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Re: [xmca] Vladislav Lektorsky's notion of the subject
- To: email@example.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Vladislav Lektorsky's notion of the subject
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 06:30:01 -0800
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I agree that the "inner world" is cultural historical. This "inner world"
as a "concept" did not exist in Aristotole's time [and not in Homer's texts]
The term "construct" may suggest that this "inner world" is an
epiphenomenon OF the real cultural-historical world and could therefore be
collaped back into the cultural historical. In other words the "inner
world" could be deconstructed.
My reading of this possibility is that once arisen as an ACTUALITY the
"inner world" cannot be deconstructed except if the entire collective
activity of which it is a "part" also is deconstructed. In other words
"sovereign selfs" and "sovergeign states" and "sovereign rights" exist
together within a family resemblance with a shared notion of "identity" as
Andy, cultura-historical formational artifacts such as "selfs" and "texts"
are not conceptualepiphenomena that can be deconstructed [as merely
"epiphenomenal concepts"] unless the entire collective activity from which
the "inner world" and "texts" arises also is deconstructed [annililated]
If the "inner world" ACTUALLY ARISES FROM the cultural historical as a
particular KIND or TYPE of "psychological world" then once arisen
[developmentally/evolutionary] it IS an actual "existence" that is NOT
MERELY IDEAL [as epiphenomenal] but rather exists as a particular KIND
of artifact every bit as real as cathedrals and states and rights.
The particular kind of subject that we are familiar with seems intimately
linked to "texs" and "states" and "rights" and from my perspective is a
particular possessive kind of inner world.
Andy, going back to Charles Taylor's notion of "theories" as necessary to
SIMPLIFY and REDUCE dynamic complexity, [life always exceeds our theories]
points to the need for collective activity but a central kind of activity
for the "inner world" to arise I believe is hermeneutical and dialogical
Gadamer's notion that these conversations CONTINUE to occur across the
centuries [not as a backward glance but in real time]. "I" read an author
such as Aristotle today and this reading [con-verse-ation] points to
"texts" and "inner worlds" both arising as artifacts which occupy the
same phenomenological [not epiphenomenal] actuality.
Therefore, we need to be cautious when saying we are constructing &
deconstructing "texts" and "inner worlds" AS IF they are epiphenomenal.
They ARE phenomenal and can annililated as actualities if the cultural
historical world is annililated but I don't think we can deconstruct the
texts and "inner worlds" and leave this particular cultural historical
That is the reason I was attempting to make a distinction between the terms
"construct" and "understood" [as a dialogical intersubjective notion as
used by Gadamer]
Andy, I "hold" [possess] these perspectives tentatively, but it is where my
On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 2:33 AM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> OK, Larry has selected Lektorsky's chapter in the 2009 book to read.
> Larry, instead of running on to consider 15 different concepts of the
> inner world, shouldn't we wait on a second and think about Lekotrsky's
> claim? What do you think of the claim that the very idea of an "inner
> world" or "self" is a cultural-historical construct, i.e., that in say
> Aristotle's times, such a concept did not exist and therefore that it would
> simply not be sensible to talk of people having such a "self"?
> Larry Purss wrote:
>> I went on Google Scholar and typed in "Vladislav Lektorsky"
>> The book "Learning and Expanding with Activity" came up free to download.
>> I'm sending an attachment if others are interested.
>> Chapter 5 "Mediation as a Means of Collective Activity" by V. Lektorsky is
>> on pages 75 to 87.
>> Page 80 explores Lektorsky's perspective of the notion of the subject.
>> quote what he says.
>> "The idea of the "inner world" is very important in cultural and social
>> contexts. The subject as the unity of consciousness, the unity of an
>> individual biography, and the center of making decisions can exist only as
>> the center of "the inner world". *But the appearance of the "inner world"
>> possible only when the IDEA of "the inner" arises in culture*, in other
>> words, when it is realized in forms of collective activity. This means
>> there may exist cultures and forms of activity including forms of
>> communication where the subjects have no feelings of the ego and "the
>> The ego of an individual subject may be UNDERSTOOD to be a
>> complicated, changing, and somewhat problematic formation. It has
>> different layers, which sometimes are INTERPRETED as different egos,
>> engaged in communication WITH EACH OTHER and formed in different kinds of
>> activity and n different relations with other people. Ego identity can be
>> confused and fragmented. Thus, an individual subject can be UNDERSTOOD to
>> be a collective subject. A specific feature of such a collective subject
>> that it is embodied in a single physical body and has a unity of
>> consciousness and a central ego, REGULATING activities of different
>> subegos. In cases of multiple personalities a central ego is absent so
>> several egos coexist in the same body."
>> I am not endorsing this particular perspective, but offer Lektorsky's
>> version of the "self" formed within activity theory as an example that
>> "self" "agency" "subjectivity" "individuality" "ego" "person" "agent"
>> "agency" "free will" "self-determination" "self-regulation" "personality"
>> "personhood" and the RELATION between these various terms are being
>> fully explored and expressed within activity theory as ARISING phenomena.
>> I would like to propose that dialogical hermeneutical notions of "situated
>> agency" have a place/space within this constellation of terms.
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/**toc/hmca20/18/1<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<http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857>
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