>>>>                                   language,
    >>>>>>>>                               as opposed to its usage
    (which is more
    >>>>>>>> or less
    >>>>>>>>                 what Augustine is
    >>>>>>>>                 describing, language as a dictionary
    written in
    >>>>>>>>                 some form of mentalese,
    >>>>>>>>                 where every language is necessarily a foreign
    >>>>>>>>                 language).
    >>>>>>>>                 And I think what Wittgenstein says about
    >>>>>>>>                 applies to every
    >>>>>>>>                                   account
    >>>>>>>>                               of language, even his own;
    it is
    >>>>>>>> appropriate, but
    >>>>>>>>                 ony for a very
    >>>>>>>>                                   restricted
    >>>>>>>>                               application. In that way it
    is like a
    >>>>>>>> metaphor (as
    >>>>>>>>                 we see in the
    >>>>>>>>                                   language
    >>>>>>>>                               games section, and the tool box
    >>>>>>>> section,
    >>>>>>>> it really
    >>>>>>>>                 IS a metaphor). So I
    >>>>>>>>                 think we need to ask the question where
    it stops
    >>>>>>>>                 being appropriate.
    >>>>>>>>                 As Andy points out, it doesn't describe
    >>>>>>>>                 thinking very well.
    >>>>>>>>                                   But
    >>>>>>>>                               that is not because the
    >>>>>>>> account of
    >>>>>>>>                 language is a subset of
    >>>>>>>>                                   some
    >>>>>>>>                               larger conceptual account;
    I think that
    >>>>>>>> the
    >>>>>>>>                 relationship is quite the
    >>>>>>>>                                   other
    >>>>>>>>                               way around: scientific
    concepts are a
    >>>>>>>> rarefied,
    >>>>>>>>                 specialized subset of
    >>>>>>>>                 semantic meaning, and of course semantic
    >>>>>>>>                 took many centuries of
    >>>>>>>>                 billions of daily interactions to be
    >>>>>>>>                 from everyday
    >>>>>>>>                                   pragmatics.
    >>>>>>>>                               Now it seems to me that on
    this scale
    >>>>>>>> of
    >>>>>>>> things,
    >>>>>>>>                 the cultural individual
    >>>>>>>>                 really is quite unchanging and hidebound,
    >>>>>>>>                 like a bottle. We
    >>>>>>>>                                   rejoice
    >>>>>>>>                               that Western women do not
    bind their
    >>>>>>>> feet--and
    >>>>>>>>                 instead mutilate their
    >>>>>>>>                 chests with silicon implants. We rejoice
    in not
    >>>>>>>>                 stoning women for
    >>>>>>>>                                   adultery
    >>>>>>>>                               and congratulate ourselves
    on no longer
    >>>>>>>> insisting
    >>>>>>>>                 on the male ownership
    >>>>>>>>                                   of
    >>>>>>>>                               sexuality that this
    entails, but we so
    >>>>>>>> stigmatize
    >>>>>>>>                 child sexual abuse
    >>>>>>>>                                   that
    >>>>>>>>                               children's lives, and not
    simply their
    >>>>>>>> putative
    >>>>>>>>                 purity, are now at risk
    >>>>>>>>                 from pedophiles, and nobody reflects that
    what is
    >>>>>>>>                 really threatened
    >>>>>>>>                                   here is
    >>>>>>>>                               the parental ownership of
    sexual access
    >>>>>>>> to their
    >>>>>>>>                 children.
    >>>>>>>>                 This morning's New York Times, just for
    >>>>>>>>                 has a thoroughly silly
    >>>>>>>>                 article on North Korea by one Nicolas
    Kristof. We
    >>>>>>>>                 are told that
    >>>>>>>>                 apartments in Pyeongyang are all equipped
    >>>>>>>>                 telescreens that
    >>>>>>>>                 make propaganda announcements of, e.g., the
    >>>>>>>>                 leaders' golf scores. We
    >>>>>>>>                                   have a
    >>>>>>>>                               similar telescreen in our
    apartment in
    >>>>>>>> Seoul,
    >>>>>>>>                 which announces municipal
    >>>>>>>>                 elections and tells where to find the
    local leader
    >>>>>>>>                 of the anti-communist
    >>>>>>>>                 militia. The difference is that when we
    do it is
    >>>>>>>>                 feels normal.
    >>>>>>>>                 Kristof certainly does not feel
    hidebound; he is
    >>>>>>>>                 quite comfortable in
    >>>>>>>>                                   his
    >>>>>>>>                               own skin. Nevertheless, he
    tells a
    >>>>>>>> wildly
    >>>>>>>>                 brainwashed account of the
    >>>>>>>>                                   way in
    >>>>>>>>                               which North Korea developed
    >>>>>>>> weapons. He
    >>>>>>>>                 correctly remembers
    >>>>>>>>                                   that in
    >>>>>>>>                               1994 an agreement was
    negotiated to
    >>>>>>>> build nuclear
    >>>>>>>>                 power plants in North
    >>>>>>>>                 Korea (he carefully omits to say that
    these would
    >>>>>>>>                 be non-weaponizable
    >>>>>>>>                 and built by South Korean companies). Now,
    >>>>>>>>                 according to Kristof, the
    >>>>>>>>                 Clinton administration only did this
    because they
    >>>>>>>>                 fooishly assumed that
    >>>>>>>>                                   the
    >>>>>>>>                               regime would collapse
    before the
    >>>>>>>> reactors were
    >>>>>>>>                 actually built! Wisely,
    >>>>>>>>                                   the
    >>>>>>>>                               Bush administration caught
    the North
    >>>>>>>> Koreans
    >>>>>>>>                 "cheating", and tore up the
    >>>>>>>>                 agreement.
    >>>>>>>>                 What really happened, as anybody with a
    >>>>>>>>                 longer than the Bush
    >>>>>>>>                 adminstration will tell you, was that the
    >>>>>>>>                 Koreans asked for, and
    >>>>>>>>                                   got,
    >>>>>>>>                               a codicil that would supply
    them with
    >>>>>>>> fuel oil for
    >>>>>>>>                 energy as a stopgap
    >>>>>>>>                 measure (if you look at the widely circulated
    >>>>>>>>                 satellite picture of North
    >>>>>>>>                 Korea at night you will see why they
    insisted on
    >>>>>>>>                 this). The Clinton
    >>>>>>>>                 Administration always boasted that the
    fuel oil
    >>>>>>>>                 they supplied was
    >>>>>>>>                                   unusably
    >>>>>>>>                               poor, but that was not
    enough for the
    >>>>>>>> Bush
    >>>>>>>>                 adminstration. They simply
    >>>>>>>>                 reneged on the agreement. But the North
    did not
    >>>>>>>>                 renege: they had
    >>>>>>>>                                   promised
    >>>>>>>>                               they would develop nuclear
    weapons if
    >>>>>>>> the deal
    >>>>>>>>                 fell through, and that is
    >>>>>>>>                 what they did.
    >>>>>>>>                 Why does Kristof tell this transparent lie?
    >>>>>>>>                 Doesn't it go against the
    >>>>>>>>                 usual NYT ethos of telling the truth about
    >>>>>>>>                 checkable and trivial
    >>>>>>>>                                   matters so
    >>>>>>>>                               as to be able to deceive
    with the
    >>>>>>>> necessary
    >>>>>>>>                 authority when it comes to
    >>>>>>>>                                   the
    >>>>>>>>                               essentials? I think, alas,
    Mr. Kristof
    >>>>>>>> simply
    >>>>>>>>                 cannot control himself any
    >>>>>>>>                 more (see his WILDLY improbable tale about a
    >>>>>>>>                 husband executing his own
    >>>>>>>>                                   wife
    >>>>>>>>                               for writing a highly
    implausible letter
    >>>>>>>> to Kim
    >>>>>>>>                 Jeong-il himself). The
    >>>>>>>>                 leather mask has become a face.
    >>>>>>>>                 And I think that is probably what
    happened to poor
    >>>>>>>>                 Leontiev as well. The
    >>>>>>>>                 mind is a highly parsimonious thing; it
    is very
    >>>>>>>>                 tiring to believe one
    >>>>>>>>                                   thing
    >>>>>>>>                               and say another. Vygotsky's
    genetic law
    >>>>>>>> predicts
    >>>>>>>>                 that eventually it is
    >>>>>>>>                                   the
    >>>>>>>>                               former that shall cede to
    the latter.
    >>>>>>>>                 It is that sense in which what Mike says
    is true:
    >>>>>>>>                 Vygotsky's psychology,
    >>>>>>>>                 as a scientific system, describes the
    >>>>>>>>                 of institutionalized
    >>>>>>>>                 lying just as accurately as it describes the
    >>>>>>>>                 development of higher
    >>>>>>>>                 concepts. What I wanted to say was that his
    >>>>>>>>                 earlier sense that ideas are
    >>>>>>>>                 always embodied, and some bodies are
    gifted with
    >>>>>>>>                 an extraordinary
    >>>>>>>>                 foresight, is also true. I think Vygotsky
    >>>>>>>>                 that he would die, but he
    >>>>>>>>                 also knew that his ideas, so long as they
    >>>>>>>>                 true ones, would live.
    >>>>>>>>                 David Kellogg
    >>>>>>>>                 Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
    >>>>>>>>                 --- On Wed, 12/21/11, Ivan Rosero
    >>>>>>>>                 <irosero@ucsd.edu
    >>>>>>>>                 From: Ivan Rosero <irosero@ucsd.edu
    >>>>>>>>                 <mailto:irosero@ucsd.edu
    >>>>>>>>                 Subject: Re: [xmca] Interpreting Leontiev:
    >>>>>>>>                 functionalism and Anglo
    >>>>>>>>                                   Finnish
    >>>>>>>>                               Insufficiences
    >>>>>>>>                 To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
    >>>>>>>>                 <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    >>>>>>>>                 Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 6:50 PM
    >>>>>>>>                 David, if you agree with the summary
    Larry has
    >>>>>>>>                 presented, I remain
    >>>>>>>>                                   confused
    >>>>>>>>                               by your analogy.  I read
    >>>>>>>> presentation of
    >>>>>>>>                 Kitching/Pleasant as
    >>>>>>>>                 saying that action cobbles together
    further sense
    >>>>>>>>                 within already-given
    >>>>>>>>                 sense that is simultaneously
    ideal-material, and
    >>>>>>>>                 therefore subject to
    >>>>>>>>                 culturally and historically specific
    >>>>>>>>                 and possibilities.  But
    >>>>>>>>                 surely, this includes the bottle and the
    >>>>>>>>                 too, both as moving
    >>>>>>>>                 entities (the bottle, unless highly
    heated, a much
    >>>>>>>>                 more slowly moving
    >>>>>>>>                 entity).  I am not invested in any particular
    >>>>>>>>                 reading of Leontiev, but
    >>>>>>>>                                   your
    >>>>>>>>                               analogy as presented
    suggests a kind of
    >>>>>>>> essential
    >>>>>>>>                 fixity to the person
    >>>>>>>>                 which I want to believe you don't really
    >>>>>>>>                 To be fair, your emphasis is on the wine
    in the
    >>>>>>>>                 bottle.  But, in this
    >>>>>>>>                                   case,
    >>>>>>>>                               a slowly moving bottle is
    rather less
    >>>>>>>> interesting
    >>>>>>>>                 than a human being,
    >>>>>>>>                                   with
    >>>>>>>>                               a rather less historically
    >>>>>>>> relationship to
    >>>>>>>>                 the liquid it gives
    >>>>>>>>                 shape to.
    >>>>>>>>                 Does what Andy refer to help here?  What
    kind of
    >>>>>>>>                 concept-complex (is it
    >>>>>>>>                 enough to call it Stalinism?) helps to
    explain the
    >>>>>>>>                 Leontiev at issue
    >>>>>>>>                                   here?
    >>>>>>>>                               Or, if the critique was
    there from
    >>>>>>>> early
    >>>>>>>> on, what
    >>>>>>>>                 kind of
    >>>>>>>>                                   concept-complex
    >>>>>>>>                               would help to explain his
    >>>>>>>> wide
    >>>>>>>> acceptance?
    >>>>>>>>                 Or, do we forgo all this and just grab
    >>>>>>>>                 as you say, "on a good
    >>>>>>>>                 day"?
    >>>>>>>>                 Ivan
    >>>>>>>>                 On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM, David
    Kellogg <
>>>>>>>> vaughndogblack@yahoo.com
    >>>>>>>> <mailto:vaughndogblack@yahoo.**com
    >>>>>>>>                                   wrote:
    >>>>>>>>                              Mike wrote that as he grows
    older, he
    >>>>>>>>                     becomes less attached to his
    >>>>>>>>                     position (expressed in his editorial
    >>>>>>>>                     commentary to Luria's
    >>>>>>>>                                         autobiography,
    >>>>>>>>                                   "The Making of Mind")
    that ideas
    >>>>>>>> really are
    >>>>>>>>                     highly embodied things.
    >>>>>>>>                                         Mike
    >>>>>>>>                                   says that as he grows
    older, he
    >>>>>>>> becomes more
    >>>>>>>>                     and more attached to
    >>>>>>>>                                         Luria's
    >>>>>>>>                                   position that only
    ideas matter.
    >>>>>>>>                     But as I grow older, I become more
    and more
    >>>>>>>>                     attached to Mike's
    >>>>>>>>                                         original
    >>>>>>>>                                   position that
    individuals really
    >>>>>>>> matter. Wine
    >>>>>>>>                     has no shape of its
    >>>>>>>>                                         own; it
    >>>>>>>>                                   really depends on what
    bottle we
    >>>>>>>> put
    >>>>>>>> it in,
    >>>>>>>>                     and the form of ideas
    >>>>>>>>                                         depends
    >>>>>>>>                                   very much on the
    character of the
    >>>>>>>> individuals
    >>>>>>>>                     wo carry them.
    >>>>>>>>                     On paper, the theoretical positions of
    >>>>>>>>                     Vygotsky and Leontiev are not
    >>>>>>>>                                         that
    >>>>>>>>                                   far apart. So when Mike
    asks what
    >>>>>>>> presents
    >>>>>>>>                     Vygotsky's ideas from being
    >>>>>>>>                     pressed into service by the Stalinist
    state, I
    >>>>>>>>                     think the answer has
    >>>>>>>>                                         to be
    >>>>>>>>                                   referred to the
    individual who
    >>>>>>>> carried this
    >>>>>>>>                     idea after all.
    >>>>>>>>                     I think it is not accidental that one was
    >>>>>>>>                     amenable and the other was
    >>>>>>>>                                         not,
    >>>>>>>>                                   that one's ideas were
    deformed and
    >>>>>>>>                     degenerated, and the others still
    >>>>>>>>                                                 amaze
    >>>>>>>>                                               by their
    freshness and
    >>>>>>>> color. Nor is it
    >>>>>>>>                     accidental that one lived and
    >>>>>>>>                                         one
    >>>>>>>>                                   died.
    >>>>>>>>                     But of course death is simply the
    moment when
    >>>>>>>>                     our thinking and spoken
    >>>>>>>>                     speech must come to an end, and our
    >>>>>>>>                     speech, like a hermit
    >>>>>>>>                                         crab,
    >>>>>>>>                                   must find a new home in
    the minds
    >>>>>>>> and mouths
    >>>>>>>>                     of others. And by that
    >>>>>>>>                     measure, it was Vygotsky who lived
    on, yea,
    >>>>>>>>                     even in the mind and the
    >>>>>>>>                                                 mouth
    >>>>>>>>                                               of
    Leontiev. Well,
    >>>>>>>> Leontiev on a good day!
    >>>>>>>>                     David Kellogg
    >>>>>>>>                     Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
    >>>>>>>>                     PS; I think I am (once again) with
    Larry. I
    >>>>>>>>                     think that if we read
    >>>>>>>>                                         (late)
    >>>>>>>>                                   Wittgenstein as a
    linguistic (not a
    >>>>>>>>                     philosophical) pragmatist, that
    >>>>>>>>                                         is,
    >>>>>>>>                               as
    >>>>>>>>                                               someone who
    >>>>>>>> that meaning in language
    >>>>>>>>                     comes from sense in
    >>>>>>>>                                                 activity,
    >>>>>>>>                                               Wittgenstein is
    >>>>>>>> perfectly consistent with what
    >>>>>>>>                     Marx writes in the
    >>>>>>>>                                         German
    >>>>>>>>                                   Ideology (that language is
    >>>>>>>> practical
    >>>>>>>>                     consciousness, real for myself
    >>>>>>>>                                                 because
    >>>>>>>>                                               real for
    >>>>>>>> Wittgenstein is
    >>>>>>>>                     Vygotsky-compatible in other ways,
    >>>>>>>>                                         too,
    >>>>>>>>                                   e.g. his argument about
    >>>>>>>> preconceptual
    >>>>>>>>                     "families" and his argument
    >>>>>>>>                                         about
    >>>>>>>>                               the
    >>>>>>>>                                               tool like
    nature of
    >>>>>>>> signs.
    >>>>>>>>                     dk
    >>>>>>>>                     --- On Wed, 12/21/11, mike cole
    >>>>>>>>                     <lchcmike@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     <mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     From: mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     <mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     Subject: Re: [xmca] Interpreting
    >>>>>>>>                     functionalism and Anglo
    >>>>>>>>                                                 Finnish
    >>>>>>>>                                               Insufficiences
    >>>>>>>>                     To: "Larry Purss"
    >>>>>>>>                     <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
    >>>>>>>>                     <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    >>>>>>>>                     <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    >>>>>>>>                     Nissen" <Morten.Nissen@psy.ku.dk
    >>>>>>>>                     <mailto:Morten.Nissen@psy.ku
>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>> Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011,
    2:12 PM
    >>>>>>>>                     Very helpful, Larry. Thanks.
    >>>>>>>>                     As I read the Leontiev materials what
    was at
    >>>>>>>>                     issue in 1949 is whether
    >>>>>>>>                                                 there
    >>>>>>>>                                               is any
    "third space" of
    >>>>>>>> the self in the "unity
    >>>>>>>>                     of consciousness and
    >>>>>>>>                     activity." I take Stalinism
    >>>>>>>>                     in these materials to refer to the
    way that
    >>>>>>>>                     idealism is joined with
    >>>>>>>>                                                 belief
    >>>>>>>>                                               in some sort of
    >>>>>>>> "autonomous" realm of thought.
    >>>>>>>>                     Zinchenko's work on
    >>>>>>>>                     micromovements of the eye and perceptual
    >>>>>>>>                     action seem to me now
    >>>>>>>>                                                 significant
    >>>>>>>>                                               in exactly this
    >>>>>>>> respect:
    >>>>>>>> they point to a rapid
    >>>>>>>>                     simulation process
    >>>>>>>>                                         which
    >>>>>>>>                               is
    >>>>>>>>                                               not
    >>>>>>>> connected to externalized
    >>>>>>>>                     action (as one example). If
    >>>>>>>>                                                 you
    >>>>>>>>                                               know the
    future of
    >>>>>>>> history and what is good
    >>>>>>>>                     for everyone, all such
    >>>>>>>>                     processes risk deviation from "the
    true path."
    >>>>>>>>                     The motives of the
    >>>>>>>>                                                 "healthy"
    >>>>>>>>                                               individual
    are supposed
    >>>>>>>> to coincide with those
    >>>>>>>>                     of the "collective" (as
    >>>>>>>>                     represented by the general secretary
    of the
    >>>>>>>>                     central committee of the
    >>>>>>>>                     communist party). Functionalism as
    command and
    >>>>>>>>                     control statism.
    >>>>>>>>                     If we accept THIS version of CHAT,
    seems to me
    >>>>>>>>                     that Phillip is
    >>>>>>>>                                         corrrect -
    >>>>>>>>                                   Use the ideas for
    something called
    >>>>>>>> communism,
    >>>>>>>>                     fascism, ANY form of
    >>>>>>>>                     collective social project.
    >>>>>>>>                     David says this is Leontiev's (AT)
    >>>>>>>>                     not Vygotsky's (CH)
    >>>>>>>>                                         problem.
    >>>>>>>>                                   Larry points
    >>>>>>>>                     to Wittgensteinian marxism that
    appears to
    >>>>>>>>                     provide a way to select
    >>>>>>>>                                         wheat
    >>>>>>>>                                   from chaff (or discover
    a different
    >>>>>>>> level of
    >>>>>>>>                     chaff!).
    >>>>>>>>                     My guess is that German, Russian, and
    >>>>>>>>                     thinkers have already
    >>>>>>>>                                         carried
    >>>>>>>>                                   this conversation
    pretty far....
    >>>>>>>> Morten's
    >>>>>>>>                     citation of German work
    >>>>>>>>                                         points
    >>>>>>>>                               to
    >>>>>>>>                                               this
    >>>>>>>>                     But how are we poor non_Russian,
    >>>>>>>>                     reading unfortunates
    >>>>>>>>                                                 wandering
    >>>>>>>>                                               in the
    woods to find
    >>>>>>>> our
    >>>>>>>> way?
    >>>>>>>>                     mike
    >>>>>>>>                     On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM,
    Larry Purss
    >>>>>>>>                     <lpscholar2@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                     wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi Andy,
    >>>>>>>> Christine, Mike
    >>>>>>>>                         I have been hibernating on Mayne
    Island, a
    >>>>>>>>                         small Island between
>>>>>>>> Vancouver
    >>>>>>>>                                                   and
    Vancouver and
    >>>>>>>> Vancouver Island.
    >>>>>>>>                         [school break for the holidays]
    >>>>>>>>                                               No
    >>>>>>>>                                       internet except at
    the small
    >>>>>>>> library]
    >>>>>>>>                         I was interested in this comment from
    >>>>>>>>                         Morten Nissen on Andy's book
    >>>>>>>>                         Blunden, as it were, attacks it
    from the
    >>>>>>>>                         �gopposite�h side: the
    >>>>>>>> functionalism
>>>>>>>> of Leontiev�fs
    >>>>>>>> way of relating subject with
    >>>>>>>>                         society. This has to do
    >>>>>>>>                                               with
    >>>>>>>>                                   how
>>>>>>>> objects and
    >>>>>>>> motives appear to coincide in
    >>>>>>>>                         Leontiev�fs idealized
    >>>>>>>>                                               image of
    >>>>>>>>                                   the
>>>>>>>> true society,
    >>>>>>>> that is, the society of
    >>>>>>>>                         original communism and that of
    >>>>>>>>                                                       the
    >>>>>>>>                                                   Soviet
    >>>>>>>>                         Andy, it is this notion of
    >>>>>>>>                         that I have difficulty with
    >>>>>>>>                                                       when
    >>>>>>>>                                                   reading
    >>>>>>>> Activity Theory.
    >>>>>>>>                         Leontiev's statements such as
    >>>>>>>>                         is the decisive force which
>>>>>>>> forms
    >>>>>>>>                                                         man
    >>>>>>>> intellectually. This intellectual
    >>>>>>>>                         development MUST CORRESPOND TO
    >>>>>>>>                                                       THE
    >>>>>>>>                                                   AIMS
    >>>>>>>>                          It must fully agree with
    >>>>>>>>                                                       REAL
    >>>>>>>>                                                   human
    >>>>>>>>                         I'm been browsing through an
    edited  book
    >>>>>>>>                         by Gavin Kitching and
    >>>>>>>>                                               Nigel
    >>>>>>>>                                       Pleasant titled
    "Marx and
    >>>>>>>> Wittgenstein:
    >>>>>>>>                         Knowledge, Morality,
    >>>>>>>>                                               Politics."
    >>>>>>>>                                       These authors take an
    >>>>>>>> interesting
    >>>>>>>>                         perspective on materialism &
    >>>>>>>>                                               idealism
    >>>>>>>>                                       that gives idealism
    its place
    >>>>>>>> in
    >>>>>>>> our human
    >>>>>>>>                         being [in contrast to
    >>>>>>>>                                               how I
    >>>>>>>>                                   read
>>>>>>>> Leontiev}
    >>>>>>>>                         These authors are exploring a
    >>>>>>>>                         Wittgensteinian Marxism that examines
>>>>>>>> Marx's >>>>>>>> notion that
    >>>>>>>> "The tradition of all the dead
    >>>>>>>>                         generations weighs like a
    >>>>>>>>                         nightmare on the brain of the
    living" A
    >>>>>>>>                         Wittgensteinian Marxist
    >>>>>>>>                                               reading
    >>>>>>>>                                       [from the authors
    >>>>>>>> would make
    >>>>>>>>                         3 points.
    >>>>>>>>                         1] Tradition and circumstances
    cannot be
    >>>>>>>>                         understood in ABSTRACTION
    >>>>>>>>                                               FROM
    >>>>>>>>                                       the traditions and
    >>>>>>>> understandings that
    >>>>>>>>                         people have of these
    >>>>>>>> circumstances.
>>>>>>>> 2] WHATEVER
    >>>>>>>> such varied understandings
    >>>>>>>>                         may consist (class, culture,
    >>>>>>>>                         gender etc) nonetheless some KINDS of
    >>>>>>>>                         actions by historical subjects
    >>>>>>>>                         [agents, actors] will prove
    impossible IF
    >>>>>>>>                         these actions are entered
    >>>>>>>>                                                       into
    >>>>>>>>                                               in
>>>>>>>> disregard to
    >>>>>>>> the traditions and
    >>>>>>>>                         circumstances directly GIVEN,
    >>>>>>>>                                                   and
    >>>>>>>> from
    >>>>>>>> the past
    >>>>>>>>                         3] A principle WAY in which the
    >>>>>>>>                         OF THE DEAD GENERATIONS
    >>>>>>>>                                                       weighs
    >>>>>>>>                                                   like a
    nightmare on
    >>>>>>>> the brain of the
    >>>>>>>>                         living is that ANTECEDENT
>>>>>>>> historical >>>>>>>> circumstances often
    >>>>>>>> make it IMPOSSIBLE TO
    >>>>>>>>                         THINK AND FEEL (and
    >>>>>>>>                                               therefore
    >>>>>>>>                                       act)in certain ways.
    >>>>>>>> Historically created
    >>>>>>>>                         material culture restricts
    >>>>>>>>                                                       and
    >>>>>>>>                                                   enables
    the making
    >>>>>>>> of PARTICULAR KINDS of
    >>>>>>>>                         history. People do not
    >>>>>>>>                                               try to
    >>>>>>>>                                   do
>>>>>>>> things and
    >>>>>>>> then for "material reasons"
    >>>>>>>>                         find they cannot do things. (
>>>>>>>> cannot >>>>>>>> make history
    >>>>>>>> as THEY PLEASE ) Such
    >>>>>>>>                         traditions and circumstances
    >>>>>>>>                                               DEEPLY
    >>>>>>>>                                   FORM
>>>>>>>> what it is
    >>>>>>>> that present generations can
    >>>>>>>>                         DESIRE TO DO. and CONCEIVE
    >>>>>>>>                                               OF.
    >>>>>>>>                                   (as
>>>>>>>> well as what
    >>>>>>>> actions they can conceive of
    >>>>>>>>                         as being
>>>>>>>> possible/impossible,
    >>>>>>>>                                       feasible/unfeasible)
    >>>>>>>>                         It is human action in and on the
    >>>>>>>>                         that inextricably LINKS
    >>>>>>>>                                               THOUGHT
    >>>>>>>>                                       (and language) TO
    >>>>>>>> REALITY.
    >>>>>>>>                         Historical traditions and
    >>>>>>>> circumstances
>>>>>>>> are the
    >>>>>>>> outcomes of previous generations
    >>>>>>>>                         actions [intended &
>>>>>>>> unintended]
    >>>>>>>>                                                   which place
    >>>>>>>> constraints on present
    >>>>>>>>                         generations. Constraints on what
    >>>>>>>>                                                       they
    >>>>>>>>                                                   can
    think, feel,
    >>>>>>>> desire (and how they act)
    >>>>>>>>                         By keeping these 3 points in mind the
    >>>>>>>>                         authors suggest we can avoid
>>>>>>>> falling >>>>>>>> into the DEEP
    >>>>>>>> CONFUSIONS which have always
    >>>>>>>>                         attended the
    >>>>>>>>                                               material/ideal
    >>>>>>>>                                       distinction.
    >>>>>>>>                         The most DIRECT and
    comprehensible way to
    >>>>>>>>                         SEE THROUGH this
>>>>>>>> material/ideal >>>>>>>> distinction is to
    >>>>>>>> see that all action is
    >>>>>>>>                         simultaneously mental &
>>>>>>>> physical, >>>>>>>> material &
    >>>>>>>> ideal.  Neither material or
    >>>>>>>>                         ideal is an "epiphenomena" of
    >>>>>>>>                                                       the
    >>>>>>>>                                                   other.
    >>>>>>>>                         In my reading of Leontiev in the
    >>>>>>>>                         from the book posted I
    >>>>>>>>                                               don't
    >>>>>>>>                               see
    >>>>>>>>                                                   the nuances
    >>>>>>>> recognizing the depths of the
    >>>>>>>>                         "ideal" within Marx's
    >>>>>>>>                                               theory.
    >>>>>>>>                                       This edited book,
    by putting
    >>>>>>>> Marx into
    >>>>>>>>                         explicit conversation is
    >>>>>>>>                         elaborating a Wittgensteinian
    Marxism or a
    >>>>>>>>                         Marxist Wittgenstein.
    >>>>>>>>                         Larry
    >>>>>>>>                         On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 7:39 PM,
    mike cole
    >>>>>>>>                         <lchcmike@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                         <mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com
    >>>>>>>>                                               wrote:
    >>>>>>>>                                           Below are two
    >>>>>>>> from Morten
    >>>>>>>>                             Nissen's review of Andy
    >>>>>>>>                                                     Blunden's
    >>>>>>>>                                           book
    >>>>>>>>                             on activity theory. Full
    review in
    >>>>>>>>                             current issue of MCA.
    >>>>>>>>                             After presenting the quotation, a
    >>>>>>>> comment.
    >>>>>>>>                             mike
    >>>>>>>>                             -------------------
    >>>>>>>>                             Morten Nissen on Leontiev,
    >>>>>>>>                             functionalism, and Stalinism
    >>>>>>>>                             �c.behind this terminological
    >>>>>>>>                             lies a deep theoretical
    >>>>>>>>                                                     problem
    >>>>>>>>                               in
>>>>>>>> Leontiev�fs
    >>>>>>>> social theory. This problem
    >>>>>>>>                             was identified in the German
>>>>>>>> and >>>>>>>> Scandinavian
    >>>>>>>> reception (Axel & Nissen,
    >>>>>>>>                             1993; Holzkamp, 1979;
    >>>>>>>> Osterkamp,
>>>>>>>> 1976) but
    >>>>>>>> almost
    >>>>>>>> completely ignored in
    >>>>>>>>                             the Anglo-Finnish (with
    >>>>>>>> Miettinen,
>>>>>>>> 2005, and
    >>>>>>>> Kaptelinin, 2005, as the
    >>>>>>>>                             noble exceptions to the
>>>>>>>> rule)�\and
    >>>>>>>>                                           Blunden, as it
    >>>>>>>> attacks
    >>>>>>>> it from
    >>>>>>>>                             the �gopposite�h side: the
    >>>>>>>>                             functionalism
    >>>>>>>>                             of Leontiev�fs way of
    relating subject
    >>>>>>>>                             with society. This has to do
>>>>>>>> with
    >>>>>>>>                                                       how
    >>>>>>>>                             objects and motives appear to
    >>>>>>>>                             in Leontiev�fs idealized
    >>>>>>>>                                                     image
    >>>>>>>>                               of
    >>>>>>>>                                                       the
    >>>>>>>>                             true society, that is, the
    society of
    >>>>>>>>                             original communism and that
    >>>>>>>>                                                     of
    >>>>>>>>                               the
>>>>>>>> Soviet Union.
>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>> From the perspective of this >>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>> functionalist utopia, a
    >>>>>>>>                                                     could
    >>>>>>>>                                           become relevant
    only in the
    >>>>>>>> face of
    >>>>>>>>                             the undeveloped and the
    >>>>>>>>                                                     deviant:
    >>>>>>>>                               as
    >>>>>>>>                                               in
>>>>>>>> fact,
    >>>>>>>> according to Leontiev (1978),
    >>>>>>>>                             children and disturbed provide
    >>>>>>>>                                                     the
    >>>>>>>>                                           tasks of
    psychology in the
    >>>>>>>>                             institutions of the Soviet
    Union. To
    >>>>>>>>                             paraphrase:
    >>>>>>>>                             The child who puts down her
    book still
    >>>>>>>>                             has not grasped the harmony
    >>>>>>>>                                                     of
    >>>>>>>>                                           society�fs
    needs with the
    >>>>>>>> desire to
    >>>>>>>>                             learn that she *must*
    >>>>>>>>                             develop�\she has not yet
    >>>>>>>>                             those �ghigher cultural needs.�h
    >>>>>>>> Bourgeois
>>>>>>>> society
    >>>>>>>> is
    >>>>>>>> another matter, where sense
    >>>>>>>>                             and meaning are divided in
    >>>>>>>>                             principle, but this
    matter�\that of
    >>>>>>>>                             ideology and social
    >>>>>>>> critique�\Leontiev
>>>>>>>> sets aside and
    >>>>>>>> forgets. An elaborate
    >>>>>>>>                             critique of Leontiev�fs
    >>>>>>>> functionalism
>>>>>>>> was given
    >>>>>>>> already in 1980 (Haug,
    >>>>>>>>                             Nemitz,& Waldhubel, 1980),
    and the
    >>>>>>>>                             background was explained by
    >>>>>>>>                             (1976) in her groundbreaking
>>>>>>>> work
    >>>>>>>>                                               on
>>>>>>>> the
    >>>>>>>> theory
    >>>>>>>> of motivation.
>>>>>>>> ------------------------------**--
    >>>>>>>>                             Comment.
    >>>>>>>>                             When I first read these
    passages as
    >>>>>>>>                             part of the attempted "swap of
    >>>>>>>> ideas"
>>>>>>>> that
    >>>>>>>> Morten and  I tried to organize
    >>>>>>>>                             around
    >>>>>>>>                             our reviews of Andy's book in
    >>>>>>>>                             and MCA, I commented how
    >>>>>>>>                                                     sad it
    >>>>>>>>                                   was
>>>>>>>> that the
    >>>>>>>> elaborate critique that goes
    >>>>>>>>                             back to
    >>>>>>>>                             1980 is not in English and fully
    >>>>>>>>                             engaged by both European and
    >>>>>>>>                              "Ango-Finns"
    >>>>>>>>                             (although how poor  Viktor
    got into
    >>>>>>>>                             that category
    >>>>>>>>                             I do not know!).
    >>>>>>>>                             Seems like real interchange
    >>>>>>>>                             these issues is long overdue.
    >>>>>>>>                                                     But
    >>>>>>>>                                   given
>>>>>>>> the
    >>>>>>>> progress of the last couple of
    >>>>>>>>                             years, I'll not be
    >>>>>>>>                             holding my breath!
    >>>>>>>>                             --------------------------
    >>>>>>>>                             But thinking about the issues
    as well
    >>>>>>>>                             as my limited language (and
>>>>>>>> other) >>>>>>>> capacities
    >>>>>>>> allow.
    >>>>>>>>                             mike
    >>>>>>>>                             ______________________________**
    >>>>>>>> ____________
    >>>>>>>>                             _____
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    >>>>>>>>                             xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
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    >>>>>>>>                             http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**
    >>>>>>>> listinfo/xmca <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
    >>>>>>>>                             ______________________________**
    >>>>>>>> ____________
    >>>>>>>>                     _____
    >>>>>>>>                     xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>                     xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca> >>>>>>>> ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>>>>                     _____
    >>>>>>>>                     xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>                     xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
    >>>>>>>> ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>>>>                 _____
    >>>>>>>>                 xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>                 xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
    >>>>>>>>                 ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>>>>                 _____
    >>>>>>>>                 xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>                 xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
    >>>>>>>> ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>>>>             _____
    >>>>>>>>             xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>             xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
    >>>>>>>>         --
    >>>>>>>>         Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
    >>>>>>>>         Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
    >>>>>>>>         Department of Communication
    >>>>>>>>         University of California, San Diego
    >>>>>>>>         ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>>>>         _____
    >>>>>>>>         xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>         xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
>>>>>>>> ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>>>>     _____
    >>>>>>>>     xmca mailing list
    >>>>>>>>     xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
    >>>>>>>> --
    >>>>>>>> ------------
    >>>>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
    >>>>>>>> Joint Editor MCA:
    >>>>>>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
    <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/> <
    >>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/**>
    >>>>>>>> Book:
    >>>>>>>> <http://www.brill.nl/default.**aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> >>>>>>> -- >>>>>>> >>>>>>
    >>>>>> ------------
    >>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
    >>>>>> Joint Editor MCA:
    >>>>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
    >>>>>> Book:
    >>>>>> ______________________________**____________
    >>>>>> _____
    >>>>>> xmca mailing list
    >>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> >>>>>
>>>>> >>>> --
    >>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
    >>>> ------------
    >>>> *Andy Blunden*
    >>>> Joint Editor MCA:
    >>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
    >>>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.**aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
    >>>> ______________________________**____________
    >>>> _____
    >>>> xmca mailing list
    >>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    >>>> This mail was received via Mail-SeCure System.
    >>>> <http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/mec/#bkV14E118>
>>>> >>> Despite my general approach that Historical Dialectics (Marxian
    >>> Social-Cultural theory) and Pragmatism mutually repair the
    lacuna in their
    >>> respective representations of human social and cultural
    practice, and a
    >>> very critical response to Leninism, Lenin's critique of American
    >>> Pragmatism, rough as it is, is right on target.
    >>> [15]
    <http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/mec/#bkV14E118> *
>>> >>>> Pragmatism�\*a subjective-idealist trend of bourgeois (mainly
    >>>> philosophy in the imperialist era. It arose in the seven
    ties. of the last
    >>>> century in the U.S.A. as a reflection of specific features of the
    >>>> development of American capitalism, replacing the hitherto
    >>>> religious philosophy. The main propositions of pragmatism
    were formulated
    >>>> by Charles Peirce. As an independent philosophical tendency
    it took shape
    >>>> at the turn of the century in the works of William James and
    >>>> Schiller and was further developed in the instrumentalism of
    John Dewey.
    >>>> The pragmatists consider that the central problem of
    philosophy is the
    >>>> attainment of true knowledge. However, they completely
    distort the very
    >>>> concept of truth; already Peirce looked on cognition as a purely
    >>>> psychological, subjective process of achieving religious
    belief. James
    >>>> substituted the concept of �gusefulness�h, of success or
    advantage, for the
    >>>> concept of truth, i.e., for the objectively true reflection
    of reality.
    >>>> From his point of view, all concepts, including religious
    ones, are true
    >>>> insofar as they are useful. Dewey went, even farther by
    declaring all
    >>>> scientific theories, all moral principles and social
    institutions, to be
    >>>> merely �ginstruments�h for the attainment of the personal
    aims of the
    >>>> individual. As the criterion of the �gtruth�h (usefulness) of
    >>>> the pragmatists take experience, understood not as human
    social practice
    >>>> but as the constant stream of individual experiences, of the
    >>>> phenomena of consciousness; they regard this experience as
    the solo
    >>>> reality, declaring the concepts of matter and mind
    �gobsolete�h. Like the
    >>>> Machists, the pragmatists claim to have created a �gthird
    line�h in
    >>>> philosophy; they try to place themselves above materialism
    and idealism,
    >>>> while in fact advocating one of the varieties of idealism. In
    contrast to
    >>>> materialist monism, the pragmatists put forward the standpoint of
    >>>> �gpluralism�h, according to which there is no internal
    connection, no
    >>>> conformity to law, in the universe; it is like a mosaic which
    each person
    >>>> builds in his own way, out of his own individual experiences.
    >>>> starting out from the needs of the given moment, pragmatism
    considers it
    >>>> possible to give different, even contradictory, explanations
    of one and the
    >>>> same phenomenon. Consistency is declared to be unnecessary;
    if it is to a
    >>>> man�fs advantage, he can be a determinist or an
    indeterminist, he can assert
    >>>> or deny the existence of God, and so on.
    >>>> By basing themselves on the subjective-idealist tradition of
    >>>> philosophy from Berkeley and Hume to John Stuart Mill, by
    >>>> particular aspects of the theories of Kant, Mach   and
    Avenarius, Nietzsche
    >>>> and Henri Bergson, the American pragmatists created one of
    the most
    >>>> reactionary philosophical trends of modern times, a
    convenient form for
    >>>> theoretically defending the interests of the imperialist
    bourgeoisie. It is
    >>>> for this reason that pragmatism spread so widely in the
    U.S.A., becoming
    >>>> almost the official American philosophy. There have been
    advocates of
    >>>> pragmatism at various times in Italy, Germany, France,
    Czechoslovakia and
    >>>> other countries. Lenin, V.I. (1908) MATERIALISM and
    >>>> Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Chapter 4. Parties in
    >>>> and Philosophical Blockheads
>>>> >>>
    >>> --
    >>> Victor Friedlander
    >>> __________________________________________
    >>> _____
    >>> xmca mailing list
    >>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    >>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>> >> __________________________________________
    >> _____
    >> xmca mailing list
    >> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
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>> > __________________________________________
    > _____
    > xmca mailing list
    > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

xmca mailing list