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

Dear Andy,

That was very provocative! I empathise
with the 'ethos' in your biography biography – mine shares something somewhat
but  'accidental' intellectually. I spent
many years amongst those that spent their youth overcoming the Franco
regime.  Spent years 'mutually influencing' in a very poor village
marginalised for being 'united left - IE'  - this affects funds and projects, one aspect I
could believe could be identified as  reflexivity  in looking at this time living there - that is
developing a way of relating that embodies a 'concept' which enables a
transformative qualitative difference in form of living ( in this case
'measured' by incorporation of ecological values and poetry/artistic creation
(and consumption) by and within the village – happened over 10 or 15 years
...  for sure 'positive law' legislative changes take a long time. From
the 'fight' you epitomise to the everyday living difference sought.  But
am I right to depict the story that way round -  was it the intellectuals who became activists
and gave up all- or was it that without the invitation of 'people of the
countryside’ ( and in the country those that showed me how to be
neighbours  most proximal to my house were in fact 'illiterate' -  yet  they helped bring up my first son - who still
remembers the gestures and values.) would ‘reflexivity’ be realized.

 Provocative because I've no idea what you mean by 'systems theory' and I
mention this in an earlier post :))) - I can only say I identify in the acquisition
of  principles of intervention/ practice - I find those of  ‘CHAT – also a family of diversity- activity
theory - but the 'pattern' of acquisition is 'mutual influencing' ish  as
from my reading oft Mike's last joint article was  different ( other times too).  I guess
the central concept is 'transformation'. so I don't 'get'  objectification
of 'social theory', I’m ‘out’ on what that might be quite. it's dynamic open
and that's the big problem - no? losing 'dynamic thought' in objectification.
Though who is assuming that all are influenced by ‘social theory’ . I still
visit my neighbours who don’t read or write, I still am included by neighbours
from my hometown ( 1953 council estate) . I also still have relations with  some 
from my academic ‘tribe’ – how I got there  was by interview  for an MSc– they had to go check that my
qualifications did actually ‘count’ to be able to join in J)).

I really liked David's recent post 

is, for understanding how the social becomes psychological, for recognition,
for identity, for the forging of something that can reasonably called a free
willed self, the mediating entity we want is really the community. 


the face of it, there doesn't appear to be any historical period where there
was not a community of some kind. Except maybe our own." ( this expresses
the otion of autopoiesis David - only Maturana's very convoluted explication was
we don't have 'access' to our own embodied actuality - we are inherently
'observers' in a relational historically forming domain which we structurally couple to- i.e influence /but not causally either direction. A primary  to this concept is life - not evolution.

Except  I turn to the question of 'will' which isn't artistic enough for me a 'free loved self'
? or creative self?  Phychology of art seemed to me (only skimming) to be about aesthetic consumption - not the sensual production  of artistic gesture. Mediating - but not 'entity' because  community is always flowing along, in an out,
people come and go and there is multiplicity of community.

  Also David's earlier comment about the boundary of the word -  where I would pull in 'being in relation to
gesture' ( always unspoken?).

 Anyway I'm as 'peripheral'/ ambiguous / with and without recognition in written voice in the 'systems tribe'  nearly as in this - so I like your expression of principle of  'not making matters worse'  a lot. 
 BTW I didn't mean Ulrich Beck, risk is  in his work and in ecology being objectified - the relation is to uncertainty what 'to do when there is no notion of 'risk' to hang on to. I made a reference to Ullrich and I'm not at all in the camp of cybernetics i don't think - but the special issue which hosts the paper for discussion has a review of a book on that by Tony (and I'll read that - he was discussing Freire before his illness)
 it was Werner Ullrich - who I've not read either. I have a feeling this might  be a question of 'responsibility to those less advantaged' and I nearly always find that difficult because the categorisation interpellates 'no change'.BTW - I've lost the functionalism theme , leontiev - but have maybe exposed 'anglo ' insufficiencies via biography:). I didn't used to react to provocation half so 'profusely'..must have had some 'coaching' somewhere.....
 Cheers Andy.

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